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The Petrified Forest (1936)
Strange company caught in a searing, blinding tornado of emotions
Transcribed from the trailer for "The Petrified Forest", filmed in the fall of 1935, and released early the following year.
Here's the news you have awaited-for a year and a half. Warner Bros. announce the re-uniting of The Stars Who Electrified The Screen World. The Girl Who Knows How To Use Her Charms Bette Davis. And The Man Who Found Her Dangerous, but Irresistible Leslie Howard. Co-starred in the sensational Broadway stage success "The Petrified Forest".
On the edge of the American desert lies a forest turned to stone, the Petrified Forest, grim, silent, mysterious. Here in a lonely desert tavern, faith draws together a strange company: Alan Squier (Leslie Howard), of Vagabond Adventure, running away from his past, Gabrielle Maple (Bette Davis), a beautiful girl, weary of the desert solitude, eager to escape with the first man who comes her way, Boze Hertzlinger (Dick Foran), an ex-football hero, down on his luck, Paul Chisholm (Paul Harvey), multimillionaire banker vacationing with his disillusioned young wife, Edith (Genevieve Tobin), Gramp Maple (Charley Grapewin), a sly old reprobate, and Duke Mantee (Humphrey Bogart), vicious leader of a notorious band of gunmen, hiding out after a gang massacre.
In a short space of 24 eventful hours, these characters live a lifetime of romance, adventure, terror and tragedy. It's one of the most unusual stories ever brought to the screen, "The Petrified Forest".
Gabrielle Maple: Wouldn't you like someone to be in love with you? Alan Squier: Yes, Gabrielle, I would like someone in love with me. Gabrielle Maple: Do you think I'm attractive? Alan Squier: There are better words than that for what you are.
"The Petrified Forest", where nature makes man Forget his conscience, and Strips woman of her pride.
Edith Chisholm: Do you mind if I speak up, my dear, perhaps I could tell you some things that Gabrielle Maple: What do you know about me? Edith Chisholm: I don't know about you, my dear, but I do know what it means to repress yourself, and starve yourself.
Duke Mantee: What were you saying? Jason Maple: I'm telling you for your own good, Mantee. They know where you were heading, they picked up your trail. They'll get you. Jackie: What's the matter with you, Duke? Do something! Duke Mantee: Shut up! Shut up! Give me time to think. Alan Squier: No, Duke, you want revenge, don't you? You want to go out of your way again, to get that blonde who snitched, Well don't do it, Duke. Jackie: She has snitched, come on, Duke! Duke Mantee: I told you to shut up! Alan Squier: You know they gonna get you, anyway. You're obsolete, Duke, like me. You've got to die. Well, then die for freedom. That's worth it. Don't give up your life for anything so cheap and unsatisfactory as revenge.
You'll find yourself Caught in a searing, blinding tornado of emotions in "The Petrified Forest".
Leslie Howard re-creates the role that thrilled Broadway. Alan Squier: Any woman's worth everything that any man has to give: anguish, ecstasy, faith, jealousy, love, hatred, life or death.
Bette Davis more tempting, more tantalizing, then ever. Gabrielle Maple: Sometimes I feel as if I was sparkling all over, and I wanna go out and do something absolutely crazy and marvelous.
Humphrey Bogart the most terrifying character since the Cagney of "Public Enemy". Duke Mantee: Just keep in mind that I and the boys is candidates for hangin'. And the first time any one of ya makes a wrong move, I'm gonna kill the whole lot of ya!
And Genevieve Tobin, Dick Foran.
"The Petrified Forest"
A New Triumph For The Screen's Greatest Dramatic Team. Brought to you by Warner Bros. the hit-after-hit studio.
Biopic so well rooted in reality, fitting easily even as a DOCU stand-in
With her powerful performances and dramatic emotional investment to her singing, unmatched even today, Egyptian born singer and actress, named by her Italian parents Yolanda Cristina Gigliotti, better known as Dalida, undoubtedly holds a unique place in the history of European and wider--including Middle East, Russia, Japan, Canada--popular music.
By the time I reached my teens (in early 1970's) a middle-aged gentleman from the neighbourhood has already accrued a good collection of Dalida's records, and that's how I was introduced to her singing, and remained her fan ever since, for four and half decades already. Contributive to that is the circumstance that last ten years I've been living and working in Lebanon, with Dalida's strong presence in its musical scene, and with her faithful audience, very much alive even three decades after her untimely demise.
That's why I have been very enthusiastic to see the movie based on her life, but also a bit concerned about it. Now that the movie is out and I have seen it, I'm very pleased to say that it has met my expectations to the greatest extent.
A number of elements are greatly contributing to the solid success and good quality of the French produced biopic, simply titled "Dalida" (2016). Based on my earlier findings and details known, story follows Dalida's life meticulously and faithfully, life filled with professional successes and personal torments and unhappiness. Actors have done an extraordinary job, which is especially important in the case of the leading actress, Sveva Alviti, who has brought to screen the title characterportrayed at the right measure, faithfully, decently and respectfullybut also actors impersonating key players in Dalida's life, her brothers (the younger one, Bruno-Orlando, plausibly depicted by Riccardo Scamarcio, performing as her career manager since 1966) as well as her professional companions, and partners in her private life. Finally, identification achieved thanks to the fascinating physical resemblance of the leading actress, as well as her successfully accomplished impression of Dalida's on-stage (and otherwise) presence and mannerisms, is certainly not disadvantageous.
According to her biographers, Dalida performed and recorded in more than ten different languages, while being fluent in at least half of that number. However, due to the fact that her career has shot to stardom in France, and her success has been most persistently maintained across the French-speaking music scene, lyrics of her songs are mainly in French. Therefore, to me, a non-French speaker, her songs were appealing primarily because of the power of her performance, ranging between its modest intimacy and dramatic intensity. Henceforth, only after watching this movie subtitled in English I have realized how much lyrics used in her songs were matching the on-goings in her own life. As if song makers and lyricist were retelling her life in real time. Having her screenplay based on the book written by Dalida's already mentioned brother Orlando, and thanks to proper choice of such songs with real life-relating lyrics, and their excellent timing, screenplay writer and director, Ms. Lisa Azuelos, has offered to the viewers most dramatic and suggestive revelations, easily implying such exciting, and--within the context of Dalida's private life troubled by failed relationships and personal difficulties, mishaps and tragedies--often touching connections between the songs and reality.
Though shot as biography feature film (biopic), meant primarily to entertain, then to inform, by appearing so well connected to reality, true to the facts, naturally gaining from the circumstance that the main actress is almost a dead ringer for Dalida, further inspired by clearly Dalida's own voice performing all included songs, it almost feels like watching a biography documentary.
To Dalida's faithful long-time followers, this is a great chance to reconfirm their fandom, to all others--including a co-spectator at the movie screening I attended, my wife Minnie--an excellent opportunity to get acquainted to this most gifted, duly celebrated singer, whose life was tragically cut short, but whose legacy, primarily her songs (but, also, e.g. her high ranking as a personality who had the greatest impact on French society), still lives and remains for posterity, as a pleasant reminder of her impressive and memorable talents.
Fun to sing your ABCs along to guest stars and resident Muppets
Sesame Street: Alphabet Songs (2014) special offers an inspirational selection of mostly original letter songs from one of the longest running American children's television series, created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett, "known for its educational content, and creativity communicated through the use of Jim Henson's Muppets, animation, short films, humor, and cultural references". Songs are performed by prominent artistsRay Charles, Smokey Robinson, Ricky Gervais, Norah Jones, Patti LaBelle... to name a fewand resident Muppets: Elmo, Big Bird, Grover, Bert and Ernie, Zoe, Rosita and the rest of the crowd.
Though primarily targeting toddlers and preschoolers, program easily fits to every age and every taste. My daughter of three years, Danica, has been watching it twice, often three times a week ever since she was 6 months old, so she must have seen it between 250 and 300 times thus far. Nevertheless, she cheers and laughs, dances, sings along to Dixie Chicks, Cookie Monster, Jamie Foxx... and never gets bored or tired of it. Neither my wife nor myself. Very enlightening and very entertaining. What more can one wish for?
P.S. A for Awesome, B for Brilliant, C for Charming, D for Delightful, E for Exuberant, F for Fun-tastic, G for Groovy, H for Hilarious, I for Impressive, J for Joyful, K for Keen-witted, L for Luminous, M for Marvelous, N for Novel, O for Outstanding, P for Playful, Q for Quick-witted, R for Remarkable, S for Stupendous, T for Tremendous, U for Unforgettable, V for Vibrant, W for Wonderful, X for eXciting, and Z for Zany.
The Bucket List (2007)
Rob Reiner's best film since the turn of the millennium
Lovely, thoroughly enjoyable movie with lots of nice words and thoughts exchanged, some to make you laugh, some pretty profound to make you ponder on. Who would've ever thought that a story about two dying men could be such fun. Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman), so far complete strangers, with rather different economic and social backgrounds (billionaire hospital magnate and body shop mechanic), both terminally ill, thus inevitably at closing stages of their earthly lives, meet and, in order to try to experience things from their "bucket list" (a list of things to do before one "kicks the bucket", i.e. dies) before the final curtain falls, embark on nothing less than an amazing journey. Although age-wise much too "developed" for many youthful activities they engage themselves in, and despite their individual differences, however sufficiently open-minded and open-hearted, two protagonists, through their earnest performances and their great interaction easily draw us into their well believable story (with single fantastic twist at the end... (spoiler)... realization that rather than through eyes of the still surviving one, the story was told from the mind of his ensuing spirit), whether (constantly) putting smile on our face or tears to our eyes, ergo covering (well, for us viewers) one of listed items, "laugh till I cry".
...On a more personal note, eight years ago when I first saw this movie in a theatre, I was a solitary man, going fifty, thinking that I have already experienced things which could make my "bucket list" (climbed high mountains (Mont Blanc, Gross Glockner, Triglav, Durmitor, Fujiyama, Kilimanjaro... to name a few), visited Great Pyramids, well not Great Wall of China, but at least Great Wall of Ston, well not Taj Mahal, but instead many other magnificent temples (Angkor Wat in Cambodia, temple of Karnak in Egypt, temples of Nara, Japan... to mention a few), been on safaris in Tanzania and Rwanda...) to reference those matching items pursued in the movie. Now, after its second viewing, coincidentally on my wife's birthday, I'm almost sixty realizing that only by starting a family and having this cute little toddler of ours to chase and play with every day (and... quoting another listed item, in "kiss(ing) the most beautiful girl in the world", compete with her mother), I have pushed my life's wish list much closer to completion...
Finally, after a decade of his successes in 80-ies and beginning of 90-ies with movies that I have enjoyed watching very much ("This is Spinal Tap" (1984), "Stand by Me" (1986), "The Princess Bride" (1987), "When Harry Met Sally..." (1989), "Misery" (1990), "A Few Good Men" (1992)), "The Bucket List" marks Rob Reiner's successful comeback and it stands as his easily the-best-of-the-new-millennium directorial effort thus far.
Life of Pi (2012)
Powerful storytelling and splendid performances presented in a brilliant 3D
With his latest movie, "Life of Pi", Ang Lee further establishes himself as one of the greatest contemporary movie directors. Starting from his Taiwanese beginnings, and his highly enjoyable, family-harmonizing "Father Knows Best" trilogy (1992-1994), through his Academy Award winning works on gracefully choreographed, highly spiritualized Far East martial arts tour de force "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000, best foreign-language film) and on an uncommon yet nostalgic portrayal of the Old West in "Brokeback Mountain" (2005, best director), to his other titles like "Sense and Sensibility" (1995), "The Ice Storm" (1997), and "Lust, Caution" (2007), quality and Kubrick-like versatility shown in his movies offer continuous attraction for wide audience of his admirers.
Lee's latest and, so far, easily, greatest movie, "Life of Pi" is based on a screenplay adapted from the acclaimed fictional adventure novel written by Canadian author Yann Martel.
Throughout his childhood, due to matching pronunciation of French word "piscine" (pool, swimming pool) and English word "pissing", Piscine Molitor Patel, named that way after later abandoned Parisian swimming pool, so predictably suffers from being nicknamed "Pissing Patel". In order to avoid it, once in high school he finally shortens his name to Pi Patel... Nowadays middle-aged Pi tells the story of his life to a visiting writer, apparently a book author Yan Martel's alter ego, who is seeking for the literal inspiration. Retrospectively, Pi divides his childhood and adolescence into three segments. In the first segment he gives shorter account of his life until the age of 16, describing his interaction with his family and schoolmates, in particular his relationship with his father and a girlfriend, concentrating on his exploits of God and spirituality, meandering between multitude of religious practices while in the last one he briefs about his testimonial given to officials from the Japanese Ministry of Transport, investigating the reasons why the ship his family was relocating on from India to Canada sank. Most detailed, and therefore the longest, is recollection of his 227 days in a lifeboat, an extraordinary ordeal he went through after the ship has capsized and everybody else, crew and passengers, died
Well, everybody human, but not everybody living. Namely, a number of terrestrial animals from their discontinued family zoo, offered for sale and brought along with other family belongings, have survived, too. But, not for long, because, while confined in the most limited space as they were, surrounded by vastness of the ocean, the law of the "survival of the fittest" prevails, takes its tall, and pretty soon Pi finds himself in a company of a single one topping the food-chain, a Bengal tiger curiously named Richard Parker.
Not to reveal the story further, it is with greatest pleasure to inform that cinematic excellence has been achieved in several categories: in an engaging talewhether allegory or depiction of realistic, believable events, filled with protagonist's rarely matched curiosity, imagination and his often reasonably unanswered doubts, encouraging the same in viewersof an uncommon character, indeed, brought to on-screen life by outstanding performances from two contributing leads, remarkably presented via ubiquitous, yet inconspicuous animation, exceptional, CGI aided visuals and superb usage of 3D photography, all along complemented with an uplifting score. All these assets work seamlessly together in unfolding an intense relationship between Pi and Richard Parker, complex yet basic, difficult yet simple, initially charged with Pi's dreadful fear, swiftly shifting to respectful care, instantly boosting his never overbearing confidence and relentlessly improving his survival skills. Wholesome artistic experience reaches and maintains its pinnacle particularly in clever tactics and constructive survival techniques 16-year old Pi usesamply benefiting from his instructive lifestyle of a zoo owner's attentive son, certainly well acquainted with animal psychologyto suppress the fear and convincingly impose himself as an equal to the one of the most elaborate "killing machines" among mammals, desperately striving for his own survival, nevertheless, generously, for survival of his seemingly sufficiently tamed companion, but still, initially and ultimately, magnificent adversary, Richard Parker, as well.
"Life of Pi" is, certainly, one of the most impressive movies of 2012, year that has just come to a close.
The Guard (2011)
Character-driven, raucously thrilling crime comedy
Screenplay writer John Michael McDonagh's directorial debut, "The Guard" (2011) is really a fine movie, relying the least on the originality of its story, describing criminal proceedings of the group of cocaine drug-smugglers and their interaction with local police, set against the backdrop of small-town western Ireland, however, filled with crackling good dialogue, sparkling with wisecracks, accompanied with nice scenery and pleasant, unobtrusive music. But, what makes it the best is its protagonists' performances.
Brendan Gleeson is usually natural, making the character he plays fit like a glovewhether the robust and humorous loyal buddy and the warrior, as in "Braveheart" (1995), or a quiet and subdued aspiring politician, as in "Gangs of New York" (2002), or a non-supportive father, civil war volunteer-turned-deserter, as in "Cold Mountain" (2003), whether the gentle, mentoring, culture-exploring hit man in hiding, as in "In Bruges" (2008), or on the other side of the law, the grouchy police sergeant with defiant, often dissident sense of humour (provocative in one-liners like "being FBI, don't you prefer to fight unarmed women and children "), as in this movie--and Don Cheadle, in the role of FBI agent Wendell Everett, a bit in the shade of Gleeson's Gerry Boyle, but nevertheless, sufficiently competitive ("Langley is CIA, I'm FBI "), neat and convincing in his performance as always. (I admit to have a soft spot for this actor since his impressive role of the manager of Kigali Mille Collines hotel in the movie "Hotel Rwanda" (2004), the very same hotel I have been frequenting for two months in 1995, just a year later to tragic events described in the movie.)
To a pretty frequent movie goer like myself, who hasn't seen a single en par (or better?) leading actor in this year that is rapidly advancing towards its end, it is hard to believe that very many better acting performances could be demonstrated in the remaining two months or so. Therefore, if Brendan Gleeson does not find himself at least among top nominees for any yearly awarded film prize, I'll have a problem finding such decisions just.
As a marginal note, I was lucky to watch this movie back home in my motherland, because having it subtitled was very helpful in order not to miss any of sergeant Boyle's wisecracks, delivered often in heavy Irish accent, and to understand at all occasional lines, uttered by marginal characters, spoken completely in Gaelic. Of course, point was not to be understood by English native speakers, but it was still interesting to know what usual "advices" (if not insults) were given to English speakers, though eventually not English (as FBI agent!) at all. As Irish colleague of mine once said
"We don't sing songs in Gaelic so English people cannot understand how badly we talk about them, they know it already! We sing in Gaelic simply because that's our traditional language (N.B. official whatsoever), and songs sound much better and sweeter in it."
Word of honour tempted by hopelessly budding forbidden love
It has taken almost a year and a half before Lea has fully understood the responsibility, resolve, dedication and devotion, ergo the true nature of the ultimately tempting and utmost sacrificial personal protection she's been subjected to...
The year is 1914, when young couple of school teachers, a Serb Filip (Nebojsa Dugalic) and a Slovenian Lea (Iva Krajnc), find themselves working in the secondary school of the south Serbian provincial town, himself as a principal and herself as a teacher of rhythmics and dance. On the outbreak of the war, initially declared by Austro-Hungarian Empire to Serbia, eventually escalating to become the WW1, Filip is instantly called up by military and sent to Belgrade to serve in the forthcoming war effort, leaving thus his young and attractive wife alone. Having no one else to turn to, he asks Azem (Miki Manojlovic), the school custodian, to take care of her. Being a patriarchal Albanian, by accepting to do so, he gives to Filip his pledge, 'besa', to look after and protect Lea. In Albanian tradition such a word of honour is so obliging, that--in order to hold to it--one would even stake his life on it.
Suddenly Lea finds herself in dire straits, and not only for being worried enough about the whole war situation, as well as for extensive detachment from her husband, but even more for becoming practically a prisoner to this simple Albanian (Arnaut in local language), overzealous to keep his word and protect her. On top of it, local community suspects her of spying for enemy. Namely, Slovenia, at the time, was part of Austro-Hungarian Empire... Fortunately, not before long Azem gains her full trust, because it becomes obvious that he's the best chance she could ever have in order to survive through the most difficult times, with her integrity preserved and honour untarnished.
However, by having their interaction evolving towards gaining mutual trust and respect, they start playing with the fire that could've easily been ignited by what clearly appeared to be a spark of forbidden love between two people from such profoundly different backgrounds: well educated Christian woman, brought up as a Catholic, ergo having enough to deal with already, due to her marriage and conversion to Orthodoxy, and an almost illiterate man, yet, for all he knew, a traditional practicing Moslem Dealing with multitude of intertwined questions about cultural and ethnic differences, religious and language barriers, social and class divisions, the ultimate question arises: whether the given word will stand the challenge of apparently honest and true, yet unexpected and forbidden love budding?
With his well known, fluent narrative style, adding frequent spontaneous comic relieves even when dealing with heaviest subjects, director Srdjan Karanovic in his latest movie, "Besa" (2009), tells another, apparently, almost a centennial old, true life events inspired, engaging story, yet describing an infinitely older, nowhere-near-to-resolution conflict, and therefore, in its essence, still remaining right up to date and very well worth of contemporary audience's time and interest. Slovenian actress Iva Krajnc has fully justified her engagement in this complex role of Lea, while Miki Manojlovic, having had impersonated already, throughout his rich acting career, a multitude of individuals, most naturally predominantly of his own, Serbian but also Bosnian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Roma(ni)
origins, has added yet another among numerous Balkans ethnicities to the spectrum of the characters he has successfully brought on to the screen.
Fictional viral outbreak plausibly dramatized in docu-like fashion
Stephen Soderbergh's latest direction, "Contagion" (2011), even though bringing less than expected excitement, is an absorbing movie to watch, efficient as a social and behavioural study, but no less as an accomplished collection of individual case studies, offering sufficiently thought-provoking arguments, such as the fact that--despite all the scientific advances and exhaustive efforts of the thousands of specialists--humankind still stands pretty helpless in the prevention of new viral outbreaks and their many strains occurring globally, when even seemingly well organised societies easily slip into chaos, leaving all individuals to fend for themselves in the ultimate fight for survival, all further fuelled by unstoppable leaks (however, lucrative sensationalism, as well) on an almost inevitable, mutually supportive (money and power shouldn't mix, but mostly they do) corporal and governmental cover-ups. Surely it is a disturbing reminder that even at the most difficult of times, humanity's good traits still get so easily overpowered by the seed of all evil--selfishness and greed.
Many good actors partake in the movie: Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Jennifer Ehle, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, Elliott Gould, to name a few, though one cannot expect remarkable character development when action is dispersed and story spread on so many leads. Nevertheless, Soderbergh knows how to make people count and, albeit somewhat shy about it, he's sufficiently confident in decisive difference their increasingly frequent, self-sacrificing actions could make, having faith in ultimately predominant selflessness and benevolence, kindness and compassion, whether among pre-organised, or ad hoc gathered communities, down to the last individual, rediscovering--now under extreme conditions--their altruism and, as implied in a reserved hope raised towards the end, having--this way or another--humanism in humankind still prevail.
Cactus Flower (1969)
A feel-good comedy with its title symbolism well justified
Florigraphists, fluent in the "language of flowers", revealing a symbolic, underlying meaning to sending or receiving floral arrangements, describe cactus flower as a symbol of lust (in Japan), as well as courtship and romance (among Native Americans). All three and many other modest or excessive feelings, relationships, experiences... are nicely wrapped up in a comedy suggesting same symbolism in its title.
1969 film "Cactus Flower", directed by Gene Saks (who has already introduced us, a year earlier, to another stage play classic adapted for the big screen, Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple") is a feel-good movie--based on Abe Burrows' Broadway stage adaptation of its witty French original, Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pieerre Grédy's play "Fleur de cactus"--scripted by a legendary comedic writer I.A.L. Diamond (who is, among his other memorable works, credited with the screenplay for an all-time favourite comedy "Some Like It Hot" (1959)), with impish dentist Walter Matthau, accompanied by his reputable nurse-receptionist Ingrid Bergman, coming across as likable and funny leads, further supported by young and sweet Goldie Hawn, in her Oscar awarded depiction of a-cute-dumb-blond stereotype.
Bergman's Stephanie Dickinson, for all her decency and selflessness, is a character who is easy to identify with and root for in her initially seemingly unconscious pursuit of her apparently long suppressed, quietly emerging affection for Matthau's Dr. Julian Winston, a rogue we cannot hate because he behaves like a boy from Mark Twain's novel, or Dennis the menace who has grown up and old, but never out of his mischievous ways. In his no-strings-attached wished for relationship with Hawn's sparkling Toni Simmons, he pretends to be married. However, this new "fact" tickles well meant youngster's curiosity, so, surely free spirited, but not unscrupulous as eventual household breaker, Toni, tormented by many unanswered questions becomes--as seen in the introductory scene--suicidal, and... what was meant to be a small "preventive" lie asks for more lies, ultimately spiraling out of control.
Interaction between the three, further helped with an additional "accomplice", Winston-like lovable cad Harvey Greenfield, played by Jack Weston, produces some truly hilarious and--specially when the most believable miss Dickinson is involved--touchy moments for a wide-range audience to enjoy. "Cactus Flower" easily stands the test of time and even improves with each repeated viewing.
Current year (2011) production "Just Go with It", a loose remake of the 1969 original, provides a solid, yet, somewhat inferior entertainment when compared to its predecessor.
U raljama zivota (1984)
A noteworthy predecessor to the 'Bridget Jones' franchise
Zagrebian lass tefica has been struggling with overweight and in relationships with men long before arrival of Bridget Jones.
tefica Cvek is a typist, plump and slightly depressive, and inexperienced when it comes to men. And that is the most important 'territory', at least according to her friend Marijana, who considers herself an expert for the subject, providing an abundance of advices and tips. Marijana upholds that having blokes is the most important thing in life, and that tefica simply lacks sex appeal. On the other side, tefica is constantly getting advices from her old aunt, whom she lives with. Aunt descends from a provincial town in neighbouring Bosnia, having rather different life philosophy, henceforth delivering her advices through wise and often peculiar anecdotes from her homeland.
Meanwhile, tefica fights her sadness and suppresses her grief resorting to excessive eating and hopes that all her problems will be over as soon as she meets the right man. All her girlfriends are already in love; Ela is getting married for the fourth time, even Anuka has found a soul mate.
Will tefica remain single, or there is a happy end for her, so common in 'chick flicks'? Story about tefica came into existence long before nowadays popular 'chick lit' novels and their principal heroines. Dubravka Ugreić's 1981 novel was titled tefica Cvek in the Jaws of Life, a.k.a. Patchwork Novel. And a patchwork it is indeed. Namely, authoress trips between the stereotypes of popular romance novels and standards of the genre, and plays with its characters. However, this novel is by no means a typical romance novel. Ugreić skillfully points out all the problems with such novels, comparing her writing with the work of a seamstress; cuts out, rummages, writes additions, inserts citations, short folk proverbs, considers her own writing process...
Based on this very popular novel, a screenplay for the movie U raljama ivota (1984) (In the Jaws of Life) was co-written by its director Rajko Grlić and Dubravka Ugreić. And, while in the novel authoress is struggling with tefica's character, in the movie her role was taken by directress Dunja, who is shooting a TV series about tefica. Vitomira Lončar in the leading role of tefica meets three men, all played by among the most popular Yugoslavian actors of the era: Bata ivojinović, Miki Manojlović and Rade erbedija.
However, tefica has not found happiness with any of the three, and you will have to find yourself why not? (Review translated from Kristina G.'s Croatian language posting in her theatre web log teatar.hr/author/kristina/)