Ultimately, this is a horror film about porn, suggesting that beneath its cheeky, trashy facade lurks the darker side of human nature.
According to the director, this is also about the literal rape of the Serbian national identity. The horrors depicted reflect local war crimes that the film’s creators grew up watching on the news. Spasojević also claims to be challenging censorship, especially in Serbia, which suffers the aftermath of a communist regime and where there is little government support for the film industry.
Luckily, the film is not just about controversy. The worst of the sexual violence the film is notorious for is suggested, though be prepared for lashings of gore and nudity. The film aims for suspense and menacing atmosphere rather than just all-out extremity.
There are good performances too. The protagonist Milos (Srdjan Todorovic) gains sympathy as an ex- porn star who goes back into business for his family, but is manipulated by his new mental director Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovic), who believes art lies in filming real acts of perverted violence, and forces Milos to become a victim of his demons.
Although a film depicting sexualised violence as a comment on the worst of human behavior is nothing new, this film works as a dark, surreal thriller, reminding me of Ben Wheatley’s 2011 British horror ‘Kill List’ (in which a man confronts his shady past to support his family) and Cronenberg’s ‘Videodrome’, in which reality and film combine. As a directorial debut, this film packs a punch.
Study a packed cross-Channel ferry if you want to see a modern ship of fools. There they all are: working out the profit on their duty-free; having more drinks at the bar than they want; playing the fruit machines; aimlessly circling the deck; making up their minds how honest to be at customs; waiting for the next order from the ships’s crew as if the crossing of the Red Sea depended on it.
I do not criticize, I merely observe; and I’m not sure what I would think if everyone lined the rail to admire the play of light on the water and started discussing Boudin.
I am no different, by the way: I stock up on duty-free and await orders like the rest of them. — Julian Barnes, ‘Flaubert’s Parrot’, 1984. Another less grand but thoroughly accurate summary of humanity and the observant writer. I have no idea who Boudin is, by the way.
Amongst those who go to sea there are the navigators who discover new worlds, adding continents to the earth and stars to the heavens: they are the masters, the great, the eternally splendid.
Then there are those who spit terror from their gun-ports, who pillage, who grow rich and fat.
Others go off in search of gold and silk under foreign skies. Still others catch salmon for the gourmet or cod for the poor.
I am the obscure and patient pearl-fisherman who dives into the deepest waters and comes up with empty hands and a blue face.
Some fatal attraction draws me down into those innermost recesses which never cease to fascinate the strong.
I shall spend my life gazing at the ocean of art, where others voyage or fight; and from time to time I’ll entertain myself by diving for those green and yellow shells that nobody will want.
So I shall keep them for myself and cover the walls of my hut with them. — Gustave Flaubert, 1845. Probably no better summary of the artist and the human race.
I don’t care much for coincidences. There’s something spooky about them: you sense momentarily what it must be like to live in an ordered, God-run universe, with Himself looking over your shoulder and helpfully dropping coarse hints about a cosmic plan. I prefer to feel that things are chaotic, free-wheeling, permanently as well as temporarily crazy- to feel the certainty of human ignorance, brutality and folly. — Julian Barnes, ‘Flaubert’s Parrot’, 1984.
The artist is a”loner”, a fastidious observer who will suddenly seize a character from life and inflate it dramatically into a vision of loneliness, ugliness, or even horror. — Mervyn Levy, from the introduction to ‘The Paintings of LS Lowry: oils and watercolours’, 1978, Book Club Associates, London, p. 13.
: The Impossible depiction of foreign tragedy in the West? -
The Impossible, a film that ever since I heard about it has made me uncomfortable and sad by seemingly epitomizing the condition of mainstream Western perceptions and representations of tragedy of the other. I am not arguing or questioning at all about the films technical credentials or artistic…
This is the best thing I’ve ever read on tumblr, from a friend of mine.
Lowry, ‘Railway Platform’, 1953, Oil on board.
Every time you enter a room, or step onto a bus or train, everyone looks at you, as if they want you to be someone else: an old friend, a new lover or just someone to talk to. They always turn away, disappointed.
I now think its wrong to gather your favorite books or films or albums or plays or paintings or whatever, strap them onto a tiny raft, and hunch over them as you rage against a heaving ocean of culture. We should dive into that sea, and catch all the fish we want. 08/01/13
Since everyone else appears to be doing it, I’m going to review the most memorable films that I saw in the cinema in 2012, simply because I didn’t get round to it when I did see them. There may also be other articles and reviews of other films and stuff that I didn’t get round to as well… If I get round to them.
I have also included this picture of me fighting the giant wooden duck of doom just to make this post more interesting. This may have been one of my bravest exploits of last year, as well as having the unruly hairstyle cut off that I had for nearly six years. I am a new, duck-fighting man.
I’m tempted to invite a caption competition for this picture. The winner gets a hug.
Sometimes, you’re sure that you’ve seen a good film, and the critics say it’s good. You just can’t see why.
Toby Jones plays a British film sound technician named Gilderoy, who arrives in an Italian sound studio in 1976, where they’re recording the soundtrack for a horror. Tensions among the crew rise, and Gilderoy becomes increasingly alienated and disturbed, though he doesn’t show it, since Jones gives a great reserved performance, communicating isolation with as little emotion possible.
This film works best as a tribute to ‘70s Italian horror and the art of film sound effects. Watching the sounds of mutilation being provided by hacking up vegetables, and demonic screaming being produced by weirdly talented vocalists are the movie’s most fascinating elements. Technically, the film is impressive, with great lighting, sound, and shots, all creating suspenseful atmosphere.
Unfortunately, the film only offers suspense, which never builds up to much. It felt like an experimental indulgence in technology that shunned sense, confusing and excluding the average film-goer Some scenes questioned film violence and expectations of the horror genre. Overall, however, it tried to say something without saying it, which annoyed me.
Though original and inventive, it felt atmospheric and menacing just for the sake of it. As much as I applaud cinematic strangeness, a film is only threatening if it shows what it’s threatening you with. The fact that the film tried to say lots through the exclusive setting of a sound studio just felt (though I hate using this word) ‘pretentious’.