Quotes on AZ
“Andrej Zdravic began making films in 1973, inspired by his passion for music and for nature, which has forever marked his work. In the course of his many journeys, the filmmaker explored the spectacles of the planet to rediscover an innocence of the eye by elevating natural elements to an emotional leitmotiv. Are we to see in Zdravič a manifestation of new age cinema, an allegiance to a pagan ritual, or a metaphysical reflection of a sage amidst a world that went mad? In any event, we are taken by the magnificence of the images heightened by delightful sonorities, mixing music and natural sounds. The films of Andrej Zdravič are a liturgy from which we emerge appeased, for we return from a different world, a world where the energy is spectacle; illuminated, imbued with - alas, too evanescent - serenity.”
Jean-Michel Bouhours, "Actualités 2", Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1994
“(Zdravič’s) extraordinary films, works of tenacious meditation on silence and on the receding colours of things, give us back a genuinely true “visual alchemy”, a symbolic transmutation of all too familiar appearances of a world that has fallen into “inauthenticity”. He invites us, by virtue of his patient lingering on endless refractions, vibrations, luminescences, perspectives of substances, on light and shadow intersections, colour, matter, density, rarefaction, implication, to see the world again, to re-imagine it, and to re-discover it.”
Paolo Mottana, "Il Cinema per la formazione" / 'Il Cinema immaginale', Milano, 2004
“Andrej Zdravič creates his films with a composer's sense of balance, form and movement, and has developed his own synthesized music tracks via sophisticated equipment. He considers the soundtrack as part of an organically indivisible function of the film, as witnessed by the credit he assigns to his production as Soundvision. […] Though only a few of Zdravič's numerous films deal with his father in surgery, the exalted attention to which he referred as 'heightened state' characterizes the spirit of his work. Exposure to surgery strengthened in him an exuberant reverence for life - he mentioned having been inculcated with his father's sense of the 'healer's aspect' - that infuses even the most minor of Zdravič's works. It gives, for example, to Breath, an eight-minute odyssey of a scrap of newspaper blowing around deserted Manhattan streets, an energy and vision far beyond its ostensible subject. If an inanimate piece of street trash can be said to show the spirit of Charlie Chaplin's ‘Little Tramp’, this is it.”
Calvin Ahlgren, San Francisco Chronicle, 1991
“I consider Zdravič one of the most talented filmmakers that have appeared on the scene. Besides his filmmaking talents he’s working clearly in the regretfully neglected Humanistic Tradition.“
Jonas Mekas, Anthology Film Archives, New York, 1977
“Andrej Zdravič is one of the most prolific and exciting lyricists of contemporary American cinema.” […] “In an age when an academic post-structuralist syndrome dominates the under-30 film scene the films of Andrej Zdravič have almost single-handedly held the fort on the lyric front. His 16mm films did much to expand the parameters established by Brakhage by their directness in the pursuit of light, color and movement.”
Carmen Vigil, Director, the San Francisco Cinematheque, 1977/1980
"In the three decades-plus that he has been active as a film and sound artist - a span that has seen the release of more than thirty films and installations - Andrej Zdravič has stalked out a creative territory very much of his own, creating a body of work devoted to exploring the mysterious energies and forces of the natural world. […] Beautifully photographed and edited, these films are visually exquisite while closely attuned to dimensions beyond the visible."
Jed Rapfogel, Anthology Film Archives, New York, 2008
"With physical nature as his muse, Andrej Zdravič doesn't capture beauty in the mundane but in the microcosmic; for more than three decades, the Slovenian-born film and sound artist has proved that hypnotic elemental poetry can literally be found under a rock (or underwater, over the clouds, et al.). There aren't many human forms glimpsed in Anthology's four-program survey of Zdravič's career, but unlike the patient watch of a James Benning landscape, there's motion and energy and chaos to engage with in his impeccable framings. His deceptively organic soundscapes - pulsing ambient noises looped just within earshot - are perhaps even more evocative than his imagery; add a glockenspiel to the mix, and it might sound like a primal, post-rock band from Brooklyn."
Aaron Hills, the Village Voice, New York, 2008
“Given the embrace of popular cinema, and only popular cinema, by most modern movie-goers and television watchers, the very existence of such films and videos as Andrej Zdravič’s Riverglass: A River Ballet in Four Seasons, […] is something of a miracle. I see these, and other related works, as instances of an ‘ecocinema,’ primarily because each offers audiences a depiction of the natural world within a cinematic experience that models patience and mindfulness - qualities of consciousness crucial for a deep appreciation of and an ongoing commitment to the natural environment.”
Scott MacDonald, "Ecocinema Theory and Practice", USA, 2013
“Riverglass creates the conditions for an exploration of a different kind of relation to the nonhuman world, what wildlife ecologist and writer Aldo Leopold defined as a relationship founded on a land ethic that enlarges the boundaries of the community to include the land, in the broadest sense. This land ethic, says Leopold, “changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it”. Riverglass does this subtly and indirectly: by slowing down time; by demanding that we notice the "insignificant" details of the river; by suggesting to us, through its self-reflexive elements, that there is no dichotomy between the river as "object" and the human as "subject"; by proposing that our experience of the river in the film is an expression of "being-in-nature.”
Paula Willoquet-Maricondi, "Framing the World", USA, 2010
"Andrej Zdravič’s film language is characterised by directness, by an instant response to the energy exuded by the environment, be it the centre of a metropolis or an emerging piece of new land in the middle of the Pacific. Zdravič’s camera reacts to the impulses of the living reality that he is at the same time observing and experiencing as both its witness and protagonist. What fills me with particular excitement in Zdravič’s films is a sense of singular exclusivity, of the mysterious calling of the camera-man: to be the sole witness – be it of the spectacle of nature or of the heart beating. Watching his films is thus reminiscent of a secret yet spontaneous ritual in which this chosen camera-man with a calling is showing us images that we may or can only see through his lens."
Vlado Škafar, Finance, Ljubljana, 2001
”(Zdravič) emerges as a talent of major proportions. […] (His) brief non-narrative works have been compared to the films of Stan Brakhage, but there's a matter-of-fact quality to them not at all like that experimental master's sense of grand romantic agony. There's a simple unpretentiousness here - a rarity in avant-garde- winning in its obviousness. […] With incredibly supple S-8mm sound equipment, Zdravič has found in the everyday world images of ravishing beauty that Kubrick, for all his Zeiss lenses and steadicams, can't match.”
David Ehrenstein, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 1980
“Andrej Zdravič is someone who has been working for some 25 years or so in the medium of film and video and although he 'only' does, if you like, nature phenomena dramas, it's very much about humanity and about a human drama and there is a strong metaphorical dimension. There is this universality of his language and a professionalism which is very impressive...”
Henry Meyric Hughes, British free-lance curator and writer, on TV Slovenia, 1999
"Lyric experimental film making at its most lovely and simple is demonstarted in the works of Andrej Zdravič... (His films) are exquisite and impeccably photographed. Although they are non-narrative in a traditional sense, they visually unfurl the story of nature and of humankind. The films are unsurpassed in their visual beauty. Zdravič […] employs his probing eyes to capture the wonders of the universe."
Linda Gross, Los Angeles Times, 1981
“Zdravič, in Microsurgical Transplantation, has raised the quality and art of medical films to new heights. He has achieved in these tapes a unique blend of clinical clarity, directness, and humanity hereto unknown to the art of medical filmmaking.”
Open University Educational Enterprises, U.K., 1983