Ilija Cvorovic, a reformed former Stalinist who spent several years in a prison as a political prisoner, is called in for a routine conversation. He returns home convinced that the police ... See full summary »
At the Belgrade army hospital, casualties of Bosnian civil war are treated. In the hospital they remember their youth and the war. Two young boys, Halil, a Muslim, and Milan, a Serb, have ... See full summary »
Lemi and Kiza are two brothers who have to bring their dead grandfather from Belgrade to Vrsac, and having spent all their money, they decide to smuggle the body by train. They dress the ... See full summary »
The film consists of three parallel stories that are interwoven and played in Vozdovac. In the first story, Braca tries to seduce Iris, a model from the city center. Although they try not ... See full summary »
The story of a ten year old boy who, as most of the children in Yugoslavia of the 1950s can hardly imagine his life without the great national leader - marshal Tito. After winning the ... See full summary »
Urban comedy, happening during a night in Belgrade. Mare, Pop and Gojko are three friends who grew up together. Mare and Pop have always been musicians, while Gojko (who was harassed by ... See full summary »
This movie is mainly a love story, and the scenery is the first day of the civil war in ex Yugoslavia (June 1991). The main character is Ratko, an ex con, from some Bosnian "never go there"... See full summary »
Srdjan 'Zika' Todorovic,
The Topalovic family has been in the burial business for generations. When the old (150 yrs old) Pantelija dies, five generations of his heirs start to fight for the inheritance. Written by
Damir Dukich <Damir.Dukic@snet.fri.uni-lj.si>
In a scene when Laki describes the crematoria as "the future", Djenka confirms it, by claiming that he saw it on his previous trip to Germany. This is an obvious allusion on first Nazi concentrational camps, as well as on the centuries-long Serbian characteristic to look after the new tendencies in Germany. See more »
The movie is set in the 1930s, but the 'tone film' that Djenka plays in his theater ("Prica jednog dana") was made in 1941. Tone films weren't made in Serbia until 1940s. See more »
A Prophetic Serbian Six Feet Under -- and a Masterpiece
The Serbs say this is the best Serbian film ever made, which I think underestimates it -- it may be the best film anyone made in the 1980s. Released in 1982, when Yugoslavia was a functioning state, rather than international shorthand for murder and genocide, it casts a baleful look backward that becomes, in the light of all the subsequent blood, almost unbearably poignant and prophetic. It would be too much if it weren't constantly, brutally laugh-out-loud funny -- funny even in subtitles, funny as slapstick and deeply classically comic at the same time.
It is set in the 1930s in a backwater small town in Serbia, where the Topalovic family has its funeral home.. Topalovic women "fade away like flowers" immediately after bearing a boy while the men live on and on -- creating the Marathon reference in the title. In an effervescent scene we meet six generations of Topalovic men, each one of whom mercilessly beats and bullies the younger ones. The film centers on the youngest, the tall and none-too-bright Mirko, lover of movies and Cristina, piano player at the town's movie house and daughter of the local gangster Billy Python, who supplies the Topalovic home with used coffins dug up and emptied of their previous occupants.
The action revolves around three events: the death of the very oldest Topalovic, the desire of Mirko's imbecilic, cowardly and conniving father Lucky to break up the Mirko-Cristina affair and -- and this is resoundingly delicious -- the arrival of sound film in the town, putting Cristina out of a job.
The writer, Dusan Kovacevic adapted the script from his own play, and director Slobodan Sijan gets an amazingly good ensemble cast of actors to run the machinery in high gear, flat out. It starts dark and gets darker with crematorium jokes ("the wave of the future"), vintage silent Yugoslav film commercials and clips, and slides, laughing more and more wildly, into violence that flies out of control The tie to what happened to Serbia only a few years later spins the movie up another level. That the tie is not accidental is underlined by the opening sequence -- newsreel footage of the assassination in France of the King of Serbia in the early 20s. The wonderful musical theme, raucous and melancholy at the same time is by Zoran Simjanovic. You don't know me, but do yourself a favor and see this one.
94 of 105 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this