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The best dialogue in Yugoslav film ever
11 March 2013
"National Class" is about a guy whose auto-racing career is much more important to him than any other life issue. The movie follows his attempts to avoid both the army and marriage in a matter of week, eventually failing in both. He usually drives around in his Zastava 750, sits at caffe's and takes no significant responsibilities. With a synopsis like this, the first film that comes to my mind is "Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird", but this has much more comic input than Iosseliani's movie. Goran Markovic's masterpiece is one of the most beloved Serbian films of all time. It's more than a successful comedy. The highest points are magnificent and clever dialogue, as well as the elaboration and variety of characters, one funnier after another. If you're looking for an empty eye-candy that is likely to win any of the festival nowadays, skip this.
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A true classic of Serbian comedy
10 March 2013
Surprisingly fresh even today, "There Are No Small Gods" is the best film of the so-called populist light comedy oeuvre, a trend in Serbian film that lasted between 1960-1962. The other films of this type ("Love and Fashion", "The Common Apartment", "The Bag of Luck", as well as disastrous two of "Whistle at Eight" and "Seki Is Rolling, Watch Out!") were usually filled with folksy, but not vulgar humor; they necessarily had the two or three evergreens written by Darko Kraljic; the acting was amazingly performed by first-class comedians like Ckalja, Mija Aleksic or Pavle Vujisic, with the supporting cast regulars like Zarko Mitrovic and Mica Tatic. However, Djukic's comedy is better than those other films primarily because of its humor, which has not run over by time, but also because of the metaphor that criticize a system in which a semi-literate people become senior and change their behavior towards their former cooperatives. Despite this, "There Are No Small Gods" is endlessly optimistic, cheerful, funny, witty, and above all, a positive film throughout whose humor doesn't get old even 50 years after.
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Crows (1969)
Could have been much better
10 March 2013
"Crows" are largely forgotten 'black wave' movie mostly because of its lack of proper domestic distribution, but it had more than an enviable theatrical run abroad - the movie was screened at eleven film festivals across the world. It is a pretty depressing flick when you look at its story, since the vanishing world that "Crows" live in has everything but disappeared today, and lives in other form. The main character, Djuka, is an aging boxer who does some crime activities in order to make his ends meet, since his club has no money for the roof alone. His mischievous mother wants to visit Russia, without knowing any of his son's sources of income. Djuka teams up with his cousin and two ballerinas he met by accident, and the crew roams around suburbia together with their "employer" Violeta, a woman who organizes their thefts and robberies. The characters' giggling refers to the title birds and the sounds these small vultures make. The funny music score fits nice into the whole story. However, the direction is both amazingly good and bad at the various points, but the viewer will not be disappointed in overall.
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A youth movie from the youth
10 March 2013
"What Are You Doing Tonight?" is an urban drama written and directed by three students of Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, Serbia. This omnibus film deals with the problems of young people that live in Belgrade suburbia. The three stories are quite similar in their approach and of equal quality; its characters are young people with high life expectations, but they only face with one disappointment after another. The film is surprisingly well crafted and it's hard to decide which story is the best. The stories contain many memorable moments; first we have a poor but good-natured guy who wants to take a girl out on a date. She's a sucker for flashy cars. He comes to pick her up in his friend's Magirus-Deutz truck. Then we follow the three different guys who try to get drunk after not being allowed to enter the party they have been invited to, because they didn't wear ties. The last story is probably best and the most depressing one. As much as you give your best in relationship, its future is always out of your competence. A funny and depressing at the same time, it is one of the better youth movies from Yugoslavia.
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Popularity based on "Crazy Balkans doing stupid grimaces"
7 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
OK, I'm a Serbian and many of my fellow countrymen do NOT like this film, and we're wondering how on Earth is possible that everyone out of our country loved it and why it has such following. The answer could be this: people from rest of the Europe like to watch "crazy" Balkan lifestyle and stupid grimaces that the characters in this movie make. Besides this, I think Kusturica's early movies, which were great, made him creditable to make stupidities he really likes (this one and every later movie). Balkan is really unique corner of the world, but the humour used in Kusturica's movie hardly aims for intelligent people. But the main damage that "Black cat" did to Serbian cinema is overshadowing some really good pieces of cinematography that were made in this country: Special Education, Reflections, National Class, Who's Singing Over There?, Tito and Me, The Ballad of a Cruel One, The Balkan Spy, It Happened on This Very Day, Backbone, The Promising Boy, Magic Sword, Marathon Family, The Fall of Rock'n'Roll, Oktoberfest, There Are No Small Gods, Taiwan Canasta, and many others you've never heard of.
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