Božidar Tokin

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Božidar Tokin
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  • Film critic
  • Cinematography
  • Poet
  • Translator
  • Publisher

Boško Tokin (Serbian Cyrillic: Бошко Токин; 1894-1954) was a Serbian film critic, a publicist of the advent of cinematography, poet, translator, and publisher. He is the author of the books "The History of the Seventh Art" (remained in the manuscript) and Kinolexicon (co-authored with Vladeta Lukić in 1953). In the 1970s, his main works were reprinted in the magazines Filmska Kultura and Filmske sveske.[1]


Božidar "Boško" Tokin was born in 1894 in the Romanian part of Banat, in Ciacova, the birthplace of Dositej Obradović. He died in 1953 in Belgrade. He is a school friend of Miloš Crnjanski. After graduation, he went to his uncle's house in Zemun, where he became friends with Slavko Vorkapić, Sava Šumanović, and Nikola Krstić.

In interwar Belgrade, he was friends with Stanislav Vinaver and Tina Ujević. The magazine Bazaar called them "the trumpet, the cymbals and the big drum", the capital's music trio.

Tokin began his journalistic career in the newspaper Piedmont in 1914.

In the First World War, he was first a volunteer and for a short time at the fort, and then in the War Presbytery of the Serbian Supreme Command, whose chief was Slobodan Jovanović.

He crossed Albania during the Great Retreat (Serbian) with a protective half battalion of the Supreme Command.

Tokin arrived in France in 1916. He watched the first films of Charlie Chaplin and got hooked on the medium. He collaborated with several French newspapers. He participated in the organization of the first Serbian artists' exhibition in Paris.[2]He translated and published Anthologie de Poemes yougoslaves contemporaines with works by our modern poets, and hung out with poets, photographers and artists, among them many who were in the Surrealist movement of the time, like André Breton.

He returned to Serbia in 1920 and published his first critique on the cinema in the newspaper "Progress". Together with Ljubomir Micić and his brother Branko Ve Poljanski he signed the Zenitism Manifesto in 1921 in the city of Zagreb.[3][4]In 1923 he founded and became the chairman of the "Club of Cinephiles" in Belgrade, which became the largest association of film fans in the 1920s. In 1924 he worked with film critic Dragan Aleksić on the parody avant-garde film "Robbers in Topčidere", acting as a scriptwriter and co-director. The film remained unfinished, as the editor destroyed the film, considering it meaningless. From 1926 he worked as publisher and editor of the magazine "Film" in Zagreb, collaborated with many publications under the pseudonym "Filmus".

Tokin was the creator of Serbian cinema and sports stories, especially in the book titled "Film". He translated into French poems by Crnjanski and Krleža, and "pioneering the writing of cinematographic poetry." [5]He also translated from French André Malraux, Henri de Montherlant, Hungarian Endre Ady, Lajos Kassák, Gaspar Heltai, Lajos Zilahy, Bulgarian Jordan Jovkov,[6]and Trifon Kunev.[7]

He was one of the ten founding members of the Academy of Seven Arts, founded in 1933, whose first president was Branislav Nušić. As a professional journalist, Tokin was also one of the founders of the Serbian Association of Journalists.

During the Nazi occupation in the Second World War, he was an associate editor of the "Kolo" newspaper, for which he was convicted after the end of the war.

After serving his sentence, Tokin returned to his first love -- films -- and to some extent to journalism. He collaborated with almost all Belgrade newspapers, mostly writing about the Film industry. Until the Second World War, he finished "History of Yugoslav Film", and after the war with Vladeta Lukić, he co-authored Filmski leksikon (Encyclopedia of Film)[8]and "Book about Film".[9]


  • "The Future of the Feature Film" (1923)
  • "Cinema and Music of Light"
  • Expressionist Film (1924)
  • "Cinema of Dreams and Poetry" (1925)
  • "Photogenic face"
  • "Philosophy of cinema"
  • "Photogeny" (1926)
  • "Aesthetics of cinema" (1928)
  • "By the way of feature films" (1929)
  • Kinolexicon (1953)
  • Aesthetic views

Boško Tokin says that the most essential thing in cinematography is the transmission of a feeling or idea through a moving image. It is the dynamics of movement, which is inextricably linked with technology and light, that distinguishes cinema from other types of art. Cinematography is both visual and moving art. It exists both in time and in space, and through the photogenic medium, one more connection is established — with photography.

