Director Milcho Manchevski

The Asynchronous Storytelling of Manchevski

Non-linear storytelling incorporating flashbacks is common in modernist cinema.  But there is another way of playing with the temporality of events that New York-based Macedonian film director Milcho Manchevski classifies as cinematic Cubism: “Cubism restructures spatial and temporal events to create a graphic narrative, but artistically, film is the medium which, by its nature, can accommodate most easily a simultaneity of viewpoints, and demonstrate most clearly the indivisibility of events.”[1] In essence, a Cubist narrative is a story or multiple stories that have been deconstructed and assembled back together. The main idea is to create a more complex narrative and invite the viewer to abandon her passivity in interpreting the movie.[2] Besides narrative complexity and viewer engagement, however, Manchevski uses the deconstruction and reconstruction of events to create a temporal sequence that is subjective to the characters. This temporal sequence is asynchronous: events are not defined by linear or causal relations, but by their singular, subjective nature.