To be able to capture a subjective impression of the flow of time and the texture of space is one of cinema’s most specific, if under-used, gifts.
Manifesto of a Defeated Poet
If the anecdotal has become cinema’s main subject, it’s perhaps partly because it’s so fiendishly difficult to embrace this most apparently simple capacity of the medium and harness it to the unadorned rendition of a truly personal sense of time passing and space inhabited.
Only a few rare filmmakers, including Jean-Claude Rousseau, Chantal Akerman and Rouzbeh Rashidi, have achieved this and, in so doing, have given audiences access to a world that is, in its simplicity, utterly mysterious. They have shared their immediate perception of the details of life, solitary observations which have granted viewers the uncanny privilege of experiencing as another human being, not a vicarious fictional construct but a private individual.
Saidin Salkic is another name to add to this small but priceless list of artists.
- Maximilian Le Cain, Close Watch (see link below).
The aim is evolving the intimacy of the place from which the cinema is made and eliminating the representation, sensationalism and other killers of art.
- Saidin Salkic, March 2014.
Waiting for Sevdah (2017, 40 mins)
Waiting for Sevdah
After the ambitious, grand-scaled Manifesto of a Defeated Poet, which has its beauty but also its flaws, Saidin Salkic’s new film Waiting for Sevdah is such a pure delight that it must rank with his 2nd film Konvent as one of Australia’s best films from the past 10 years.
Salkic is no ordinary Australian filmmaker of course – especially since he has come from a different culture. But he now sits within the ranks of the great Australian underground filmmakers currently working, such as Mike Retter, Mark La Rosa, Richard Tuohy, David King, a small list of active filmmakers considering Australia’s rich heritage of indie/experimental/underground filmmakers.
Waiting for Sevdah was shot and edited quickly, as a catharsis for Salkic, and I believe its strength lies in its simplicity and intuitive expression. Skirting modes such as the silent film, surrealist film, and experimental film, Salkic utilises a simple narrative framework (a man is waiting for someone) and fills it with such primal joy, and primal anguish, that you leave the film awe-struck at the transcendental effects it produces with such minimal means. It’s the “less is more” school of filmmaking, but sometimes that school can indeed produce “less is actually still less” films.
Waiting for Sevdah
You see, you can have landscape and place (with its alienation, or safety, etc.), and that’s fine, but when you can find, and push to their extremes, human personalities and their emotions, then you’re onto something. So we have Salkic himself as a presence, in his art-dandy outfit. But his face explodes with unbridled emotion, as the black-wearing artist meets … a young girl, his daughter, who is like any other young girl, full of life and love, for her father.
In this empty suburban context, Salkic lays a cinematic spell, as we see stillness intersect with movement, the dormant world with human agency, waiting with rapture, and life with death ultimately. In the end, Sevdah leaves, and Salkic is left pondering – “There goes another beautiful day in the suburbs, but I’m afraid I’m not as young as I was … yesterday”. The joke gives way, and we realise that each day is precious, each moment that we interact with someone and take joy in them is ephemeral yet real, very real, and you have to take that moment. It’s what we take with us to our grave, after all. Salkic has captured this on film.
– Bill Mousoulis, May 2017.
Karasevdah; Srebrenica Blues (2007, 44 mins, digital video)
Konvent (2010, 54 mins, digital video)
Manifesto of a Defeated Poet (2016, 64 mins, digital video)
Waiting for Sevdah (2017, 40 mins, digital video)
Robbery of a Truffle Truck (2017, 33 mins, digital video)
Robbery of a Truffle Truck TRAILER (2017)
"From sadness of war, a filmmaker finds his soul" by Andra Jackson, The Age,
September 29, 2007.
"On Saidin Salkic's KONVENT" by Maximilian Le Cain, Close Watch,
November 30, 2010.
"Saidin Salkic, Interview" by TV SA P1, You Tube,
June 2, 2011.
"Saidin Salkic: Anatomy of Sadness" by Maximilian Le Cain, Experimental Conversations,
Issue 11, Spring 2013.
"Saidin Salkic, Morning show interview" by TVSA,You Tube,
July 21, 2013.
"Evolution Ignited" by Medina Malagic, The Sarajevo Times,
February 6, 2014.
Saidin Salkic SBS World News 2015, You Tube, July 27, 2015.
Saidin Salkic, SBS World News 2016, You Tube, Aug 5, 2016.
Tag: Saidin Salkic, Balkan CNN -N1 TV. 2015-2016.
A Converstion with Saidin Salkic, The WestSider, November 10, 2015.
St Albans artist Saidin Salkic draws on experience to create beautiful works, Herald-Sun, Sep 25, 2014.
Every day is magical in Brimbank: Saidin Salkic, Star Weekly, Oct 11, 2016.
Novi film Saidina Salkića dobio velike pohvale u Australij (Waiting fof Sevdah review by Bill Mousoulis, in Bosnian), May 30, 2017.
PODCAST: Saidin Salkic on Meat Bone Express, July 2017.
St Albans artist Saidin Salkic shines a spotlight on the unknown, by Laura Mitchell, Star Weekly, Sep 5, 2017.
Saidin Salkic, November 2017.
to Melbourne independent filmmakers index page