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|Index||28 reviews in total|
I saw this film (it's English title is "Who's Singing Over There?") at the 1980 Montreal International Film Festival. It won raves then... and disappeared. A terrible shame. It is brilliant. Sublime, ridiculous, sad, and extremely funny. The script is a work of art. It's been 19 years and I've seen only a handful of comedies (or any other genre, for that matter) that can match its originality.
This movie is one of the funniest, saddest and most accurate portrayals of the mentality that seems to have pervaded the Balkans yet again, 45 years after the time depicted. All the usual characters and conflicts are presented with such anger, sadness and love combined that it is impossible to decide whether crying or laughing would be the more appropriate response. The accuracy of portrayal and the timelessness of the types, however, make it for a great film to watch if one wants to understand a little bit of what drove ex-Yugoslavia to its madness. In fact, no diplomat dealing with the region should attempt anything until they saw this movie, and its twin, *Maratonci trce pocasni krug.* Did I mention it is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen?
This "tragicomedy" written by famous Serbian theatre/film writer Dusan
Kovacevic is probably one of the best movies ever made in the comedy
category. And yet, its appearance of a theatre play transformed into a
feature film takes nothing of its value. A masterpiece one should not
miss to see (preferably with subtitles, and not dubbed).
In an aged bus en route to capital Belgrade, a looming war decides the passengers' behaviour. Two Gypsy musicians sing of their miserable life but also foresee a tragedy to come; their singing both divides and connects stages in this extraordinary road movie (real life Kostic brothers are amateur actors, but together with Stanojlo Milinkovic as farmer who's plowed the road give a real-life performance).
The spectrum of characters gives a brilliant image of a society facing a war, an insight into nation's collective person: everyone is aware that war is just about to begin but they try to live their own lives the best they can, hoping that ignorance might avert the tragedy. Using a simple movie language, director Slobodan Sijan paints a picture of society torn by previous war (World War I), but also highlights personal portraits with success: provincialism of a singer, inexperience of the newlyweds, seriousness of the Great War veteran who is on way to visit his recently conscripted son, and gloomy predictions from a man who seems to be a German spy.
Brilliant in its narration, with memorable soundtrack (especialy the Gispsy songs) and adjusted atmosphere, well photographed and edited, this feature (Sijan's feature debut) was only an introduction into a series of the directors bitter-sweet comedies that will define Serbian cinematography of the 1980s: "Maratonci trce pocasni krug", "Kako sam sistematski unisten od idiota", and my other director's favourite "Davitelj protiv davitelja").
This is as close to a perfect movie as any I have seen. "Ko to tamo
peva" simply has it all - interesting human story, great historical
significance, fabulous social commentary, hilarious and smart
comedy.... What more could you possibly want from a movie?
One of the best Serbian films ever made, it continues to stand the test of time 22 years after its release.
I really don't want to go into description of different plot points because no amount of text can even remotely convey the atmosphere of this masterpiece. You just need to see it. Credit goes to director Slobodan Sijan and the great cast for taking Dusan Kovacevic's already fabulous text and making it into something even better.
I'm not sure if this movie has ever been translated and properly released in the West. If it has, stop at nothing to get it. You can thank me later.
A milestone in Eastern European film making and an outstanding example of Serbian mentality. A group of completely different people are doomed to die because of their discord. With "Maratonci trce pocasni krug" makes two mythological movies everyone here knows word by word.
This is the movie I've seen more times than any other (I believe I saw it on average once every year since it was released). And every time I see it, it is equally fantastic and always reveals something new to me. The cast was most probably a combination of the very best there ever was in ex Yu cinematography. This movie is an absolute must for any self respecting movie lover. In the same league: Maratonci trce pocasni krug, Balkanski spijun and Otac na sluzbenom putu. This is a poker of movies everyone should have in his private video collection.
The group of people are travelling to Belgrade in an awful bus led by a drunk conductor and his dumb son (who likes to drive with his eyes closed). Their journey is frequently interrupted by many hilarious events which with much irony describe the fall of nation`s spirit in 1941 and are so funny that they are even today used as a common jokes. The man who "steals the show" is a peasant 4 feet tall with his 4 sons who are almost two times bigger than him. In the end, the movie takes one dramatical turn and the trip becomes nothing but a swan`s song of a dying country.
Superbly developed characters into the lots of funny situations full of spirit, absurdness and Serbian mentality. Movie is a great comedy, enjoyable, interesting, unpredictable. Best point in a film: characters, then humor itself, story and dialogs. Humor has 'inner development' , rare in Serbian movies. So, it is consequence of characterization, is well motivated, spontaneous and cogent. Also it is sharp, intelligent and lucid. Most of the movies, unfortunately, had constructed humor (devise a joke and put it into a characters's mouth) or ordinary situation comedy, burlesque, farce. Some of the 'art immortality' are incorporated in this movie. Little masterpiece, hardly reachable.
One of my favourite "domestic" movies. I don't know if there is any person
in our country who hasn't seen this movie! It's funny, and sad at some
moments...I don't know how did people around the world (who had
to watch it) accept this movie, because you have to know some moments in
serbian history and character of Serbs in the first half of the 20th
century, to be able to understand it! But as I see here, there is somebody
from Canada who watched it...and he liked it.
I think that I'll try to put all good quotes from the movie on this site, but first to find out how to do that...
Years ago I was lucky enough to have seen this gem at a >Gypsy film festival in Santa Monica. You know the ending >is not going to be rosie and tragedy will strike but it's >really about the journey and characters and their dynamics and how they all fit into what was "Yugoslavia". >While I am not Yugonostalgic and tend to shy away from >the current crop of "Yugoslavian" films (give me Ademir >Kenovic over late 90s Kustarica) I'd be happy to have the >chance to stumble on this film again, as it shines in my >celluloid memories. Ever since seeing Who's Singing Over >There" 15 years ago I still hear the theme tune, sung by >the Gypsies, ruminating through my head "I am miserable, >I was born that way " with the accompanying jew's harp and accordian making the tune both funny and sad. The late, great actor Pavle Vujisic (Muzamer from When Father >was Away on Business) was memorable as the bus driver of >the ill-fated trip in his typical gruff yet loveable manner. Hi
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