Monday, February 11, 2008

Cinema *S* (for Serbia)

Is it possible to draw conclusions based on a sample size of two? Of course I was trained not to; but what I will say is I need to get busy increasing my sample size. You already know about my raves over Klopka from last year's Berlinale, but this year's offering was Love and Other Crimes (Ljubav i Drugi Zlocini in the original Serbian). I got excited the moment the film started rolling and I saw it starred Klopka's haunting Anica Dobra. At the end I stood up and asked, "What on earth is happening in Serbian film and how can we seem MORE?" As an American, I can't help viewing the societal collapses endemic to Eastern Europe as the stimulus behind this post-modern film noir. But the director surprised me by answering my query in this vein with a note of optimism. Sure, of course, the end of open warfare is a definite positive, but to then see your society descend into the grips of common criminals in the inexorable name of capitalism, can hardly be optimistic!? I left the theater with the feeling that this particular young director had somehow surpassed himself, overreached his inherent ability. How wonderful when this happens in service to art, and with the endlessly expressive face of Dobra, it is not hard to understand. Then, in further researching the film, I spotted a common thread -- Srdjan Koljevic, the co-writer -- and ask myself if perhaps he is the one to watch?

Coming soon: Cinema *S* for Sweden

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