The centennial premiere of "Life and Deeds of the Immortal Prince Karadjordje" marked

The centennial premiere of "Life and Deeds of the Immortal Prince Karadjordje" was marked at the Museum of Yugoslav Cinematheque with the screening of the digital, restored copy of the film.

"Celebrating the centennial premiere of the first Serbian, as well as Balkan film "Life and Deeds of the Immortal Prince Karadjordje" is a main event for all lovers of old movies, Director of the Yugoslav Cinematheque Radoslav Zelenovic stated, adding that this righted the "injustice" that the Serbian film industry started with the film "Slavica" in 1947.

Director and screenwriter of the pioneering venture of the Serbian cinematography was a famous Serbian actor and bohemian, Cica Ilija Stanojevic, and the role of Karadjordje was played by one of the most famous Serbian actors in the late 19th and early 20th century, Milorad Petrovic, with the assistance of a large ensemble of the National Theatre in Belgrade, army and extras.

Director of the Archive of the Yugoslav Cinematheque Aleksandar Erdeljanovic said that in the past year and a half, a team of experts from the Archive’s Department of Digital Restoration worked on the digital restoration of this rarity. "The goal was to obtain best possible results using digital scanner and restoration of the existing copy of the film, which was highly damaged, primarily because for decades it was kept in poor conditions and particularly damaged by moisture, explained Erdeljanovic.

"A month ago, digital restoration was completed, and then we wanted the film to look as much as possible like those of the period when it was made. In the Synchro Film laboratory in Vienna, we copied the film and obtained the color resembling that of the period when the film was created, similar to the spirit of the times," said Erdeljanovic. He added that the Synchro Film one of the few laboratories in the world that "still knows" how films were colored in the period of silent films and how different scenes were executed in different tones and shades.

The film "Life and Deeds of the Immortal Prince Karadjordje" was found in the Austrian Film Archives in Vienna, as part of the legacy of Ignjat Rajntaler, owner of the theater, originally from Osijek. In addition to German and Hungarian films, the exceptional collection of this true film lover contained also 17 films of the first Serbian film producers, Svetozar Botoric and Djoko Bogdanovic.

The film "Life and Deeds of the Immortal Prince Karadjordje" presented all the important events from the life of Karadjordje Petrovic, from his birth to the tragic death in 1817. This silent film lasted slightly over one hour, which was unusually long at the time. It can stand side by side with other historical feature films from this period in Europe, primarily due to the exceptional skill of Cica Ilija Stanojevic. According to Erdeljanovic, the film differed from the literally "filmed theater," as such were films of the time, by the excellent positioning and movement of actors on the set, which Charlie Chaplin brought to perfection a few years later.

Interestingly enough, within the edition "Jubilees of Great Serbian Actors", the Post of Serbia issued commemorative postage stamps featuring Cica Ilija Stanojevic (1859 - 1930).


Source: Radio Srbija