Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko died at the age of 84 (pictured on July 5, 2019).
Prague – His colleagues from the cultural community remember Juraj Jakubisk as a brilliant film director. According to them, he was a perfectionist, but shooting with him was very mentally demanding, Magda Vašáryová, who shot two films with him, told Czech Television (ČT) today. For the actor and director Jiří Mádl, who played in Jakubisk's feature film Bathory, filming was a great experience, he is glad to have met him at work, ČTK reported. For example, the writer Ondřej Suchý recalled Jakubiska's artistic activity. The Director General of the National Film Archive (NFA), Michal Bregant, said in a memoir for ČTK that Juraj Jakubisko was one of the key figures of the Czechoslovak new wave.
Slovak station RTVS reported on the death of Jakubiska last night. Jakubisko was one of the most famous Slovak creators and was nicknamed the “Fellini of the East”. During his career, he shot several dozen feature films and documentaries.
“He is a director who influenced my life in a very fundamental way, even though I only made two films with him,” said Vašáryová. According to her, working with Jakubisko was very demanding, he was still “extraordinarily” dissatisfied with the performances of the actors. She filmed with the director at the time of the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia, and was there when his role model Federico Fellini called him from Rome to come and secure a job for him in Rome. In 1969, she and Jakubisk made the film Birds, orphans and fools, according to her, the communists chose it as a film that must never be made again. Because of this picture, they expelled Vášáryová from the university for a year. “That ended some of my academic career as a sociologist,” she added.
Actor and director Jiří Mádl, who played the monk Cyril in Jakubisk's feature film Bathory (2008), characterized his work with Jakubisk as at least specific. “It was an experience for me, because I was 18 when we filmed together. He was my own person and working with him and Ms. Jakubisková was, to say the least, very specific. I'm glad that I had the good fortune to meet him at work,” Mádl told ČTK today .
Director Jiří Strachhe remembered Jakubiska on Facebook shortly after the death was announced. “Juraj Jakubisko has passed away. A filmmaker, an artist and a person whose imagination none of us filmmakers even reach up to his ankles. May he be rewarded in heaven with only good things,” he wrote. Director and producer Fero Fenič pointed out that Jakubisko also enriched his studio Febio. “There was an exceptional Slovak film satellite that spread the most creative signal of Slovak cinematography to the world. Even if with the occasional influence of weather conditions,” he said on the social network.
Writer Ondřej Suchýhe liked Jakubisk's pictures. In his memory, he also wrote that one of the brilliant film directors had died. “A friend. I loved his wonderful pictures, drawn for various occasions. I looked over his shoulder when he drew his idea of Nostalgic Mouse in a notebook in Šemanovice. We had mutual respect for each other… Juraj – I will not forget!,” he said on Facebook .
Today, the Czech Ministry of Culture also reminded Jakubiska with a tweet. “Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko, the “Fellini of the East,” has died. He made several dozens of feature films and documentaries; the most famous ones include The Thousand-Year Bee, Perinbaba and the feature film Bathory. Jakubisko received numerous awards, including the Czech Lion, for his long-term artistic contribution to cinematography,” the ministry said.
According to the head of the National Film Archive, Jakubisko had a distinctive handwriting, he used both Slovak folklore traditions and the radical energy of the 1960s, which strove for freedom from clichés and stereotypes. “Jakubisko's work was essentially authorial – he himself was the creator of a world of characters and stories in which he was able to include personal, historical and social experiences. This is also why his films resonated so strongly in the international environment. An integral part of Jakubisko's work were fantastic visions, often influenced by human sexuality and the desire for freedom in all its forms,” recalled Bregant.
Slovak theatre, politicians and the press praised the work of the late director Jakubisko
The Slovak National Theater (SND), top Slovak politicians and the press praised the work of the deceased director Jakubisko. The native of eastern Slovakia, who lived in Prague for years, was described as a legend.
“The management of the Slovak National Theater received with great sadness the news of the death of one of the most prominent Slovak directors, Juraj Jakubisk,” wrote SND. He collaborated with the Jakubisko Theater as the director of two operas by the music composer Eugen Suchona.
“His exceptional filmmaking style brought Slovakia into the big film world. The Slovak Fellini, as he was often called, loved freedom and fantasy and left room for them in his films,” she said Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová. She added that some of Jakubisko's films have become part of the country's cultural heritage.
According to Prime Minister Eduard Heger, Jakubisko went to acting heaven, after however, he left behind legendary works that will remain here for generations.
“A huge loss for Slovakia and the Czech Republic. One of the greatest artists of our time has left us. I will remember him as a charismatic person, a human being with a beautiful heart, ” said the Speaker of the Slovak Chamber of Deputies, Boris Kollár.
According to the newspaper Sme, Jakubisko made the impossible real, he gave the Slovaks their own magical realism. Daily newspaper Pravda wrote that Jakubisko was a magician of Slovak cinema, he was able to infuse the magic of the world somewhere between heaven and earth with moving images, and he was only afraid of boredom, which leads to cinematic hell. Public Broadcasting and Television of Slovakia announced that Jakubiska will be mentioned in its broadcast.