Goodbye… : In the film, there is a frame story, mentioned above; and the very fact that the authors developed three independent and highly incoherent stories, the syuzhet-making is simple; it is made by their chronological switch in their order in the film: the story from the future is first shown in the film structure. After that, the story from the beginning of the century follows, and the only semantic link between those two – is the theme of the incest, or more accurate – the travestied motive of Bolen) Dojtchin (The Ill Dojtchin). At the end of the film, the “almost-present-located” story with the Santa Claus is placed. Its links with the other two stories, namely, is: there is a logical, but very shallow connection in the chronology events (Santa Claus is the one who wrote the Kuzman’s destiny on the wall); Kuzman even appears as a child in this story, exchanging a few words with the Santa before he goes mad and destroys the world (his appearance is, maybe, for those who won’t dig the connection with the destinies and the wall?). And that boy-Kuzman is the only, vague link (by the short semantema of the incest) with the one from the beginning of the century. Otherwise, there is no other poetical or art transformation of the fable in the syuzhet…
This, on the first sight may look quite interesting and meaningful. The beginning of the film even makes a strong impression, and it opens to a viewer a numerous options of a potential directions for the film to develop. The most of the story elements which could (with a 100% certainty) make the film one of the best in Macedonian cinematography, start – literally to speed up and up across the film screen, and to change so quickly that the recipients (nor the authors, most probably) to conclude anything; nor as esthetical, nor as ontological experience. And in our ethno-culture and folklore, there are so much grounds for this story’s development… So much – already highly developed motives, then –so much magical themes and fables, who just cry to be filmed in such a way. That’s what was expected (as natural continuing, and also as already announced orientation by the authors with the statement about the awakening of an Overmacedonian within) of the film’s story. With that, the claim (or just a wish) for emphasizing the Overmacedonism would be justified. But that just can’t be done with quoting the Hollywood-American production or with pure formal linking of the stories in a time cycles (although that can be questioned also). I consider this moment as definitely the most guilty for the failure of the film: the story, actually the stories; and the scenario, actually the lack of good and minded one. Instead of that, the audience watches –a bit of Alan Ford, a bit of „Naked Gun” or „Top Secret”, etc…
And, at least two of the stories could’ve been – at least two good films. Because, this procedure, in any case, doesn’t makes the stories – a story.
Maklabas: The syuzhet here inclines out of the basic fable very little; that’s most noticeable in the beginning of the film, when the film is leaded by an omniscient narrator, all-knowing and all-present one, too. His verbal narrating in the first (not that small) part of the film makes the effect of a chronothopic intervention in the film text – although it doesn’t really exist – with the dominance which is made by the narrator related to the actual story. His narrating is on a much higher level of importance for introducing the recipient with the story, and covers much wider chronothopic (back and forth in the space-time) part of the film’s virtual reality than the actual visual part. That visual part, at first is only a background in the speech of the narrator, and leaves an impression of a time step-out with the direction of the story. With the flow of the film further, the narrator disappears quietly, which results with an effect like the syuzhet-lines are flowing one within another, in the present of the virtual narrating stream of the chronothop. In any case, we can see that the syuzhet-making in this film is basically built by a numerous syuzhet-lines, more or less constant in the film.
But, what’s of the most importance about it in this film, is that every single one of them is completely and intentionally placed in the service of the whole structure, the functionality, the frame logic, and of the story’s coherence. Maybe the great number of narrative lines spoils the effect, but in comparison with the “Goodbye…”, this is superior film in narration, with locked and coherent structure, in which is no question of coincidence in the building of the film deed.
Goodbye… : About the quote-poetics of this film: We can claim with every right that the most of the quoting, without a real context in the film, have no function whatsoever. In the film, all that seems like forced and entirely misjudged and wrongly absorbed understanding of the postmodern poetics. Lining quotes one after another, the pure collage for itself, with no any (at least) secondary meaning, if not even any deeper, can’t function nor aesthetically, nor artistically; the internal meanings implemented in the deed just mustn’t be too personal, neither locally internal… They must have common ground and semantic links with a wider cultural or sociological context; only then, this quoting procedures can have any art-justified meaning. It’s usually called: the author’s attitude – to the preceding deeds he’s quoting. Without that kind of an critic attitude, or with the attitude which can’t get out of some personal and locally too narrow semantic circles, this poetics can’t even pretend for any kind of an art, neither for any kind of a public media product.
As second, the parody: what bring the freshness in that mentioned above, is the procedure of parodization, or even maybe the Bahtin’s term of carnevalization. What’s interesting here, is the parodization of the quote itself! That should be – in the best case – the author’s attitude we wanted above. But, here that’s not so. The scenes like the one with The-man-with-green-hair-who… in the future-placed story, and the scene with the fart of the mother of the deceased in the “almost-present” story, show that the parody isn’t used with the meaning in the structure of the film, and with the real lack of selectivity what to parode, and what not to. That putting of all of the motives in the same basket doesn’t allow any new semantics or any new author’s attitude about what is chosen as material for the film, nor what is the meaning of its semantic transformation, also.
Maklabas: The play with the video-art techniques in “Maklabas” is a procedure which (here and there) shows really good results, and semantically very fertile (as an example – the scenes when Ansarov finally consumes some of the Element, and such). But (again here and there), we can find spots where this technique is unnecessary – for instance, in the scene of the beginning of the film, when Ansarov talks with his daughter. So, we can notice that the video-art techniques carry the use of the special effects here, although with the wider semantic areas.
There are almost no other authorial procedures in this film, except, maybe, the hyperbolically increased reality (known to us), and the little too much (in a negative connotation) emphasized philosophical reflexivity (like the scenes with Adolph Hitler), and in the certain moments – too strongly accented (authorial) self-reference in the film: elements that only complicate further the too much complicated – already – film’s structure.
Goodbye… : About the film media elements: incredibly good photography, it leaves the audience breathless. The same is to be said about the camera movements and the angles of shooting the scenes, so about the entire picture dynamics and appearance. The same praises can be given to the make-up and the set-dressing artists. And the film’s music is great and extremely adequate, considering what this film was supposed to be.
Maklabas: With all respect for the achievement – to film a long-meter feature film in this way, with almost no technique and with almost no professional actors, yet we have to claim that from a technical point of view, the film is very bad. From the aspect of the dynamics of the camera, we can notice poor quality, even by the most tolerant and the most flexible standards. But in spite of the visual part, the music in the film can carry only praise, and it’s functioning greatly in the film.