Maja Milos: “If you don’t show sex it’s as if you’re embarrassed about it!”

We watched award-winning film “Clip” at the 53rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival and spoke to director Maja Milos about her underage protagonists, entrenched in sex and violence. “The fact that people chose to linger on the sex scenes and not on the violence says a lot about the kind of world we’re living in”, she says. Watch the entire interview below and make up your own mind!

She’s 29 years old and she’s been working on this film for six years. She did the research, looked high and low for the right actors, let them in on the screenwriting process and allowed them the space to improvise. All the while she kept the camera rolling, she discussed everything, soothed their fears and reassured them: “We all say what we think, nobody judges anybody else and nothing leaves the room, unless it feels safe”. That’s how Maja Milos made “Clip”, a film about the new generation of post-war Belgrade, who would rather document their lives on their smart phones and post their exposed bodies on Facebook than talk about their true feelings.

Half-naked teenage girls getting wasted, sniffing coke, popping pills, jiggling, grinding and generally turning their equally wasted school friends on. The soundtrack is usually second-rate pop music, blared across dives in the destitute suburbs of contemporary Belgrade. Cellphones are always at the ready, starting early in the morning at the back of the class till late at night at the bus stop, recording horny 16-year-olds fooling around, testing their limits, vandalizing, tearing everything down and desperately rushing towards adulthood. They all have something they want to get away from and they’re obviously convinced it’s their childhood. If only they knew… (Click here to read the rest of the review).

Invited by the Balkan Survey Section, curated by Dimitris Kerkinos, Milos arrived in Thessaloniki with enthusiasm to spare and a great determination to watch as many films as possible. “It’s a great opportunity to watch Balkan movies for a change, I don’t really care if I don’t have time to sleep…” Talking to her was like a breath of fresh air (of the no bullshit variety): “I wanted to speak very openly and very directly about all the facets of my characters’ lives, from emotions, to family life, what’s going in school, about violence – so I wanted to treat sex the same way. It’s certainly one of the most interesting things in their teenage lives and it would be dishonest if I didn’t treat it as such. Also, I didn’t want to give sex a bad name, and by refusing to show it I would be implying that sex is bad and isn’t bad, violence is bad…”

Watch the entire interview below and read our “Clip” rview here.