Aco Shtaka, Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo
“In this moment I believe in Stole Popov and Emir Kusturica. This comes from my affinity of films that have blazing character, connected and attached to the human passions, just like their films. I mean about THE RED HORSE, DOLLY BELL and FATHER ON A BUSINESS TRIP.”
Zivoin Pavlovic, Intervju, Belgrade
“Don’t miss the message of the deep humanism in the Stole Popov’s film THE RED HORSE.. It consists of several scenes filmed in China, with the unrepeatable Bata Zivojnovic in one of his most powerful roles, and all of that made by director with a style and vision”.
Ronald Holloway, Hollywood Reporter, USA.
“The tragedy of a divided nation focus in the Popov’s film, on the fate of the Macedonian peasant Boris Tushev, who since the end of the Second World War until our days going through a real hell of lonely destruction of the illusions of hope, a sense of meaninglessness of life and those inhuman sacrifices, filed on behalf of unrealized goal.”
Miron Chernjenko, Moscow
“Stole Popov’s film THE RED HORSE breaths with an intensity of one antique drama, pictures of wide landscapes, disappointed people, who hide in alcoholic states and life lies, and document the long tragic life path of one disillusioned man.”
Oto Raiter, Viennale 93, Vienna
“THE RED HORSE is poignant film about exile, directed by Stole Popov… With great conviction, Bata Zivojinovic plays a heroic partisan fighter who becomes so disheartened that he renounces everything to return home only to find a foreign land where he no longer belongs.”
Linda Gross, LA Times
In Dina Jordanova’s book “Film on the Balkans”, promoted at Thessaloniki International Film Festival 2006, with a preface by Dusan Makaveev Macedonia has its own representative. This book contains 24 essays on some of the most important films in this part of the world representing the richness and diversity of cultures, Stole Popov’s “Red Horse” is also depicted. And what is most interesting in all of this, under the name Macedonia, and not FYROM as the Greeks emphasize it absolutely everywhere.
Suncica Unkovska, Utrinski Vesnik
“I appreciate Stole Popov, who, according to me, is on the top of all directors, not only in Macedonia or on the Balkan, but with certainty in Europe.”
Svetozar Cvetkovic, Dnevnnik, Skopje
“I’m deeply moved by HAPPY NEW ‘49. The director masterfully guides excellent artists. This is an absolutely impressive achievement…”
Milosh Forman, Vjesnik, Zageb
“HAPPY NEW ‘49 is an impressive second feature from Yugoslavian director Stole Popov. Film is a wrenching, poignant portrayal of the disintegration of the Yugoslavian family during the Stalin era that is told with exceptional sensitivity and style…
HAPPY NEW ‘49 is a powerful love story that examines final loyalty in the most adverse of times. It is a bleak, disheartening picture that is colored by suicide, violence, betrayal and sadness.
There is nothing black and white about Popov’s visualization of this period in Yugoslav history… At just over two hours long, the film – surprisingly – never lags.”
“HAPPY NEW ‘49 is probably one of the best cinematic achievements of the Macedonian film in its entire history. In the Popov’s film, most astonishing is precisely this dark force, which plunges into the lives of innocent people. That force breaks families, puts fear and loved ones injected distrust, compels to betray your companions and break down with yourself, from your principles, to denounce of everything that makes personality, individuality, the fate…”
Miron Chernjenko, Moscow
“Direction, screenplay, acting performances and cinematography – all combine to made HAPPY NEW ‘49 a milestone in Yugoslav cinema as well as a masterful film achievement in Macedonian cinematography…”
Ronald Holloway, USA
“Solid script, directing masterpiece and proficiently, but not that overemphasized rejection of the taboos that make HAPPY NEW ‘49 achievement to which the French distributers have to pay attention!”
Rafael Besan, Leberacion, Paris
“Stole Popov’s HAPPY NEW ‘49 is a new approach to a major phenomenon which treats the subject frankly, intensively, with lots of fancy and passion…”
Ranko Munitic, Duga, Belgrade
TIME, New York
“It’s simply amazing how Macedonian film meets the challenges of time, radical changes in the life of his country and its people, with a such naturalness and willingness, so firmly and irrevocably, drifting and uncompromising.
