Nikša Fulgosi Film Collection
The film and television work of the unconventional screenplay writer and director Nikša Fulgosi (1919-1996) is a component of the cultural heritage, which in a peculiar way testifies to the culture of dissent in the period of socialism in Croatia and Yugoslavia. Many of Fulgosi's film works remained unfinished or were "put in the vault" after their completion because the censors considered them unfit for the public. Fulgosi made the first television documentary series about sex for the Zagreb Radio Television in the late 1970s, which was only partially aired.
Zagreb Savska cesta 131, Croatia 10000
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Name of collection
Nikša Fulgosi's Film Work
Provenance and cultural activities
The film work of the screenplay writer and director Nikša Fulgosi constitutes a film heritage that is preserved in the film archives of the Croatian Cinematheque - a part of the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb. Fulgosi's films began to be collected in 1979, when the Cinematheque was established, and have been stored there ever since. The collection also includes film-related materials, such as screenplays, reports, etc. Since Fulgosi was an employee of Croatian Radio-Television (in Yugoslavia the Radio-Television Zagreb), his films are also stored in the Croatian Television Documentation Centre.
Fulgosi had been making films since 1951, and he began working for television in 1970. Exceptionally talented, intelligent, witty and provocative – and, according to some, eccentric – Fulgosi did not comply with the criteria of the society in which he lived. Unlike other filmmakers, he remained on the margins of top-of-the-line film production despite his impressive sense for cinematic arts recognized by many of his contemporaries (for example, the prominent director and general manager of Jadran Film in the late 1940s, Vatroslav Mimica, was impressed by Fulgosi's screenplay for Krčelići neće ljepote [The Krčelić Family Does Not Want Beauty], written after Josip Kozarac's eponymous novel. Mimica described his screenplay as a "skilfully written, almost in a Hollywood style"). Despite such a rating, the film was never made, just like the screenplay about Petrica Kerempuh (the Croatian version of Till Eulenspiegel) from 1952, which was to be directed by the celebrated director Krešo Golik.
Fulgosi’s first feature film Mala Jole [Little Jole] from 1955 was suddenly interrupted during shooting after direct intervention by the new general director of Jadran Film, prominent socio-political activist Josip Vrhovac. According to the testimony of actress Ksenija Urličić, the official explanation for the halt and "putting the film in the vault" was an interpretation according to which the "socialist sailor was shown in the wrong light" (Tko je taj Nikša Fulgosi?, 2014). Fulgosi was never again given the chance to make a feature film, although he still wrote screenplays for them (Kasni stisak ruke, 1965 [The Late Handshake]). In spite of his attempt to become a maker of feature films, Fulgosi spent much his professional film career mostly making educational documentary films, such as a series on traffic. Even in this "marginal" genre, he made top-level achievements by fostering critical discourse. All of these features are visible in his works tackling "peripheral" themes of everyday life (Privatni rat građanina iks [The Private War of Citizen X], Ravnodušnost na ulicama [Indifference in the Streets], Put nije samo vaš [The Road Isn’t Just Yours]...).
Fulgosi's television-produced critical trilogy of 1971 entitled Sto ljepotica na dan [A Hundred Beauties per Day], Sto kletvi na sekundu [A Hundred Curses per Second] and Sto zaduženja Betike Gumbas [ The Hundred Duties of Betika Gumbas] was released only after the official censors "approved it for broadcasting" in abridged versions. His 13-episode series in 1978 about sexual culture – entitled Ljubavni jadi Pepeka Gumbasa i Marijete Buble [The Romantic Problems of Pepek Gumbas and Marijeta Buble] – was removed from the programming schedule and "put in the vault" by a decision of the television editorial board after only two episodes were aired. As Željko Luketić noticed, when the series "disappeared" from the screen, "this was not due to moral zeal, but because the skilled creator who was able to insert a satirical swipe at ‘comrade functionaries’ into a programme about human sexuality " (Luketić 2018).
Fulgosi's works included vague social commentaries and hidden subtle political messages which could be understood ambiguously. Episodes of his prolific sex series ended with the inscription: "It is not necessary for everyone to think alike. Because it is known that when everyone thinks alike, then nobody thinks anything."
