Reviewer Ed Farolan
Dates and Venue 10-13 Nov @ Hollywood Theatre, 3123 West Broadway, Vancouver
HERE AND THERE
90 min., dir. Darko Lungulov
veThis is a charming comedy and in English, for a change! I didn't have to read subtitles! The film follows two interconnected stories on two different continents. A depressed New Yorker, played by David Thornton, tries to make quick cash by an arranged marriage with the girlfriend of a young and struggling Serbian immigrant who wants to bring her to the USA. He ends up in Belgrade, where instead of money he finds his soul mate. I like this film as it reflects the current theme of mail brides and women from Eastern Europe and Asia in search of the North American dream. Winner of the The Best New York Narrative Award at the 2009 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL. The film will be screened on November 10th at 8.30 pm with one of the film's actors in attendance.
ST. GEORGE SHOOTS THE DRAGON
99 min., dir. Srdan Dragojevic
It's interesting to get an Eastern European view of World War I. We've been constantly bombarded with films from the Canadian/American/English point of view, and it's refreshing to see it from a Serbian standpoint. The year is 1914. A small Serbian village, on the border with the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire is thrown into a conflict that creates the backdrop for an ill-fated love triangle between a young disabled war veteran, a local policeman and his wife. What caught my eye was a note at the end of the film saying that the conflicts continue throughout the 20th century. And true enough, Serbia has been engaged in wars from the world wards in the first half of the century until the last conflicts in the 1990s. This anti-war film, like many of the Vietnam war films produced in Hollywood, reflect the sentiments of inhumanity and cruelty of war. Winner of The Best Artistic Contribution Award at the 2009 MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL. Serbian candidate for ACADEMY AWARD (Oscar) in the Foreign Language Film category. The film will be screened on November 11th at 8 pm to commemorate Remembrance Day.
THE BELGRADE PHANTOM
80 min., dir. Jovan Todorovic
In 1979, when Tito was the reigning dictator of Socialist Yugoslavia, a phenomenon was going on for 10 days in Belgrade. Tito was in Cuba for a summit meeting of non-aligned nations when this event occurred. Night after night, for 10 nights, a mysterious driver was racing through the streets of Belgrade in a stolen white Porsche, challenging the police to try and catch him. This engaging docu-drama depicts the events of 1979 that started as a game but quickly turned into a political scandal and remained an urban myth until the present day.
The format of the film is interesting. It's not fiction as it is based on a true story with interviews from police and others involved in this crime. As mentioned, the genre is docudrama which is similar to police stories we see in serials like "Cold Case Files" where actors simulate the events.
As the film ends, we see the police finally catching up up with the phantom, a young man by the name of Vlada Vasiljev. He is jailed, later released and after three years, the film informs us that he dies in a car accident. The twist of fate. The film will be screened on November 13th at 8 pm with the director in attendance.
. © 2009 Ed Farolan