Close Up

12 - 17 November 2019: 21st Century Žilnik


21st Century Žilnik is the first UK survey of the work of the pioneering Yugoslav-Serbian filmmaker Želimir Žilnik. With a career that began in the 1960s, Žilnik is one of the genuine legends of European cinema, particularly a radical, engaged, independent, humanist cinema. The legend began in the year 1969, when Žilnik won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for his controversial debut feature film Early Works – while he was still in his 20s. Since then the enfant terrible of Yugoslav New Film has remained committed to his project of platforming the marginalised and interrogating the blind spots of socialist, post-socialist, and neoliberal Europe. Now in his 70s he is operating at impressive heights by any standards, and he is experiencing something of a career renaissance. In 2015 Doclisboa dedicated a major career retrospective to him; in 2017 he was paid homage at Anthology Film Archives and Harvard Film Archive; in 2018 he was profiled at Cinemateca Argentina; in 2019 he was given a wide-ranging survey at Centre Pompidou. This contemporary overview at Close-Up focuses on the urgency and vitality of Žilnik’s 21st century work, and includes the UK premiere of his most recent film, The Most Beautiful Country in the World. The artist will be present on the occasion of this premiere for a discussion with the audience.

A special programme of Želimir Žilnik's early documentary shorts will be shown at LUX on 17 November, and affiliated public programs include a symposium at Birkbeck on 15 November and a practice-based workshop at Goldsmiths on 13 November.

Little Pioneers
Želimir Žilnik, 1968, 18 min

Kenedi Goes Back Home
Želimir Žilnik, 2003, 75 min

Kenedi is Getting Married
Želimir Žilnik, 2007, 80 min

The Old School of Capitalism
Želimir Žilnik, 2009, 122 min

One Woman - One Century
Želimir Žilnik, 2011, 110 min

Pirika on Film
Želimir Žilnik, 2013, 53 min

Logbook Serbistan
Želimir Žilnik, 2015, 94 min

The Most Beautiful Country in the World
Želimir Žilnik, 2018, 101 min
UK premiere + conversation with Zelimir Zilnik

This survey was organised by Greg de Cuir Jr (Nonaligned Curator, Belgrade), with Dr Vana Goblot (Goldsmiths) and Matthew Barrington (Birkbeck), and with kind support from CHASE and Austrian Cultural Forum.

Special thanks to Želimir Žilnik, Sarita Matijević, and Playground Productions, for their support in making this programme possible.