(Tomislav Osmanli: “Characters from Meanwhile”, Blesok, 2008)
I IMAGE1F – The Balkans:
The Balkans as a cradle and paradigm at the same time, as a superior and unreachable pattern of all the wealth of the genuine human substance. The Balkans as a synonym of the time in which the humanity has not passed through destiliations, various boilings and cleansings yet, a place where the humanity has not determined yet, thus not negating itself in all other possibilities, but also as state of authenticity as opposed to the surrogate reality of the rest of the world. The Balkans as a place where all the possibilities are still open2F. The Balkans in which… at that time, although still unrecognized, un-independent and un-sovereign, Macedonia continues to live idyllically and peacefully… The Balkans in which… unlike the crazy Europe… Macedonia goes on slowly, easily… 3F and where at the beginning of this new century Macedonia, as still unrecognized, has accepted the race of the crazy Europe. The Balkans of Tomislav Osmanli via his characters, human destinies of the time in between.
II IMAGE – Manaki:
We leave intentional and unintentional traces in the lives of others, G. Stefanovski says in his foreword to his play Чернодрински се враќа дома [Černodrinski Returns Home] (Скопје: Магазин 21, 1992). This play of his indeed follows buried traces, true and necessary, assumed and possible left by nobody else but his creative father, the father of the Macedonian play and theatre. Traces like these are recognized in the subjective images of the objective Balkans created by Osmanli himself on behalf of his creative father – Manaki, the eminent cameraman from Bitola and the Balkans. The text for the editing documentary “with fictional elements” has seriously confirmed this attempt as a success. Thus, through the mute images (more precisely through the voice of the author himself, via the instructions to the directors and stage setters in the printed form of the documentary), he manages to give and ironically transferred image of the Balkan history of the last century in most of the work of Milton Manaki (2008:7). Intertextuality does not imply anonymity, but a reaction of the current author to his poetic father (predecessor).
Thus, via the category of creative correction, Osmanli as a follower brings to life the reading of the parent-text and manages to make us happy as readers, and even more as viewers with the news that Manaki is coming home.
III IMAGE: Film
In order to know the work that belongs to the past, as the one of Manaki brothers, it is not enough to only know the poetics and the code of their time, but also to know how to use the power of irony, which is used to reevaluate the issues and place them under the relativizing light. That is why everybody, both he as an author and we as readers so strongly need the memory as the only ontological compensation for something or someone very important in our lives. The machine that enables us a real movement through times, so strongly refreshing our memories, is the film. The film, as a medium of remembrance, is more and more related to the concept of existence4F. Regardless of the fact whether this film is made in one’s head, or it is woven on the spindle of gradma Despina, or ground by neighbour Paca’s coffee grinder, or shown on the Bioscope camera with a factory number 300 of Manaki. In this context, the knitted material of Osmanli is a coded writing in which the meaning is blurred in a clearly visible knitting of the spun, ground and recorded. For if it was not for grandma Despina, there would not be Manaki, and if it was not for Manaki, we would still memorize grandma Despina only as simple spinner or to some extent as a good story teller who waits for her Cepenkov to hear her out. However, with him and his spinning of “live images” we also experience her as the first movie actress, the first movie star of the mute film in the Balkans. In the end, Osmanli too appears in the whole game to remind us, to refresh our memory. In all of this one also recognizes this male-female game about whose spinning is more important, the one of Manaki or grandma Despina’s, for each of them writes, i.e. tells only histories.
The exceptionality of the man is in his actions, and the woman’s in her being; or, in other words, the value of the man is in what he does and the value of the woman in what she is5F. That is why grandma Despina is a weaver, and Manaki makes a movie.
1. The term image in this text is used in a double meaning. Initially it means a stop-shot or a photograph and this meaning is behind the name that this image has, or more correctly, behind the title of the image: The Balkans, Manaki, Film, Violence, Garbage Dump. But this term also comes close to what an image, i.e. scene in a play or a script is. In this context, the developed text that follows each title, after each stop-shot means specifying, detailing, describing, but also developing of the shot. Thus, in this determinant, the dichotomy static – dynamics is also revealed via the dichotomy photograph – film.
2. See Ф. Мухиќ. „Балкански антрополошки апејрон на Сатанските стихови“ in Салман Ружди. Сатански стихови. – Скопје: Култура, 1990.
3. Томислав Османли. Ликови од меѓувреме. – Скопје: Блесок, 2008, 17.
4. Elizabeta Šeleva. “The Novel as a Philosophy of Remembering” in Blesok. – Skopje: January-February 2008, no. 58.
5. Quoted according to Јадранка Владова. „Живеење само една љубовна приказна и по смртта или: рецептот како љубовно писмо“ in Читање на светската литература. – Скопје: Македонска книга 2002, 2003, 242.