Glow of hatred and despair, easy stabs simple story of TATTOO, which for the Macedonian film proved to be equally important and essential.”
Miron Chernjenko, Moscow
“And later, when TATTOO was honored by an independent jury with a Nomination of the European Film of the Year, the Greek government demanded its withdrawal from award consideration through a member of the European Film Academy – but the Academy stood firm, and the film remained in the running without the border of accenting a national identity. Result: Macedonian cinema was now known world-wide!”
Ronald Holloway, The Hollywood Reporter, USA
“The apocalyptic fall in TATTOO by stole Popov.
The atmosphere of destruction is dramatically, apocalyptically and cinemasтically very effectively shown in TATTOO… A performance worthy of an Oscar was given by Meto Jovanovski who portrayed Ilko…”
Milan Vlajcic, Politika, Belgrade
“Popov leads this brutal story of social repression, evil and sadism among people with his well known style. At the same time, he establishes himself as a superb master of conflict and violence… Stole Popov has firmly established himself as one of the leading film authors in the Balkans region.””
Jasmin Durakovic, Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo
“Everyone who liked TIME OF THE GYPSIES by Emir Kusturica, and Ettore Scola’s UGLY, DIRTY AND BAD will appreciate Stole Popov’s GIPSY MAGIC. This is another extremely entertaining and touching story about some people living in the slum…
The audience finds great pleasure in the happiness and crazy humour among these people…”
Lotta Svedberg, Cinema Stockholm
“Gypsies in struggle for life, over the Balkan volcano… Miki Manojlovic, true explosion on the screen! It is impossible to untangle the vivid and unbelievable knot of plots, gestures, devastations, festivity, struggles and forgiveness that happen… For quite a long time we haven’t seen similar image on the screen, about the tough life which indeed is metaphor of the Balkan! Little Macedonia, huge slap!”
Gerard Mayen, Montpelier
“GIPSY MAGIC from Macedonia, is bittersweet tragicomedy with absurd moments of gypsies’ lives, caught in the middle of messy Balkan. Popov in his film has packed everything so well: love and death, violence and poverty, fraud and friendship, dreams and hope, without any sentimentality and modern mumbling.”
Ronald Holloway, Die Rheinpfalz, Berlin
“Director Stole Popov centers his story around the gypsies with their marvelous coloring, but his universal subject matter is that of the downtrodden, the forgotten heroes of the street who only appear on the news when they appear in an obituary…”
Letvia M. Arza-Goderich, The San Juan Star, Puerto Rico
“Stole Popov is a great artist for me. Man with cosmopolitan view on the world and life, with enormous experience, who understands the film technology…”
Vlatko Stefanovski, Fokus, Skopje
“In Miki Manojlovic’s performance (a good bet for best actor), Taip is a force of nature whose gargantuan energy is divided equally between violence and fantasy…”
Ray Conlogue, Montreal
“Set against the drinking and brawling and crying and scamming of gypsy life, Popov’s latest movie, GIPSY MAGIC pulls movie goers along a roller coaster of brutality and beauty as it explores the tenuous ties between life and death.”
Mary A. Dempsey, USA
“To the hilt” was shot by director Stole Popov, one of the most significant directors of the former Yugoslavia, after a seventeen-year break. The name alone may not be a guarantee of quality, but the movie Do Balchak! Popov confirmed that he belonged to the Balkan Cinema Gold Fund as much as with his earlier works Tattooing , Happy New 49 or Gypsy Magic . The film catches the attention of an unusually rich set and convincing acting performances. It connects the seemingly irreconcilable – Macedonian struggle for liberation from Turkish rule from the early 20th century and a non-traditional love story, all presented in an attractive, western style. Popov approached the serious historical topic with surprising ease and managed to make a very entertaining movie.
Milan Kostelník: director of Balkanfilm, Czech Republic