Magazine article Journal of Film Preservation

Plamen Maslarov (1950-2010)

Magazine article Journal of Film Preservation

Plamen Maslarov (1950-2010)

Article excerpt

Farewell, old chum!

Bulgarian cinema has lost its most eccentric individual. Sofia has lost one of its urban legends. Piamen was the centre of attention wherever he went - with his stooping gait, his wrinkled chin, and the ubiquitous hat, recently sporting Camel from head to foot and almost inseparable from his girlfriend Vanya... Often giving the impression of being angry, all he had to do was to open his mouth and everyone was enthralled - women and men, teenagers and pensioners, filmmakers and computer specialists. Maslarov had uncountable and diverse friends, with some of them he worked - with others he talked; with some he used to party -with many he liked to combine everything...

He cursed, joked, swore, told stories about himself, ludicrous and farfetched. He told them with such serious tones and conviction that jaws dropped, and he would only interrupt his monologue to take a gentle sip of his drink with a gesture of self-irony.

Maslinkata, the Bulgarian for Olive, as he was known, did not let his frail body get in his way and remained a stoic adventurist to the very end. He was passionate about his own films and old reels, passionate about his filial and paternal duties, passionate about his care for his friends... He had many talents but possessed one in unique particularity - generosity.

I had known him since the late 1980s, when he used to make fun of socialist dogma with a gamin sense of wickedness but no longer resembled the bright, young boy Mustafa, from the classic Bulgarian film ...And the Day Came (1973), directed by Georgi Dulgerov. He played many roles since then - even completely unexpected, such as the Imam in War Correspondent (2008), directed by Kostadin Bonev...

When democracy brought its great illusions to Bulgaria, Maslarov threw himself with increased vigour into even more heart-stopping adventures, remaining forever the eternal dissatisfied Bohemian with unpredictable reactions. He was the first film producer to mortgage his personal property to turn the project by lliyan Simeonov (God rest his soul) and Hristian Nochev The Border into an impressive debut. Maslarov then refused to submit the film to the National Festival for Feature Films "Golden Rose". The young directors ignored his veto and won a "Golden Rose" for first film. Then he produced a humorous erotic show, "1,002 Nights", for Bulgarian National Television. His dream, which was to remain unfulfilled, was to make a film based on The Abduction from the Seraglio. Instead, he had to wait impatiently for eleven years until he finally made another Abduction, a criminal drama based on a script by Boyan Biolchev. …

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