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Film Review: ‘Enclave’

Set in 2004 and unfolding through the eyes of a lonely lad who lives in the isolated Serbian Orthodox quarter of a majority Albanian Muslim village in Kosovo, “Enclave” starts as a poignant and intense coming-of-ager from Serbian helmer-writer Goran Radovanovic that questions whether coexistence is possible between the two communities. The pic’s first two-thirds provide an atmospheric and compelling watch, but a major stylistic and narrative shift in the final act damages the goodwill and credibility accumulated until that point. Kudos, such as the Moscow Film Festival audience award, will entice further fest play for Serbia’s foreign-language Oscar submission.

The only child left in his neighborhood, wistful 10-year-old Nenad (the appealing Filip Subaric), rides to school every day in a dark, claustrophobic Kosovo Force (Kfor) armored vehicle driven by cynical Italian soldiers. As it bumps along the mountain roads, he stares out the small window slits. He can
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Graf Attack!: or The Possibility Space (The Cinema of Dominik Graf)

  • MUBI
Rotterdam this year has offered one certifiable giant discovery in international cinema: German filmmaker Dominik Graf, revealed in a simultaneously introductory and interventionist retrospective programmed by Christoph Huber and Olaf Möller. An incredibly prolific filmmaker beginning in the late 1970s, Graf has interwoven his cinema into the fabric of the German television industry, producing a body of work ranging from television episodes, made-for-tv films, essay movies, documentaries, and a handful of films intended for the cinema.

Yet despite Graf's prodigious output of nearly sixty works, its primarily creation for national television has meant that it has been essentially unavailable to English-speaking audiences prior to Rotterdam's 17 film retrospective. The first film of his I saw was Komm mir nicht nach (Don't Follow Me Around) in the middle of the Dreileben trilogy in 2010, notably another for-television project, but one which had festival and theatrical ambitions beyond German living rooms, perhaps due
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Film review: 'Wheels'

Film review: 'Wheels'
Treading heavily on universally recognizable material about an innocent man turned into a violent force by the dark-hearted people around him, "Wheels" (Tockovi) is a taut, blackly comic 1998 Yugoslav drama that rivals some of the best Tarantino-noir films of the decade. A natural for festivals and select-site engagements, it screened Saturday at the Freedom Film Festival in Santa Monica.

In his feature debut, Serbian screenwriter-director and former film critic Djordje Milosavljevic seems at times more inspired by "Key Largo" than "Pulp Fiction", while the wicked plot is worthy of a Luis Bunuel opus. Set mostly in a roadside motel/diner dubbed Wheels, the movie opens with lead Nemanya (Dragan Micanovic) driving in a soaking rain to his father's house. Out in the same part of the country, a serial killer is loose.

Nemanya has a flat tire, is briefly harassed by the cops and then gives a stranger a lift. When he gets to the motel, he's hungry and tired, but the reception he gets is gruff and unfriendly. With a gun mysteriously now in his possession, Nemanya is nonetheless caught with his defenses down by the motel owner and several male and female guests, who have decided that he is the serial killer.

"I am not a killer", he pleads -- but then weird things start to happen. The outcome of an instantaneous trial, with Nemanya tied up, does not go as planned. He gets free, but one person is accidentally killed in the process.

With the others acting unreasonable and hostile, he is backed into a corner. But he finds out soon enough that they are all shady characters with hidden agendas.

While some of the specific cultural aspects don't always translate well, such as one character's constant mispronouncing of common words, "Wheels" winds up to a explosive but not altogether downbeat climax. Not afraid of upping the body count and employing witty small talk about ancient epitaphs, Milosavljevic shows solid filmmaking skills, particularly working within the constraints of an obviously small budget.

WHEELS

Cinema Design

In collaboration with

the Ministry of Culture of Serbia

and Bulgarian National Television

Screenwriter-director:Djordje Milosavljevic

Producer:Ljubisa Samardzic

Director of photography:Dusan Ivanovic

Editor:Branka Ceperac

Music:Felix Lajko

Art director:Vladislav Lasic

Costume designer:Dejana Vucicevic

Color/stereo

Cast: Dragan Micanovic, Anica Dobra, Nikola Kojo, Ljubisa Samardzic, Bogdan Diklic

Running time -- 90 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites