Last night full house at the Sava Centre. Valery Gergiev, the man at the top of the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Opera, and chief conductor in Munich, and previuosly at the London Symphony Orchestra, was there with his Mariinsky orchestra. I attended the concert after the break happy to enjoy Mahler’s 5th symphony – and I closed my eyes when it came to Part 3 and the music that Luchino Visconti used in his masterpiece ”Death in Venice” with Dirk Bogarde.
I missed the first part as I was taken to state television for an interview about the festival – 4 minutes at a quarter past midnight… well festival director Zoran Popovic said that this program is being watched by ”our” audience, with a laugh: People who read books and suffer from insomnia…
We have been in Belgrade since saturday and have been treated, as always, with warm hospitality, Nevena Djonlic being one of the key performers in that respect. I was with her for another television interview at the cable and internet station Kopernikus (Photo), we got more than 4 minutes, quite relaxed… Oh, they are flooded with tv stations in this city.
Monday night we were at the cinema Art Bioskop Kolarac, where Nevena is the programmer. That night the cinema was hosting what is called a Meta-festival with – as guest – 88 year old professor and filmmaker Vlada Petric, who for decades was at Harvard University, the one who founded the film archive of the famous university. We could not understand the seasoned man’s Serbian lecture but watched his elegant 10 mins. short ”Symphony of Hands” that includes close-ups of hands from paintings and photographs accompanied by Purcell and Charles Mingus, among others. He also showed a film essay with his reflections on the NATO bombing in 1999 based exclusively on television material. Hard to watch, reminded me of films by Cuban Santiago Alvarez or East German Heynowski and Scheumann. That kind of tough satirical/sarcastic style.