Étudiante-chercheure étoile February 2015

Katarina Mihailovic

Katarina Mihailovic

Postdoctoral fellow at Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Concordia University

Award winning publication: From a Priest into a Clown: Makajev's critical transformation of Bergman

Published in: Studies in European Cinema (Routledge), 05-2014, UK


"Makavejev's innovative experiment merges experimental pedagogy with film criticism through the creative act. Founded on the idea that film should be creatively explored (not analyzed), his pedagogic method informed his work of audio-visual criticism, while both practices sought to renew perception through creation. His joining pedagogy with criticism has a direct, potential application; the establishment of the video-essay as key for the future of film criticism suggests its potential to supplant orthodox lecture models for film analysis. In the long term, this pedagogy could transform the way audio-visual media are taught so that media appreciation would emerge from a revelatory experience and would value the idiosyncratic over the normative, discovery over replication of knowledge, and creative practice over passive appreciation."

Katarina Mihailovic's research into Makavejev's experiment manages to greatly advance knowledge in film studies. The discovery of a significant though obscure experiment reveals overlooked dimensions of Makavejev's artistic project. His films, influenced by the Soviet avant-garde and the seminal French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, are rather described as montage experiments and regarded in political terms, as iconoclastic attacks on political oppression and all forms of dogma. This innovative research brings to light a film mode that, due to its non-verbal nature, does not correspond with existing film taxonomies. Emphasising this fact and showing that Makavejev's commitment to a primarily visual cinema had been overlooked prior to this publication, this study reveals the inadequacy of categories rather than pointing to the experiment's eccentricity.