You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Predictions of Fire

A riveting look at the complex intersection of politics and art is offered in "Predictions of Fire," Michael Benson's fascinating chronicle of the tumultuous history of Slovenia. A natural candidate for the international fest circuit, this informative docu, which had already been broadcast on Slovenian TV, will receive a two-week run at New York's Film Forum this summer.

A riveting look at the complex intersection of politics and art is offered in “Predictions of Fire,” Michael Benson’s fascinating chronicle of the tumultuous history of Slovenia. A natural candidate for the international fest circuit, this informative docu, which had already been broadcast on Slovenian TV, will receive a two-week run at New York’s Film Forum this summer. Other playdates at similar venues across the country should follow before it lands on PBS or cable.

Intriguingly dealing with the politics of aesthetics and the aesthetics of politics, issues seldom explored in American docus, this aptly titled work uses a postmodern, quasi-Godardian sensibility to show how politics invades every facet of artistic creation and how integral ideology is to the understanding of the structure and signification of images.

In the early 1980s, an industrial rock band named Laibach emerged from the tiny Yugoslav republic of Slovenia. Laibach was soon joined by a painting group, Irwin, and a theater group, Red Pilot. Modeled after a socialist state bureaucracy and calling themselves, collectively, NSK (New Slovenian Arts), these three groups became part of a micro-state within the newly independent republic of Slovenia. NSK recently began issuing its own passports.

Pic documents the activities of NSK as a uniquely controversial arts collective, positioning its work within the broader political contexts of former Yugoslavia. An extremely rich tapestry of historical events and their mythic implications in both art and politics unfolds onscreen, switching back and forth between the past and present of a region dominated by many regimes over the past century.

Docu benefits from primary info, which is then filtered and processed through the eyes of director Michael Benson, an American journalist who lived in the problematic region during Slovenia’s transition to independence. Helmer skillfully interweaves archival material and interviews with NSK’s leaders — and their critics — accompanied by illustrations of NSK’s artistic works.

With its rich visual imagery, “Predictions of Fire” is a timely, sharply focused docu whose implications about the use (and abuse) of art for political propaganda go way beyond Slovenia or Eastern Europe.

Predictions of Fire


Production: Produced, directed, written by Michael Benson. Executive producer, Stephen Gallagher. Co-producer, Milan Brazan. Narrated by Matej Russ.

Crew: Camera (B&W/color), Teodoro Maniaci; editor, Nika Lah; music, Srecko Bajda. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Frontier), Jan 19, 1996. (Also in Berlin Film Festival -- Panorama.) Running time: 90 MIN.

More Film

  • Dua LipaVariety Hitmakers Brunch, Portraits, Los

    'Alita: Battle Angel' to Feature New Song by Dua Lipa

    Robert Rodriguez’s “Alita: Battle Angel” will feature a new song by Dua Lipa. “Swan Song,” co-written by Justin Tranter, Kennedi Lykken, Mattias Larsson, Robin Fredriksson and Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL), in addition to Dua Lipa, will drop ahead of the film’s U.S. opening on Feb. 14. The Twentieth Century Fox action-adventure movie was produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau [...]

  • Les Arcs Festival Unveil Prizes For

    'System Crasher,' 'White on White' Win Work-In-Progress Awards at Les Arcs

    Nora Fingscheidt’s “System Crasher” and Theo Court’s “White on White” won the top prizes at Les Arcs Film Festival’s Work-in-Progress session. Both titles were among the 18 films in post-production pitched during the 10th edition of the Work-in-Progress showcase which is spearheaded by Frederic Boyer, the artistic director of Les Arcs and Tribeca festivals. “System [...]

  • Actress Shirley MacLaine poses at the

    Shirley MacLaine Selected for AARP Career Achievement Award

    Shirley MacLaine has been selected as the recipient of the AARP’s 2018 Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award. MacLaine will be honored at the 18th annual Movies for Grownups Awards ceremony on Feb. 4 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. MacLaine has credits on more than 50 feature films, won a best [...]

  • 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' Trailer: Cate

    Cate Blanchett Disappears in 'Where’d You Go, Bernadette' First Trailer

    Cate Blanchett goes missing in the first trailer for Richard Linklater’s latest film, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” Based on Maria Semple’s 2012 novel, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” follows agoraphobic architect Bernadette Fox (Blanchett), who disappears just before a family trip to Antarctica. “Something unexpected has come up,” Blanchett’s character says on the phone. “It has much [...]

  • Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in

    'The Favourite' Leads London Critics' Circle Nominations

    Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark historical comedy “The Favourite” lived up to its title with the London Film Critics’ Circle on Tuesday, nabbing 10 awards nominations from the group – twice as many as its nearest rivals. Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here,” Rupert Everett’s “The Happy Prince” and Pawel Pawlikowski’s European Film [...]

  • Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales

    Berlin: Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales on B.O. Hit ‘100 Things’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — In the long run-up to February’s Berlin Festival, Picture Tree Intl. has rolled out multiple pre-sales on “100 Things,” which Warner Bros. Pictures bowed in Germany on Dec. 6 to a robust first eight-day €2.7 million ($3.07 million). “100 Things” will receive a market screening at the Berlinale’s European Film Market. The third [...]

  • Mid 90s

    Jonah Hill's 'mid90s,' Pauline Kael Documentary to Screen in Berlin's Panorama Section

    Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “mid90s,” about a 13-year-old skateboarder’s coming of age, and a documentary on influential film critic Pauline Kael are among the works that will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. Films starring Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell and titles from countries including Israel, Brazil and Japan were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content