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Opening of 11th Küstendorf

The dedication To you, Lilya opens Vladimir Mayakovsky’s Cloud in Trousers, back in 1914. Tonight, over a hundred years later, we heard To you, Lilya in Mećavnik, and the muse of the Russian avant-garde became the muse of 11th Küstendorf.

Director, poet, actor, fashion icon, architect and guardian angel of Russian avant-garde artists, Lilya Brik, came down from the film screen and strolled along the Damned Yard Theatre, proclaiming both herself and the Festival bound by film.

The opening ceremony of the 11th Küstendorf began with the remaining frames of the lost silent film Bound by Film (1918), with Vladimir Mayakovsky as screenwriter, starring Mayakovsky and Lilya Brik. The screening was accompanied by music performances of the legendary American guitar player Gary Lucas and The No Smoking Orchestra, and a dance number with acrobat Sanja Radulović and contemporary dancer Dušan Murić. They danced to Waltz No. 2 by Shostakovich, this way embodying Mayakovsky and Brik and bringing the lost film to life.

After the introductory spectacle, Professor Emir Kusturica addressed the audience of the Damned Yard Theatre, saying that this year’s Küstendorf would, like its predecessors, bring together those who would soon become great and those who are already great, but that it would be different because it would use fiction to turn reality into fiction. The floor then went to the Minister of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia Vladan Vukosavljević who referred to Küstendorf as a big beehive visited by hard-working bees from all over the world, making honey, healthy food which is a counterpoint to the poison produced by the entertainment industry.

Gary Lucas took the stage again and accompanied the twenty-minute screening of the silent film Entr’acte (1924) by the great French director Rene Clair.

The audience then saw an homage to the Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, a guest of this year’s Festival and the winner of the traditional Award for Future Films now renamed to Tree of Life. Sorrentino officially declared the Festival open.

After the opening ceremony the audience saw The Square, a Palme d’Or winning film by director Ruben Östlund, who shared an anecdote about his travel from Gothenburg to Mećavnik. After the screening, Östlund held a workshop with the students and guests of the Festival.