Masterclass: Mike Bonanno
Screening of the film The Yes Men Are Revolting was followed by a masterclass lead by Mike Bonanno, one of the film authors. Bananno started his programme block in a pretty non-traditional way (unsurprisingly), saying: “I have no idea what a masterclass is, but I am sure there must be some karaoke in it.” He did not leave anything to chance and hyped up his listeners by the musical song Up Came Oil at the very beginning of his class, and Filip Remunda, the masterclass presenter, boldly joined him, soon followed by the excited audience. The whole masterclass thus occurred in a spirit of a pleasant discussion among Bonanno, Remunda and the audience. Firstly Bonanno gave an idea of how the Yes Men films originated and revealed interesting situations he had experienced during production. He admitted their work to be rather a kind of provocation and propaganda, and not so much traditional filmmaking. They actually started shooting by accident, to some extent. In reality it was a kind of spontaneous process, during which they started shooting videos after several events and got to know filmmakers thanks to working with different media. Once they invited a friend and cameraman to one of their events and suddenly an idea crossed their mind – they thought that it could be a cool film scene and just continued shooting. The first film, The Yes Men, was thus obviously created without a screenplay and right on the spot.
The whole discussion of course embraced talking about films but it also touched on wider topics including Occupy Wall Street movement, moral and ethical principles, possibilities of changing the system and so on. Bonanno´s aim is not only to convince people but also to appreciate and encourage other activists. Although the masterclass included serious topics as well, it concluded in hope for a positive turn of the worldwide situation. However, this change requires our involvement, effort and active participation.