July 28, 2011

"A Serbian Film"

A film made by a man who doesn't realise he's a pervert.

Miloš is a aging Serbian porn star living with his beautiful wife and young son.  When he is offered an extremely large sum of money to star in a mysterious porno, he reluctantly agrees, hoping to finally make a clean break from the business and secure his family's future.  However, in spite of the director's passionate attestations that they are creating "art", Miloš is troubled by the man's refusal to let him see the script.  As filming commences, it becomes apparent why.

"A Serbian Film" has already gone down in history as one of (if not the) most graphic, violent and disgusting films of all time.  (10 minutes before the end I had to turn it off and take a half an hour break).  What sets this film apart from being a gratuitous piece of trash, and a work of art, is director Srdjan Spasojevic's insistence.

According to him, the film is a political allegory about the plight of the Serbian people:

"When we say “your boss is fucking you,” we would draw your boss fucking you, but we all know he isn’t really fucking you. We’re just depicting how you feel. And that’s what we did with the film. It’s like we feel violated by authority; our authority in politics and art is so restricted and narrow minded that it makes everything impossible.... It’s kind of pornographic because you get fucked for feeding your family".

Okay, I can understand the violence, rape, and "fucking" metaphors, but a few of the others have lost me.  In metaphor speak, what does stabbing an erect penis through a man's oesophagus say about Serbia?  How about having sex with a dead person?  Maybe I just don't get it!

There's also a subtle "Alice in Wonderland" thing going on (spot the white rabbits) but deciphering this intricate symbolism is beyond me.

An allegory for Serbia?  It's more likely that the film is an allegory for Spasojevic himself.  He's written himself into the script as the insane director, insisting that the snuff movie he is making is "art".  And I think he really believes it.  "Pretentious" is one word I haven't heard associated with this movie yet, but I'm sorry - this has to be one of the most self-indulgent wank-fests I've ever seen.

In spite of all this, Spasojevic might not be totally deluded.  He professes that work like this is cathartic, and I can attest to that.  I started watching this film in a bad mood, but felt better when it ended.  I guess there's nothing like rape, mutilation, pedophilia, and multiple murders to make you appreciate your own life.  Now where's my Disney boxset? 

Post Scriptum:  In fairness, the acting is amazing. 

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