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Interview with Milorad Krstić, Director of Animated Film Ruben Brandt, Collector

You are the director, screenwriter and animator of the film Ruben Brandt, Collector. How much time did it take you to make the film and what did your work process look like?

About two hundred people were involved in the work process, including the youngest actress who was only four or five years old, and had a single line in the film. There were about fifty people in the studio since November 2015, and there were people outside of the studio with whom I maintained contact through Skype. This means that over the last four years, about a hundred people have been actively working on the film, which was not easy, especially for the Hungarian conditions. The film was first presented at Balkanium in 2012, at the Gallery of the Student City Cultural Center - there we presented the pictures and the story for Ruben Brandt. So, I can say that we worked on the film for almost seven years.

You graduated from law school, but your primary occupation is painting. When and how did you start painting?

Long before law school, more precisely since I was four years old. As a little boy I drew and discovered the beauty of the drawings. Even today, my drawing is the basis for sketching a story and I begin every work with it, even when I paint large canvases with acrylic. Paper and pencil are always beside me. I draw the character, I create it, and then I can figure out how he would behave.

Ruben Brandt is a psychotherapist who applies art therapy, and he himself is haunted in his nightmares by certain images of the greatest painters. The film is a kind of homage to Picasso, Manet, Van Gogh, Botticelli and many others, and the very name of the main character is an allusion to Rubens and Rembrandt. In what way did you choose the images that would haunt him?

These are the images that I imposed on myself as I developed the story. I wanted Ruben Brandt to be in nightmares, but not to be pursued by zombies, but the characters from the famous paintings. It was interesting to me for these characters to be attractive, to be this little, innocent Velasquez’s Infanta or Botticelli’s Venus, and not some monsters from Goya's and Bosch's paintings, but that those beautiful angels turn into their opposite.

Beside homage to the greatest painters, the film abounds in associations with famous films of major directors such as Hitchcock and Eisenstein. What are your favorite films and directors?

Exactly the ones you mentioned, but also many others like Kurosawa, Scorsese, Tarantino, Bunuel ... I could list at least fifty, sixty directors who influenced me. The film has over a hundred references to famous films. Almost in every other frame is a homage to one of my favorite films.

Musical tracks in the film - from Šu Šu Šumadijo by Olivera Katarina to the cover of Toxic by Britney Spears are extremely interesting. What prompted you to make that kind of choice?

 I made an audiovisual symphony. From the very beginning, we set up the whole film in sketches and I wanted this film to be an audiovisual slalom, in order for people to enjoy both movement and music equally. Since this is an animation, music determines the rhythm. It is easier to edit certain scenes if music has good passes. I needed it to be songs that left some impression on me. The first song, for example, by Arthur Honegger, the Pacific 231 is a song about the locomotive, the most powerful of the early twentieth century in the United States, and I decided to begin the film with it, and then continue with the song about Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf, and the psychotherapist later treats his patients through the play Little Red Riding Hood. There is a lot of twist in the film, which is the music of my youth.  


Veronika Klačar





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