|Real Name:||Srđan Dragojević|
|Birth Day:||January 1, 1963|
|Birth Place:||Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
In parallel, Dragojević was active in poetry, publishing a book of poems called Knjiga akcione poezije (The Book of Action Poetry) in 1986 and winning Branko's Award for it. By his own admission, much of his poetry was inspired by the 1920s Soviet art and poets like Vladimir Mayakovsky:
He obtained a degree in clinical psychology from the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Philosophy. In 1987 he started studying film and TV direction at the University of Arts' Faculty of Dramatic Arts (FDU) under the tutelage of Bajo Šaranović and got another degree.
Dragojević published one more book of poetry Čika kovač potkiva bebu in 1988 before devoting to film. He briefly came back to poetry in 1995 as an already established film director to release Katkad valja pročitati poneku knjigu da ne ispadnete glupi u društvu.
Around the same time, he also tried to get several projects off the ground such as the post-Holocaust novel After by Melvin Jules Bukiet with producer friend Julia Rosenberg as well as a proposed film based on Julian Barnes' 1992 novel The Porcupine, but was unable to raise funds for either of them. He also had an idea for a film called 1999 Cum in the Rye that was conceptualized as the final installment of his 1990s trilogy, but it also couldn't raise enough funding.
With his cinematic profile raised, in 1993, Dragojević was set to begin shooting a campy Almodóvaresque project tentatively titled Devedesete (The Nineties) about loyalty, jealousy, infidelity, and intimacy, with the original plan to shoot three separate endings and distribute three versions of the film. However, the financial implosion of the state-owned production studio Avala Film amid galloping inflation in FR Yugoslavia put an end to that project.
The year 1994 also saw Dragojević write and direct a made-for-TV musical comedy Dva sata kvalitetnog TV programa ("Two hours of quality TV programming") that aired on RTS television's third channel (3K) as part of their New Year's Eve 1995 programming. During next year, 1995, he directed a couple of episodes of the RTS series Otvorena vrata ("The open door").
In 1998 Dragojević gave a bleak and critical portrayal of life in Slobodan Milošević's Serbia in Rane, which was another critical success for the young director. Loosely based on a true story, its plot tells a tale of two teen criminals growing up together before turning on each other. Released in May 1998 and, like most local productions, funded in large part by state institutions such as the state-run broadcaster RTS, the film elicited a stern response from the government elements that did not appreciate the director's brutal portrayal of Milošević's Serbia. Though they didn't ban the movie outright, they severely impacted its promotional cycle by refusing to run the film's ads in the state-run print and electronic media outlets. During the film's promotion on the festival circuit in North America, Dragojević expressed concern that he wouldn't be allowed to continue making films in Serbia under Milošević.
By 1999 Dragojević had enough of Serbia as the realization set in that he wouldn't be allowed to make films the way he wants to. He thus called on his Hollywood connections in order to once again explore his options across the pond and soon opened negotiations with Miramax as he again started to get some interest from America including a January screening of Rane at the Sundance Film Festival.
However, Dragojević experienced major problems persuading the studios to fund his projects, and he also mostly didn't like the ideas being offered to him. The closest he got to finishing a movie was the heist-comedy on whose script he was co-credited with Alan Sereboff — The Payback All-Star Revue — that was agreed to be a co-production between Miramax and Mel Gibson's Icon Productions. The announcement was made in November 2000 with Dragojević upbeat about the project he envisioned as a "funny and commercial film containing a unique mix of genres, including Shakespearean subplots and unpredictable structures". The plot revolved around a band of lounge musicians playing in the Riviera casino in Las Vegas who decide to rob the place where they perform. Though they manage to pull off the heist successfully, they run into troubles during the getaway. Now trapped, they agree to give themselves up on the condition that they are granted an interview with a Rolling Stone reporter to tell their story. The planned plot featured a multitude of characters with many subplots. However, in the middle of pre-production the movie got canceled in 2001 due to an impending SAG strike threat and the Warner Bros.' announcement of putting Ocean's 11 remake with an all-star cast into pre-production, which Miramax thought would jeopardize Payback's box-office appeal. Over the following years, by now known for his frank and colourful interviews, Dragojević talked openly about the experience:
By 2001, Dragojević returned to his homeland without having made a film in America. With producer Biljana Prvanović, he founded a production company Delirium Films in 2002.
In early 2003 he was announced as having been hired to develop a script for and eventually direct Beautiful Game, film based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical that had already been staged in London's West End. Along with a young American writer, Dragojević came up with an adapted screenplay from Ben Elton's story set in West Belfast during the 1970s about a group of Protestants and Catholics playing on the same football team as sectarian tensions surround them. However, in the end nothing came of it and years later Dragojević revealed in an interview that a row erupted with producers over his desire to remove two of the songs.
