The postmodern characteristics catalogue
retro, remake, replay
#7 At the very beginnings of the postmodern studies in some global frames (as the book The Language of the Postmodern Architecture by Charles Jenks), as Postmodern’s most significant characteristics was considered the new retrospective and recalling of numerous previous models that the Modern destroyed – in its aesthetic Jihad. So, in the art of painting, that is the figuration, in the architecture it’s the ornamental style, in the literature it’s the psychological aspect and the narration, and in the film that would be – the conventional model.
#8 By Felix Torres (1988:160), in the western society exists a trend of general retrospective and inclining toward the past: numerous quests for the roots of any kind. The first mild appearance of the postmodern film in the Macedonian film is Happy New ’49 by Stole Popov, in 1986. This film is made by the retro principles, so by the strategy of so-called neo-conservative postmodern, which was prevailing – not only in the aesthetics, but also in the world politics in the 80’s, bringing the tacherism and the reganism on the West, and causing the break of the socialism and restoring of the parliamentary democracy in the East. In the Happy New ’49 prevails this retrograde and anachronistic restoring of the ideology and the way of life in the early 50’s.
#9 For Rastko Mocsnik (Mocsnik, 1988:118), the replay, the retro principle is the overtaking of the history again. By that, not only the style, but also the positions it originated from – is being overtaken, and it is presented in a good perspective. That is so-called revival. For the resigned Frederic Jameson, those are desperate attempts to grasp the vanishing past, a real discrepancy with the real history, a historicism that denies and annuls the history itself (Jameson, 1985:198). He analyzes the so-called nostalgia-film (la mode retro), where, at the collective and on a society level, those are attempts to grasp the vanishing past and the firm laws of the constant changes breaks apart along with the vanishing of the generation ideology. In that way, by Jameson, the result is the dramatically appeared discordance of the postmodern “nostalgia language” with the real history. But, Jameson also acknowledges that the nostalgia-film never was a matter of some old-fashioned presentation of the history contents. He acknowledges that the approach to the past is stylishly made with the maximum “polished” image of the historical contents. This Jameson’s thoughts are quite valid at the esthetical and even at the ideological level, but in their praxis, as we said, those thoughts did fulfil their society purpose.
#10 In Happy New ’49, Stole Popov tries to create a film in retro style, evoking memory of the years right after the Second World War, namely of the historically significant 1948 and the well-known declining of the Tito’s Yugoslavia politics from the Stalin’s Soviet Union at that time. Then, for many, just as for the characters in this film’s story, just or unjust, provoked individual and/or social tragedies and disasters. Very successfully, Popov creates a film with a spectrum of expression means in a retro style. The theme, the characters, the mizanscene solutions, the choice of music, they all breathe in that time’s style. What this film presents as a retro one, as a revival, is the author’s ideology and preferences. A film where is given, that obvious, so much honor to – in that time so repressed – the urban culture, so much honor to its subversive links with the “decayed West”, and a film with so much positive emotive choice of a common smuggler as a good hero… And in contrary, in that time, the most of the victims of that time were the personalities with preferences as this author’s… That’s why this film is a replay, an attempt to invoke and resurrect the irretrievably passed historical time, this time from the position that couldn’t be expressed at that actual time. And on the other hand, exactly the possibility of expressing this author’s position crowned with laurels, speaks of the irreversibly changed historical circumstances.
#11 The post-structuralism and the postmodernism are implementing radical re-examination on the concept of the so-called art-deeds as units of the textual praxis. Umberto Eko implies the concept of the open art-deed instead of the previous concept of the structurally circled and closed one with the firm and verifiable values. Instead of the art-deed that understands the signified sign as a constant unit of the meaning, he implies the idea of the text as that. “The text is a tissue of quotes drawn from numerous culture centers” (Rolan Barthes, 1992:116). In such a situation, the postmodern art-deed (text) is open for all possible combinations, for any disparate and inconsequent linkages, for any open frames and inter-textual relations on the plan of the diegesis and the meanings. Linda Hutchon, revealing the ideological and economical pillars that stand behind the idea of originality and lean on the concept of the property itself, says that postmodernism is interested for the concepts that re-examine the humanistic ideas of originality: copies, intertexts, parodies. Popovski and Mitrevski, signing together under the film Goodbye to the 20th Century, question the concept of the author’s originality, and with that, of the art-deed as the sacred emanation of the author’s individuality, as well.
#12 The postmodernism deconstructs the genre system, moves the genre entities and limits, with its inclusive logic “everything passes”. The limits among the genres become fluid, the genre incline towards its bursting, of its genre characteristics and its nature, all that through the “contamination principles, the laws of the impure” (Hasan, 1987:32). Goodbye of the 20th Century functions as a catalogue of more different genre patterns and means, where no scene look like the previous one. There, the sequences of the Kuzman’s journey into the Glass City are realized as in the action science fiction film of the most commercial Hollywood-like productions, with the fairy-like, film-musical and comic segments. The part of the story from the beginning of the Century is realized in black & white exotically-historically-made documentary. The part with the moaning over the dead, there is some kind of a new-wave-like abstraction, a grotesque splatter-horror and an urban music film. The Maklabas story is built on the thriller models, pop-art-like segments and underground features with elements of science fiction. But, the thriller is deconstructed and with no suspense and firm intelligible coherence. In Angels on a Dump, in the manner of the Macedonian postmodern theater drama, the genre patterns are given in the paratext of the film by the authors themselves and it’s signed as a “realistic-moral-psychological farce, a neo-realistic tragicomic persiflage, sur-realistically-oneirically stylized grotesque”.