MAYBE FISH ARE DREAMING OF US
(Gornji Milanovic, 1988)
Ognjen Isailović graduated in Film and TV Directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade with omnibus film October. The film won a Special Jury Award at Cinema City film festival in Novi Sad. His short film Golden League participated at more than twenty international film festivals, and among other awards, won the Bronze Egg prize at the Kustendorf Film Festival. In 2011 he participated in the residence programme “5X5X5” in Switzerland organized by the Zurich Film Academy (ZHdK) and production company Lang Film, where he directed the short documentary My Grandpa’s Garden, which premiered at the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Switzerland’s most important short film festival. He took part in various training programmes, including Sarajevo Talent Campus in 2009, programme for young talents Jeune Creation in Biarritz 2011, programme Balkan Film Connection in 2014, and the Scriptwriting Workshop for New Talents Eastweek at the Trieste Film Festival in 2015. Since graduation, he has worked as director and assistant director on films, theatre, TV shows and commercials. He is currently preparing the shooting of his MA film Co-drivers, supported by Film Centre of Serbia, and working on his first feature Maybe Fish Are Dreaming of Us.
MY FAVOURITE FILMS
Although I made a small digest by putting two films by some directors, and a series by Kieslowski, I still didn’t have enough space to put all my favourite auteurs like Dušan Makavejev, Srđan Karanović, Slobodan Šijan, Charlie Kaufman, Mike Leigh, Cristian Mungiu, Ken Louch, Louis Malle, Tsai Ming-liang…
A fan-made mash-up of the Pink Floyd song One of These Days and my favourite film The Mirror by Andrei Tarkovsky
MAYBE FISH ARE DREAMING OF US
It’s a really hot summer in Belgrade and the most of the people are out of the city for their vacations. Luka (25) has recently started working as an intern in the Institution for Education of Juvenile Delinquents. His girlfriend Maja (24) is pregnant and their parents organise a wedding for them.
Night has fallen after a hot day. Nervous about his forthcoming role of a father, Luka wanders the streets around the Institution after his shift. He sees his protégé Akan (15) who has escaped from the Institution and decides to follow him. He discovers that Akan runs away every night, spends the whole night in the rich people’s villas, swimming in their pools, and returns back to the Institution before sunrise.
During the ceremonial wedding lunch, Luka and Maja decide to escape and go to the empty villa where Luka previously saw Akan. They start living secretly inside, using all the commodities of a fully equipped villa.
One day Luka and Maja find out that Akan, who ran away from his foster parents, was with them for some time, hiding. They accept him and continue living in an empty villa as an unconventional family. Everything is perfect until Luka starts having doubts about their future and their little community is put to the test.
Without intention to speak directly about long economical crisis that is creating bigger and bigger gaps between people around the world, about migrants and their quests for better life conditions and Europe’s wired fences, this film wants to cover it all in an associative way and tries to evoke our need for togetherness and unity by showing the life of an unorthodox family. Although “family” in the film fell apart because of their inner weaknesses, we have witnessed that a wider community of people, which transcends primary family, could work. Or maybe it was just someone’s dream?
Heat and nocturnal settings help the development in the film style that starts as more or less realistic story and transforms into a dream-like picture. References for the film language range from Naked by Mike Leigh, the early phase of Tsai-ming Liang, impressions from the films of Krzysztof Kieślowski and Claire Denis, to the anarchic film universe of Dušan Makavejev.
This painting might as well be the poster for my film: John Defeo, Nightswimming