In Praise of Nothing

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Serbia | 2017 | 78 minutes | Boris Mitic

Narrated in poetic rhyming verse by gravelly voiced rock icon Iggy Pop, this satirical storytime parable for adults follows the personification of Nothing as he travels the world via crowdsourced documentary footage and comments on the pros and cons of existence while defending the importance of nothingness in the universe.

Inspired by Erasmus's 1511 satirical essay "In Praise of Folly," where Folly travels the world trying to convince people how folly and foolishness is more important than piety and wisdom, Boris Mitic's In Praise of Nothing follows Nothing after Nothing runs away from home. The story is told on many levels—through images and text and music and narration, where these elements often conflict with each other. The narration is written in simplistic rhymes read by none other than punk icon Iggy Pop, who says things like, "We will skip talking heads and expert analysis, special effects and cultural paralysis." Meanwhile, intertitles interrupt the footage to tell the story about how Nothing ran away because it was tired of being misunderstood. Then there's the footage itself. Mitic gave an assignment to 62 cinematographers from around the world to "shoot nothing." The result is alternatingly mundane and beautiful, at odds with the underlying story when it's not complementing it. In a sense, the movie is a reaction to contemporary documentaries, which can be either catastrophic or idealistic and often get trapped in a web of good intentions. Here, according to Mitic's director's statement, Nothing is a cinematic response to the everything and the anything that we are so confusingly running after.

Director Biography
Born in Leskovac, Serbia, Boris Mitic traveled the world before he decided to settle in Belgrade. There, he worked for five years in international media which gave him the skills to pursue his interests in film. He is also founder of Dribbling Pictures, a small production company that focuses on creating documentaries. On the side, Mitic likes to play blitz chess and write satirical columns.

Sponsored by KING 5, Puget Systems

  • Director: Boris Mitic
  • Principal Cast: Iggy Pop (voice)
  • Premiere Status: North American
  • Country: Serbia, France, Croatia
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 78 minutes
  • Producer: Boris Mitic
  • Screenplay: Boris Mitic
  • Cinematographers: 62 cinematographers incl. Roman Bondarchuk, Vitaly Mansky, Michael Glawogger, Alicia Cano, Nedzad Be
  • Editors: Boris Mitic
  • Music: Pascal Comelade, The Tiger Lillies
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Goodbye, How Are You? (2009); Unmik Titanik (2004); Pretty Dyana (2003)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP