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A Wonderful Night in Split (2004)

Ta divna Splitska noc (original title)
During last two hours of the year, the three stories are happening in the dark and deserted streets of coastal town of Split, separated from the wild New Year's Eve parties.

Director:

(as Arsen Anton Ostojic)
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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Singer
Mladen Vulic ...
Nike
...
Franky
...
Steve
...
Maja
Nives Ivankovic ...
Marija
Marinko Prga ...
Blacky
...
Luka
Ante Simun Majstorovic ...
Boy
Ivana Roscic ...
Andela
Pero Vrca ...
Sinor Bartut
...
Starica
Nikola Ivosevic ...
Inspector
Franko Strmotic ...
Redikul
Mile Vukasovic ...
Kauboj
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Storyline

During last two hours of the year, the three stories are happening in the dark and deserted streets of coastal town of Split, separated from the wild New Year's Eve parties.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

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Release Date:

21 January 2009 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

A Wonderful Night in Split  »

Box Office

Budget:

€250,000 (estimated)
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Production Co:

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Trivia

Best film by the survey of Croatian film critics. Croatian-based monthly film magazine "Hollywood" in its January edition published a survey of 26 most eminent Croatian film critics who have chosen "A Wonderful Night in Split" as the best Croatian film in the past 5 years (2000-2004). See more »

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User Reviews

 
where a New Year bash turns sour for some.
28 June 2012 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

How many people die at the same time, each day, globally? Probably millions. But, how many die in the same town, in the same building and at almost the same time, each day? Probably very few. Which makes this story quite special, and not only for that coincidental aspect of coincidental deaths. But, not all of the deaths are altogether coincidental.

Using that idea as its main premise, there are four main stories, all played out within the confines of a wonderfully, darkly photographed series of interconnected apartments, all self-contained within a larger all-encompassing structure that must be many hundreds of years old (a medieval ghetto, I understand) – and all on the Mediterranean coast.

The camera work is gripping (no pun intended), innovative and spectacular; it sweeps across and above the narrow alleys, through corridors, up stairs, through windows, and upon roofs as we see the gathering crowd attending a New Year's eve bash in the large central courtyard.

Intermingled with the crowd is Nike (Mladin Vulic), a tough, gruff womanizer always looking out for himself and on the hunt for drug money; and there is Maja (Marija Skaricic), a desperate loner and drug addict who's been cheated out of her next hit and is on the hunt for more – she needs a fix, like real bad; and then we come across Franky (Coolio), one of quartet of American sailors on the town, looking for action – specifically a prostitute for Franky who's been jilted by his fiancée back home; and finally, we see two teenage lovers who just want to get to a secluded spot for a bit of hanky-panky, and get more than they bargained for.

Avoiding conventional linearity of narrative structure, director Ostojic cuts back and forth in time as he interleaves each story, so that the denouement for each is shown to occur at or very near the stroke of midnight while the crowd dances and prances to greet the New Year – along with the obligatory fireworks display. It's all done with great panache; obviously Ostojic has studied some of the great directors, like Stanley Kubrick, Carol Reed and perhaps a touch of Tarantino. The sound track is particularly effective – even the inane, jazzed-up quasi-rap from The Singer (Dino Dvornik), the leader of the rock group on stage.

The acting is up to scratch for the most part; only the four American sailors come across as somewhat gauche (perhaps that was intentional) – although Coolio does a good job, overall. Of special mention are Vulic and Skaricic, the latter playing the frantically on-edge junkie perfectly, in my opinion. Not to be missed, also, is Dvornik as The Singer, playing a part that shows, once again, that all is never what it seems to be. Now throw in a mix of bit players to round off an exceptionally well produced, modern melodrama and one well worth your time to see.

Avoiding color completely, the mise-en-scene at night in black and white is suitably foreboding, even with the entire town alight with New Year festivities – reminiscent of those dark Vienna streets and inky-black shadows in The Third Man (1949). Director Ostojic knows well his art and his craft.

Recommended for all except kids.

June 28, 2012


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