Essays on the Balkans
"Ugresic's writing attacks the savage stupidities of war, punctures the macho heroism that surrounds it, and plumbs the depths of the pain and pathos of exile."
"We have entered a new epoch: a digital one. We find ourselves in a new cultural environment, and its basic premises are high-tech barbarism, the democratic participation of literally everybody, and the erasure of institutions such as the author, tradition, competence, and a hierarchy of knowledge. Now I sound like Sam, the American eagle from The Muppet Show, but surprisingly, I don’t care anymore. "
"Genius and notoriety usually ensure success for filmmakers–or at least a chance to keep making films. So what explains Makavejev’s mysterious cinematic silence? "
"Makavejev used his position as a filmmaker from Yugoslavia–the country of the “middle way”–to leap audaciously into a critique of the grand conflict of capitalism and communism. The WR in the title of that film stands not only for Freud disciple Wilhelm Reich but for world revolution. Makavejev sought–and commanded–an international stage."
"It's an occupation of international initials. Acronyms are inescapable here -- stencilled onto vehicles and signs, or cluttering up the newspaper articles like pieces of undigested meat. There's NATO, and the OHR, and the UNMIBH. There's the OSCE and the IPTF and the IMC and the UNHCR as well."
"The lack of true market competition has created an atmosphere in which the ruling parties remain the dominant media force in the country, challenged only by internationally funded media outlets. Thus, independent media are in a race against the clock for their very existence. Can they become sustainable entities before the international donors' will is exhausted?"