×
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

Slovenian

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

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

    Oscars, After Repeated Tumbles, Take the Stage in Hollywood

    At least the weather will be sunny for Sunday afternoon’s Oscars ceremony following one of the stormiest —  and strangest — awards seasons in memory. Expectations have been turned upside down in key categories amid a historic lack of consensus among guild and critics groups. The 91st Academy Awards will be the first in three [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    Box Office: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Speeding to Series-Best Debut With $58 Million

    Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is far and away the box office champ for Academy Awards weekend with an estimated debut of $58 million from 4,259 North American locations. Three holdovers and an expansion will make up the other top four spots, with the sophomore frame of sci-fier “Alita: Battle Angel” [...]

  • Stanley Donen

    Stanley Donen, Director of Iconic Movie Musicals, Dies at 94

    Stanley Donen, the director of such stylish and exuberant films as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Funny Face” and “Two for the Road” and the last surviving helmer of note from Hollywood’s golden age, has died at 94. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips tweeted that one of his sons had confirmed the news to him. Confirmed [...]

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content