Table of Contents


les Guignols de l'info

During the Cannes Film Festival in 2005, Emir Kusturica was president of the jury. French channel Canal+ honoured Emir Kusturica by creating a pupet for its satyric show Les guignols de l'info.

The Gypsies

Received from Giovanni Robbiano who was student of Emir at Columbia University : ”Emir is a very good football player. He can make several things, he played in the junior team of Sarajevo and had a real possibility of making a career in Football. In the United States, we set up a team, that we call The Gypsies, because it was made up players of all Europe, with an Iranian goal-keeper. We played against the American teams : they were very fair-play, whereas Emir really played savage. He kicked everyone, so that one guy came to see him at the end of a match to shout him that he did not fair play. Emir looked at him and said : 'You is nervous !'. It then became a very popular expression in Columbia, and all his pupils said 'You is nervous !' to everyone…

Ciby 2000

Where does the name of the production company of Underground and Black Cat, White Cat (Ciby 2000) come from ? Just read it phonetically in French : ”C. B. de Mille”, mythical director deceased in 1959.

Seven days in the life of a bird

In 1996, Emir Kusturica films a small fiction report. He tells there the true story of a Serb who can reach his house only by passing through the field of his neighbours. Unable to talk together, he happens to have no more access to return or to leave his place, so he soon starts to dream to be a bird… The film is entitled Seven days in the life of a bird and was broadcast in Envoyé Spécial, on French television France 2.

Fights & duels

In 1993, Emir causes Volislav Šešelj, leader of the ultranationalist Serb movement in duel. He suggests that it should be done in the center of Belgrade at midday, with the weapon that Mr. Šešelj will choose. Volislav Šešelj refuses the offer saying that ”he did not want to be accused of the death of an artist”.

In 1995, during the International Film Festival of Belgrade, one reports that Kusturica struck Nebojsa Pajkić, serbian author and critic. Symbolically, Mrs. Pajkić tried to protect her husband by striking Kusturica with a small bag, which was in fact a present of Radovan Karadžić, the leader of the Serbs of Bosnia.

In 2005, though the columns of French cinema magazine Brazil, Emir Kusturica and Vincent Gallo had some violent sentences for each others :
Vincent Gallo : Kusturica, is a bloody idiot and an egocentric. (…) What an idiot ! He's the worst director I've ever seen, and I really don't like his work.
Emir Kusturica : This guy is crazy to be so aggressive toward someone he hasn't seen for such a long time. I think that if he knew how to make better films, he would be less nervous.

When two winners meet...

The scene takes place on May 11, 1997 at the airport of Nice, in the waiting room. Emir Kusturica meets by chance Francis Ford Coppola. Both have had two Golden Palms in Cannes. Coppola for Apocalypse Now and Secret Conversation, Kusturica for When father was away on business and Underground. Kusturica is a great admirer of Coppola and seems very shy to meet him. Their conversation was filmed by the cameras of CANAL+:

Emir Kusturica moves away, somehow nauseated, without anything more to say…

Four personalities comment on this scene :