Emília Vášáryová: “I Don’t Like to Watch 35 mm Films on Television”

On Saturday, November 14, Bratislava International Film Festival held a gala evening to present its Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award upon actress Emília Vášáryová and make her the newest holder of the memorial tile on the Film Walk of Fame in Bratislava downtown.

 

An exceptional woman and an outstanding artist, Mrs. Vášáryová manifested her flair and sense of humour immediately upon receiving the symbolic award when she commented: “I hope the people won’t step on me too much and will prefer to walk around [my tile],” adding promptly: “I hoped you would wait for a little while longer and give it to me when I’m dead.” Following the ceremony, the newest award laureate started our brief interview in the same good-tempered tone.

 

emilia_vasaryova_chodnik_slavyAt the beginning of the ceremony Mrs. Mária Reháková, former president of the Bratislava film festival and founder of the Film Walk of Fame, mentioned that this award was number 27 to your credit. Yet, I can’t help resist the feeling that this one is somewhat special as it is not for any particular role but for your lifetime work and contribution to Slovak cinema and theatre. How does it feel to you?

 

I don’t know. I am not rushing anywhere yet. I hope I still have something ahead of me. I will have to do my best so that it does not feel like I am washed out. My life is not over yet.

 

I doubt any of us would assume so; we rather watch you in awe and marvel at everything you are still able to cope with. Do you manage to find any time at all in your busy schedule to relax and enjoy watching films or do you only make them?

 

Well, not too often. For instance, yesterday we returned from a big international film festival in Thessaloniki with director Marko Škop. While I was there, I finally said to myself that I would sit down and watch the picture. And so I saw Eva Nová. And today I watched The Copper Tower. I have seen it once or twice and now I saw it for the third time. Because a TV screen would just not do. The camera is so wonderful. Mr. [DP Karol] Krška was certainly one of the best European cameramen and shot that picture gorgeously. It is a pleasure to the eye to watch it on the big screen. I generally don’t like to watch 35 mm films on television. Whenever I can, I like to go watch them in a cinema. I would describe myself as an avid film fan. Last pictures I have seen were Youth [by Paolo Sorrentino] and The Cleaner [by Peter Bebjak] and I was delighted with both.

 

You said you were a film fan… Do you still keep any movie dreams or ambitions? Perhaps you have read a book that gave you an idea for a motion picture you would like to play in…

 

I don’t have any movie dreams. I don’t even have any normal dreams. So… I guess I prefer to wait for whatever falls into my lap.

 

You have mentioned your latest film, Eva Nová. You are just about to set out on a tour to a number of towns around Slovakia to promote it. How would you describe the film and your cooperation with director Marko Škop?

 

He is a wonderful person. I am happy to have met him. He is my blood type and we get along very well. Today I think I can say that he is my friend. I am very glad that the film saw the light of the day, that he eventually talked me into making it and that we made it together.

 

emilia_vasaryova2

 

How do you choose films you will play in? What was the something that placed Eva Nová over perhaps another film?

 

I always care very much about who comes to me, who wants to make it, what theme they will pitch, what is the subject-matter, how well it is written, who will appear in it next to me, what colleagues they offer me, who will shoot it, what will be the setting, etc. All these are the factors I tend to consider for a long time. I consider them for a very long time before I say yes or no.

 

You have ample experience from various areas. Have you ever been tempted to sit in a director’s chair?

 

No! Why, it is the hardest job; one of the toughest professions there are. A director always keeps one leg in prison, so to speak. It’s terrible. They must raise the money, then they must manage the budget, they must attend to everything by themselves… It is a very tough profession. Never in my life would I desire that. And I admire them for it very much. All those who set out to do it; who are able to pull it off; who are brave enough; who manage to write the script, put the money together… they deserve admiration.

 

 

By Anna Predmerská

Translated by Daniel Borský

Based on votes cast by the visitors, the Bratislava IFF Viewers’ Choice Award went to Wanuri Kahiu’s second feature film Rafiki (2018) about forbidden love in Kenya.

Awards of the 20th Bratislava IFF 2018

“If you’re lucky enough to make living of something you really love, there is a downside – you don’t do it for fun, it’s a job.”

 

Tomáš Hudák. He studied Film studies (criticism) at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (VŠMU). He’s a fan of film, music, literature and the art as such. He’s a freelancer, writing film reviews and co-organizing several Slovakian film festivals.

“It’s nice to step out from the bubble of social networks – the binary world of likes/unlikes to be part of the group of totally different people, who are connected only by the skateboards.”

 

Šimon Šafránek. – director, journalist, DJ – multi-genre artist with the sensation of music and word. He’s a freelancer, writing for the Denník N, Hospodářské noviny, Reflex, Magnus etc.

“Films make us better, braver, more romantic and free”

 

Bibiana Ondrejková. A popular theatre and voice actress and presenter. The general public knows her as the Slovak voice of Phoebe Buffay from the TV show Friends. Upon seeing her, viewers will associate her with the Slovak TV series The Defenders (2014), Red Widow (2014), Homicide Old Town (2010) or Block of Flats (2008).

“Actors infuse film with emotion and give it a soul”

Daniel Rihák. A fresh graduate of film directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava under the leadership of prof. Martin Šulík. A director of (so far) student films and a number of commercials. His graduation film The Trip recently won the Best Director and Best Sound awards at the Áčko Student Film Festival.

“All women have the power to change things”

 

Ivana Hucíková belongs to the generation of young Slovak filmmakers. She studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, from which she graduated in 2015 with her film Mothers and Daughters. A Bratislava citizen from Orava, living and creating in Slovakia and the USA. So far, she has made several short documentary films: Into My Life (2018), Connie & Corey (2017) and is currently working on the development of several film projects as their director, producer or editor.

“Cinema is a great medium for sharing common European values”

 

Dominika Jarečná was born in 1999 in Bratislava. She currently studies Theory and History of Arts at the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic). She was a member of the Giornate degli Autori jury at this year’s Venice IFF and is a LUX Prize ambassador for the years 2018 and 2019.

Film festival: “It’s a bit like a vacation full of stories”

Alena Sabuchová is a young Slovak author and screenwriter. For her debut collection of short stories Back rooms, Alena was awarded the Ivan Krasko Prize for the best Slovak-language debut as well as the Tatra banka Foundation Young Artist Award in the category of literature. She writes scripts for television and radio, and is currently working on her second book, which will be published next year.

“These films were among the most awarded debut films at this year’s leading festivals”

 

Nenad Dukić. Serbian film critic, who has been collaborating with the team of people preparing The Bratislava International Film Festival for 8 years now. This year (the 20th anniversary of the festival’s existence), he is again the compiler of the Fiction Competition and co-compiler of the section Cinema Now.

The popular section Cinema Now brings an overview of the most remarkable films of the season. Its curators, Nenad Dukid and Tomáš Hudák, have assembled the most interesting movies that have stirred the waters of world’s major festivals. For 20 years, the Bratislava IFF has been supplying the Slovak film public with names, which often become stars of the screen.

The curators of the section Lexicon: Female gaze, festival programmer Tomáš Hudák and the director of this year’s festival spot Ivana Hucíková, have focused on the status of women in cinema, their portrayal in film, and the uniqueness of a woman’s experience.