In an interview for Belgrade television news in the late 1970s, Fulgosi himself made an observation on the mechanism of censorship: "I'm just the author. Nobody officially told me anything. And I will probably never get an explanation, because, I repeat, I am only the author (...) You are interested in why the series was taken off? Ask someone at the TV station about me. And that's about all!"(Luketić 2018).
Fulgosi is today recognized as an author of outstanding erudition, eloquence and satirical gifts. He is especially valued as someone who was willing to take on "tricky topics." Thanks to the renewed interest in Fulgosi's film work, some of his films are available on the Internet. In 2014 a documentary a film was made about his work entitled Tko je taj Nikša Fulgosi? [Who is that Nikša Fulgosi?] (2014). In this documentary, Fulgosi's contemporaries testify to his sarcastic and provocative style, which had been considered as "reactionary" (Antun Vrdoljak), "unsuitable" (Ksenija Urličić) and "socially rebellious" (Zoran Fulgosi).
Although virtually forgotten, Fulgosi’s films have recently been "re-discovered" and presented to film and television audiences. He was highlighted as one of "the most interesting Croatian film and television creators of the last century" (Glas Slavonije 2015).
Description of content
Nikša Fulgosi's film collection archived in the Croatia Cinematheque includes a body of 30 short films and other types of material such as screenplays, film preparation reports, etc. The films include 60 film tapes - 16 mm, 140 film tapes - 35 mm, 1 DVD optical disc, 1 VHS video tape, 1 tape record, 1 screenplay, and music documentation.
One of Fulgosi's main concerns was educational films. Many of his works, regardless of the genre, were very provocative, ranging from subtle commentaries on society to sharp satire. This is evidenced by the unfinished, rejected and abridged films as well as his television production from the later stage of his career, which the censors assessed as unacceptable and unsuitable for the public at the time. The fact that Fulgosi, despite censorship, continued to work, equally testifies to a certain "space of freedom" that filmmakers had in the making of their works in Yugoslav society, but also the influence of the ideological commissions that banned them.
- film: 100-499
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 0-9
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
- Burić, Mladen
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- Event (general): Croatian Film Days: Presentation of Nikša Fulgosi's film work, 2015
- Event (general): 60th Anniversary of the Croatian Television: Nikša Fulgosi, Author of the First Sex Series, 2016
- Event (general): Movie Thursday at the Croatian State Archives: "Traffic safety" by Nikša Fulgosi, 2017
- Event (general): Katarina Cinema: A night at the movies with a discussion about the films of Nikša Fulgosi and Luchino Visconti, Pula 2017
- completely open to the public
Part of network
Author(s) of this page
- Bing, Albert
"24. DHF Donosi Retrospektivu Filmova Nikše Fulgosija" ("24th DHF Brings Retrospective Films by Nikša Fulgosi"). Dokumentarni.net. January 26, 2017. Accessed 13, 2018. https://www.dokumentarni.net/2015/04/14/retrospektiva-nikse-fulgosija-na-24-dhf-u/.
"Bogat i zanimljiv filmski tjedan za tuškanačku publiku" ("A rich and interesting movie week for audiences at Tuškanac."). Moj Film - Hrvatski Filmski Portal. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://www.moj-film.hr/novosti/pregled/nagrade-i-dogadjanja/bogat-i-zanimljiv-filmski-tjedan-za-tuskanacku-publiku/.
"Borac protiv seksualne zatucanosti - XXZ Portal" ("A fight against sexual obscurity – XXZ Portal"). XXZ Magazin - Regionalni Portal. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://www.xxzmagazin.com/borac-protiv-seksualne-zatucanosti.
"Četiri dokumentarca na HRT-u kao uvod u 24. DHF" ("Four Documentaries on HRT as an Introduction to the 24th DHF"). Dokumentarni.net. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://www.dokumentarni.net/2015/04/18/cetiri-dokumentarca-na-hrt-u-kao-uvod-u-24-dhf/.
Fabris, Martina. "Analiza suvremene hrvatske kinematografije." Repozitorij Sveučilišta u Rijeci. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://www.unirepository.svkri.uniri.hr/islandora/object/ffri%3A534/datastream/PDF/view.
