The Spirits Diary (Rakijaški dnevnik)
Presented by the Consulate General of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Audiovisual Centre
Croatia. Dir. Damir Čučić. 2015, 81 mins. With Mario Haber. In Croatian with English subtitles. This daring documentary experiment dramatizes the prolific home recordings of Mario Haber (a.k.a. Eric Maria Strom), a professional sound engineer and distiller of illicit brandy. A vivid rush of images accompanies audio from a decade’s worth of recordings that Haber (described variously as an “alien” a “saint” and a “boozer”) made of conversations between himself and the friends and lovers he invited into his house to sample his spirits. The result is both a startlingly original portrait of a man—who, now deceased, haunts the film as another sort of “spirit”—and an inventive investigation of the relationship between sound and image.
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