As mentioned, while in America, there were numerous other projects that he ultimately ended up not getting involved in. Soon upon arriving, Dragojević met with Harvey Weinstein who offered him Milčo Mančevski's script Dust, but Dragojević refused, reasoning that it's a very personal script that can more or less only be directed by Mančevski, and also due to discovering that, as he put it in one interview, "offering me that script was the Weinstein brothers' little 'fuck you' to Mančevski whom they were on bad terms with at that moment". The studio then offered Dragojević the Heaven, Hell, Purgatory trilogy, while they particularly wanted him to direct Hell, however he vehemently refused, labeling the script "the dumbest thing I've ever read" in another interview. Dragojević had been interested in filming Patrick Marber's play Closer from as far back as 1999 when he first arrived in the United States, but the studio kept turning him down, eventually hiring veteran director Mike Nichols who got to make the film in 2004. The studio then offered Dragojević Reindeer Games, but he refused, figuring something better would come along. He was by his own admission particularly interested in directing either Frida or View from the Top, however in the case of the former, the movie's producer and star Salma Hayek wanted a female director so the job went to Julie Taymor while in the case of the latter, the film's producers as well as its star Gwyneth Paltrow didn't like Dragojević's ironic take on the screenplay and Bruno Barreto got the job instead. He was also in the running for The Mexican, but the job went to Gore Verbinski. Summing up his Hollywood experience, Dragojević said:
Suddenly, in summer 2004, he decided to make Mi nismo anđeli 2 [sr], the sequel to his greatest commercial hit after reportedly writing the screenplay from scratch in only three weeks. Shot in co-production with Pink International Company and released in early 2005, Mi nismo anđeli 2 broke box office records in Serbia with 700,000 admission tickets sold despite receiving bad reviews and even accusations of plagiarizing Stan Dragoti's 1989 comedy She's Out of Control. Dragojević himself on occasion referred to the film as an "open dialogue with the 1980s American B-comedy genre". Still, some observers saw his involvement in the project as an attempt at delivering a quick commercial box-office hit that would financially enable the projects he was really interested in making. Dragojević initially shied away from putting it in those terms, but several years later admitted as much explicitly in some interviews.
In summer 2007, Dragojević started shooting the historical melodrama St. George Shoots the Dragon, an ambitious and expensive movie based on Dušan Kovačević's script about a love triangle against the backdrop of Serbian war effort in World War I. Funded in significant part by the governments of Serbia and Republika Srpska, the movie raised a lot of media interest in Serbia. It was by far the biggest movie project Dragojević had ever been a part of. The making of the movie, however, wasn't smooth. From Sergej Trifunović being fired as the lead and replaced with Milutin Milošević to cinematographer Miljen "Kreka" Kljaković walking off the project, the Serbian press detailed many of the on-set problems. In the end, as the film was about to go into theater release in Serbia in mid-March 2009 even Dragojević himself admitted personal disappointment with some of the choices he made during the shooting of the film in a lengthy interview for Vreme magazine. Among other things he said: "I invested so much energy into this film that I started to believe it would become a masterpiece, but it hasn't."
Right afterward, Dragojević started working on the third installment of the Mi nismo anđeli franchise. This resulted in Mi nismo anđeli 3: Rokenrol uzvraća udarac that he co-wrote with Dimitrije Vojnov [sr], but left directing duties to Petar Pašić [sr]. The approach taken was along the lines of Hollywood cinema - the script was offered to seven directors each of whom had to make a pitch with Pašić chosen in the end. Still, the reviews were even worse than for the previous sequel and the movie was a failure at the box office. Summing up the Mi nismo anđeli sequels several years later in 2009, Dragojević said:
In late 2010, Dragan Bjelogrlić's film Montevideo, Bog te video that Dragojević co-wrote with Ranko Božić came out to positive reviews and great commercial success. Simultaneously, Dragojević's political engagement in the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), a part of the ruling coalition in Serbia, was announced.
In December 2010, Dragojević's association with Ivica Dačić's Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) was announced with the forty-seven-year-old film director's appointment to the party's main board. Other appointments to the party's main board on the same occasion were: table tennis player Aleksandar Karakašević, LGBT activist Boris Milićević, actor Bata Živojinović, retired long-distance runner and former Olympian Franjo Mihalić, and retired handballer Svetlana Kitić. At the time of Dragojević's joining, the SPS was part of the DS-dominated multiple-party ruling coalition, closely aligned with and controlled by the Serbian President Boris Tadić who was simultaneously president of the DS party. Considering the SPS had been founded and formerly headed by Slobodan Milošević, whom Dragojević is an outspoken critic of, many in Serbia found the established film director's decision to join the party surprising and peculiar. Dragojević explained his reasons to become politically active in the context of improving Serbian cultural policies, bringing up the "sale of Beograd Film, sorry state of Avala Film, and closure of the National Museum since 2003" as examples of things he'll try to change. He further added that the SPS had changed since the days when Milošević headed it, adding that his main motivation to join it is "reviving closed cultural centers in small towns across Serbia since the SPS is the only party interested in my plan".
However, year and a half later, Dragojević would get the MP status. Following the August 2013 cabinet reshuffle, two SPS MPs — Branko Ružić and Aleksandar Antić — resigned their parliamentary posts due to being appointed to ministerial positions in the prime minister Ivica Dačić's and deputy PM Aleksandar Vučić's reconstructed cabinet. Ružić's and Antić's vacated parliamentary positions were thus taken over by Milutin Mrkonjić and Srđan Dragojević. In January 2014, Dragojević was criticized by his cinematic collaborator Dragan Bjelogrlić over accepting the parliamentary job: "I wish he hadn't done it. That ambiance doesn't go with him at all. He's greater than all of them. The MP post is not a degrading one per se, but when I think back to Dragojević the punk rocker or back to the 1990s when he'd quite brusquely, and often brazenly, say things straight to people's faces, now he looks like a wild boar that's been tamed and placed in the parliamentary cage".
In March 2017, Dragojević got kicked out of the SPS after publicly supporting the opposition candidate Saša Janković at the 2017 Serbian presidential election.
Currently, Srdjan Dragojevic is 59 years, 11 months and 4 days old. Srdjan Dragojevic will celebrate 60th birthday on a Sunday 1st of January 2023. Below we countdown to Srdjan Dragojevic upcoming birthday.