"Filmski četvrtak u HDA: Nikša Fulgosi - Sigurnost u prometu" ("Movie Thursday at the Croatian State Archives: Nikša Fulgosi - Traffic Safety"). Havc.hr, November 15, 2017. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://www.havc.hr/infocentar/novosti/filmski-cetvrtak-u-hda-niksa-fulgosi-sigurnost-u-prometu.
"Fulgosi, autor prve serije o seksu izlazi iz bunkera!" ("Fulgosi, creator of the first series about sex is leaving from the vault"). Zagrebački List, May 30, 2017. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://www.zagrebacki.hr/2017/05/30/fulgosi-autor-prve-serije-seksu-izlazi-iz-bunkera/.
Fulgosi, Nikša. "100 ljepotica na dan" ("One Hundred Beauties per Day"). YouTube. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKVD9OIUAaU.
"Fulgosi, Nikša.“ Hrvatska Enciklopedija. Accessed August 13, 2018. http://www.enciklopedija.hr/natuknica.aspx?id=20813.
"Fulgosi, Nikša.“ Leksikon Radija i Televizije. HRT. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://obljetnica.hrt.hr/leksikon/f/fulgosi-niksa/.
Galić, Mirko (ed.). Leksikon radija i televizije (Lexicon of Radio and Television), 2nd edition. Zagreb: Hrvatska radiotelevizija; Naklada Ljevak, 2016.
"Hrvatski filmski arhiv (Hrvatska kinoteka)" ("Croatian Film Archives"). Hrvatski državni arhiv. Accessed August 13, 2018.http://zagreb.arhiv.hr/hr/hda/fs-ovi/kinoteka.htm.
Ilić, Momčilo (ed.). Filmografija jugoslovenskog filma 1945.-1965. (Filmography of Yugoslav Film). Beograd: Institut za film, 1970.
„Kino Katarina: Visconti - Fulgosi – Buhin" ("Cinema Katarina: Visconti - Fulgosi – Buhin"). Regionalexpress.hr. Accessed August 13, 2018. http://www.regionalexpress.hr/site/more/kino-katarina-visconti-fulgosi-buhin.
Luketić, Željko. "Nikša Fulgosi: Ljubavni Jadi Pepeka Gumbasa i Marijete Buble ili kako smo preživjeli seksualni odgoj bez intervencije Ustavnog suda." ("Nikša Fulgosi: The Romantic Problems of Pepek Gumbas and Marijeta Buble or how we survived sexual upbringing without the intervention of the Constitutional Court"). Academia.edu. Accessed August 13, 2018.https://www.academia.edu/8041653/NIK%C5%A0A_FULGOSI_Ljubavni_jadi_Pepeka_Gumbasa_i_Marijete_Buble_ili_kako_smo_pre%C5%BEivjeli_seksualni_odgoj_bez_intervencije_Ustavnog_suda.
"Ljubavni jadi Pepeka Gumbasa i Marijete Buble (11. Dio)" ("The Romantic Problems of Pepek Gumbas and Marijeta Buble (Part 11)"). YouTube. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdwohmR3Agk.
"Priča o legendarnom televizijskom osobenjaku: Čovjek koji je učio Jugoslavene seksu." ("The Story about Legendary Television Creator: The Man Who Taught the Yugoslavs About Sex.") Jutarnji.hr. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/prica-o-legendarnom-televizijskom-osobenjaku-covjek-koji-je-ucio-jugoslavene-seksu/563482/.
"Tko je taj Nikša Fulgosi?" (Who is that Nikša Fulgosi?)(2014). YouTube. Accessed August 13, 2018.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3alNV9kuSs.
Škrabalo, Ivo. 101 godina filma u Hrvatskoj: 1896. – 1997.: Pregled povijesti hrvatske kinematografije (101 Years of Film in Croatia – 1986 – 1997 - Overview of the History of Croatian Cinematography). Zagreb: Nakladni zavod Globus, 1998.
Vek, N. "Retrospektiva Nikše Fulgosija na danima hrvatskog filma" ("Nikša Fulgosi Retrospective on Croatian Film Days"). Glas Slavonije, April 4, 2015. Accessed August 13, 2018. http://www.glas-slavonije.hr/266531/9/Retrospektiva-Nikse-Fulgosija-na-Danima-hrvatskog-filma.
Burić, Mladen, interview by Bing, Albert , September 26, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection