Works by Shadi Habib Allah & Želimir Žilnik
Since his beginnings in Yugoslavia film scene in the 1960s, Želimir Žilnik has made over fifty films that have presciently addressed topics like migration, worker’s rights, and forms of social erosion. Intently asking how a filmmaker can impact society, Žilnik’s provocative early works blend documentary and fiction as the subjects portray themselves onscreen and the filmmaker sets up certain conditions in which he, too, plays an active role. For this special screening, co-presented with the Renaissance Society, artist Shadi Habib Allah has selected two of Žilnik’s short films, Little Pioneers (1968) and Black Film (1971), which are attuned to the lives of two marginalized populations—some of Yugoslavia’s homeless “shadow citizens.” Pairing them with one his own videos, The King and the Jester (2010), Habib Allah hints at a sense of shared terrain, perhaps in light of both their working methods and concerns. The program will be introduced by critic, curator, and film scholar Leo Goldsmith.
(Yugoslavia/USA, 1968-2010, 58 min., digital video)
Leo Goldsmith is a writer, teacher, and curator. His writing has appeared in Artforum, art-agenda, Cinema Scope, and The Brooklyn Rail, where he was Film Editor from 2011 to 2018. He is a co-author of Keywords in Subversive Film/Media Aesthetics (2015), and is currently co-writing a book about filmmaker Peter Watkins. He received his PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University, and has taught courses in film and media studies and art history in the Center for Experimental Humanities (NYU), CUNY Brooklyn College, Harvard Summer School, and The New School. He has curated film programs and exhibitions for the Museum of the Moving Image, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, UnionDocs, Anthology Film Archives, Heliopolis Project Space, and Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius).