Birth: 18. 2. 1921., Dubrovnik
Death: 11. 4. 2002., Zagreb
Bauer was the first Croatian and Yugoslavian author who systematically and above all competently used the poetics of classic (American) narrative film. At the time when most of our filmmakers struggled with narration, characterization, and film adaptation of themes, Bauer impressed with his narrative ease and skillful handling of film media. Already in his films for children, such as Sinji galeb (1953) and Milioni na otoku (1955), his skills were undeniable, even though these films were still professionally and formally unpolished. Nevertheless, already in his next film, the war action-thriller melodrama, Ne okreći se, sine (1956), about a Communist father who tries to establish a relationship with his young son poisoned by Ustasha ideology, Bauer reached his creative peak. The ending tragical but emotionally comforting scene when the father finally realizes how much his son loves him, but also that his death is near, belongs to the collection of the most disturbing film endings in the history of world cinematography. In his next film Samo ljudi (1957), Bauer tried his skills at a more standard melodrama - a love story about a man and a woman, but in this case the man is an invalid without a leg and the woman is blind. Bauer’s narrative maturity is manifested in the delicate gradual development of the story, characters and their relationships. Especially impressive and memorable is the last scene of the couple in love standing above a hollering hydroelectric power plant. Afterwards, in Macedonian production, he made his crucial film Tri Ane (1959), which with its naturalist texture anticipates the Yugoslavian Black wave. The next film was the urban socially engaged love comedy Martin u oblacima (1961), another classic of Croatian cinematography. After the very popular comedy, Prekobrojna (1962), made in Serbian production, he made another one of his turning point films, Licem u lice (1963). It was the first Croatian and Yugoslavian film that (relatively) provocatively questioned the socialist society from a serious dramatic perspective. The remaining Bauer’s opus from the 60’s was an attempt to adapt to the modernist poetics. In the 70’s he achieved his biggest success among a wider audience - TV series Salaš u malom ritu, situated in the war torn Vojvodina (in the film version the series consisted of two films - Salaš u malom ritu and Zimovanje u Jakobsfeldu). In 1978, he concluded his opus with the partisan film Boško Buha (in Sebian production) about the young national hero. Branko Bauer was the first Croatian cineaste to which a group of authors, led by Nenad Polimac, dedicated a monograph in 1985.
Pula ’56 - Golden medal Arena as the director of the film Ne okreci se sine; jury’s award as the best director
Pula ’62 - Central Committee of the Yugoslav National Youth’s award as the director of the film Prekobrojna
Pula ’63 - Golden arena as the director of the film Lice u lice (together with Igor Pretnar for the film Samorastniki)
Pula ’75 - Silver arena for the screenplay of the film Zimovanje u Jakobsfeldu (co screenwriter Arsen Diklic)
Pula ’76 - Bronze arena as the director of the film Salas u malom ritu; Silver arena for the screenplay of the film Salas u malom ritu (co screenwriter Arsen Diklic)
Pula ’80 - Great golden arena for the entire film opus and author contribution to Croatian film
Republic award Vladimir Nazor for a lifetime achievement
Medal of merit for the nation with the silver star
Medal of fraternity and unity with the golden wreath
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