Boško Tokin believes that the esthetician of cinema should be able to see and be able to register what he saw. The aesthetics of cinema is specific and independent; it was created in difficult circumstances.

The esthetician says that cinema is gradually becoming the fate of a generation living in an era of advanced technology and industry. Cinematography is replacing books and newspapers, turning into a mythology of the masses and an instrument for reassessing values. Cinema creates a new era - the era of cinematic expressiveness. Cinematography is becoming the seventh art form. The aesthetics of cinema is not something final, since cinema is still young as an art. But Bosko Tokin is sure that the crystallization of cinema is inevitable. As the crystallization of art, the crystallization of cinema takes time. All forms of art strive for integrity, for this reason, the aesthetics of cinema is becoming more and more constructive.

In cinematography, there are always points of contact with reality, with living beings, mechanics and technology. Cinema is a living art. In cinematography the only fruitful method is the inductive method; one should not proceed from theories.

Cinematography inspires, photographs, and describes at the same time. The subject of cinema does not consist of abstractions, it is not painted, but even something abstract has a concrete basis in cinema.

Bosko Tokin argues that there are many film chroniclers and film critics, but aesthetics can be counted on one hand. Among the aesthetics of cinema, he considers Elie Faure, Marcel L'Herbier, Jean Epstein, Stacia Napierkowska|Renée Claire, Léon Moussinac,[10]Ricciotto Canudo, Walter Blam, Rudolf Harms,[11]Karel Teige, A. Delpech.

At the same time, the listed cinema theorists rarely cover the problems of cinema, issues, and genres. Boško Tokin says that they study only certain categories and properties of cinema, contrasting them with other properties and categories. But this is only a preparation for future and more detailed cinema aesthetics since the art of cinema is only in the process of its formation. He lacked resources to make films and decided to make avant-garde magazines instead.[12]


  • Marko Babac, "Boško Tokin journalist and writer", 2 volumes.[13]
  • Terazije / Bosko Tokin; Prired. and the conversation was written by Svetlana Slapshak. - Beograd: Nar. bibl. Srbije, 1988 .-- 153, XIX p .; 20 cm - (Biblical. The past is alive) .; ISBN 86-367-0117-1
  • B o š k o T o k i n. Estetika filma .— "Filmske sveske", Beograd, 1971, no. 3.


  2. Turda, Marius; Weindling, Paul (January 2007). "Blood and Homeland": Eugenics and Racial Nationalism in Central and Southeast Europe, 1900-1940. ISBN 9789637326813.
  3. Berghaus, Günter; Ilnytzkyj, Oleh S.; Imposti, Gabriella Elina; Lodder, Christina (16 December 2019). 2019. ISBN 9783110646238.
  4. Brooker, Peter; Thacker, Andrew (2013). The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines. ISBN 9780199659586.
  6. Naukite, Bŭlgarska Akademii͡a na (1981). "Bulgarian Academic Books: Catalogue of the Books and Periodicals of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Kliment Ochridski Sofia University".
  7. Birnbaum, Henrik; Vryonis, Speros (5 November 2018). Aspects of the Balkans: Continuity and Change: Contributions to the International Balkan Conference held at UCLA, October 23–28, 1969. ISBN 9783110885934.
  8. Tokin, Boško; Lukić, Vladeta (1953). "Filmski leksikon".
  10. Moussinac, Léon (1925). "Naissance du cinéma".
  11. Aitken, Ian (2001). European Film Theory and Cinema: A Critical Introduction. ISBN 0253340438.
  12. Gorup, Radmila (12 June 2013). After Yugoslavia: The Cultural Spaces of a Vanished Land. ISBN 9780804787345.

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