A Serbian Film (2010)
Director: Srdjan Spasojevic
A once famous porn star (Srdjan Todorovic) gets roped back into the f*ck on camera game by some eccentric director and the promise of a huge pay check. Thing is, this isn't an average skin flick... like at all! Load up your machete and cock ring and rock and roll!
A SERBIAN FILM, A SERBIAN FILM, A SERBIAN FILM. At the last two Film Festivals I've tapped, its all peeps were yapping about. so after all the build up, I tackled the beast in the name of the site and came out... well came out of it initially confused to be honest. Yet another film I had to take two days to digest to figure out how I felt about it. Here's what I came up with.
As you should know Serbia is not a happy country, it’s been through hell and back. A SERBIAN FILM director Srdjan Spasojevic has stated in the media that his incredibly violent and depraved flick is a metaphor for the hell that the Serbian people have gone through and still go through; fair enough. Thing is, although the movie drops a couple of lines here and there about how Serbia blows, that wasn't enough for me to catch the metaphor or to have it affect me one way or another. I wouldn't have known the thing was an allegory if I hadn't read about it after seeing the movie. With that, call me a sick bastard but two mucho out of line scenes aside, it was no worse than a jacked up HOSTEL. The thing wasn’t an hour and a half of “questionable content” (as I assumed it would be from hearing peeps talk); it actually had a plot and a pretty good one at that.
I was reeled in off the bat (no pun intended) by this cinematic thug; it slyly set its stage, introduced me to a loving family unit and I instantly gave a shite. I actually respected that our hero's wife was totally cool with her man being a porn star; she accepted him for who he was and backed him up as a healthy life partner should. If the States ever remake this (I doubt it); I expect to see the dame busting the guy’s chops the whole time cause of what he does. So yeah, it was refreshing to see this kind of dynamic taking into account the shades within the relationship. Srdjan Todorovic was simply incredible as Milos. Not only was he affable, intense and natural but I got to give it to dude, it takes a big pair of balls to accept and then act out a role like this and obviously Srdjan 's has them, no chick has stashed those in a safe somewhere, they are where they should be, between his legs. Jelena Gavrilovic lent him able support as his loving wife Marija while Sergej Trifunovic put out a freaking entertaining show with his out here and El Diablo-esque show as nutty director Vulkir. The first half of the movie set its situation up, slowly and cunningly getting us to step in that big bear trap. Flick was playing me good, I cared about its lead, was tantalized by the mystery at hand (reminded me of old school DePalma for some reason) and was anxious to see where this poor porn star would wind up. And once the second half kicked in, to hell I went.
And to be honest, it wasn't as harsh as I thought it would be. Yeah one scene was REALLY out of line in terms of the idea behind it, but the execution had me laughing my ass off, lets just say the special effect they used to be a “I wont spoil” looked more like a reject from Ghoulies than a “I won't spoil”. So even though the idea behind it was as twisted as they come, the execution had me in stitches. The second ass whooper got me though, but not as much as it should have being that I saw it coming miles away. Am not sure if the filmmaker wanted me to know it was on the horizon or if they were genuinely trying to surprise me. If the latter was the point; big fail. If the former was the angle; a semi fail being that I had time to prepare myself emotionally for it and that lessened the impact.
The rest of the movie was a journey in empty sex, brutal violence, forced blow jobs (were those real dongs?), pedophilia, anal rape... all wrapped up in a grungy/intense shooting style, brilliant sound design, edgy cinematography and an industrial score that was a bit redundant, but badass none the less. I LOVE IT when a movie drives its story via images and sound; and A SERBIAN FILM took that highway enough times to carve a happy face on my schlong.
Now I do have to admit that I often didn't know when it was playing serious or not. The last block had me laughing out loud at the outlandish violence and imagery that was offered. (Ever see a guy take his own dick hostage at knife point? You will now). Was that the intent? Am not sure. And if the thing had a messages to it; here's what I got. “We all have an animal within us and if let loose in an uncensored way; its f*cking ugly.” And… “If you dope a dude enough, he'll f*ck anything with a hole"... no big revelation there. Which brings me to my peeves. One key aspect didn't sit well with me: “what the villains did to the hero to make him do what he did". I just didn't fully buy it, I'm no chemist or expert of any sort, but if you're gonna have a “good man” go buck nuts evil; then you have to sell me as to how you get that to happen – didn’t happen. And was it me or was everybody “too evil” here? I can swallow one dude being a loon; but having everybody in his crew willing to f*ck a corpse or butt f*ck a dude at the drop of a twat was a bit far-fetched. Finally, the chain of events didn't always feel organic, the flick knew where it was going and it went that way even though it didn't always make sense.
On the whole though, the more I think about A SERBIAN FILM, the more I dig it. The flick is getting a bad rap for two scenes, and I totally understand why; them two scenes burned the envelope of good taste and shoved it up our asses. But what folks are overlooking (because they haven't seen the film) is that its more than them two bits, it has a story, well rounded characters and a mystery. If you haven't seen it, then keep your judging to yourself; better to have no opinion than an uneducated one.
Man this mean machine was grisly. Am talking a nasty beheading, a “unique” eye gouging, nasty gun shot wounds, a cum shot in the face (its gore to me, yuck) and more! You’ll get your hot chili fix with this one!
T & A
This flick was ALL ABOUT full on nudity; tits, ass, twats, graphic head jobs… the works! Must have been a fun shoot! The ladies get dongs and dude ass. NOTE: Some of the nudity was NOT pleasant.
A SERBIAN FILM was HOSTEL meets soft core porn, meets 10 lines of cocaine! Engaging, visually dynamic with solid acting and enough gore/nudity to fill up three of my weekends; I dug the twisted ride the movie took me on and in a fair world; director Srdjan Spasojevic and actor Srdjan Todorovic should go places; they are talented mofos! Sure, I sometimes didn’t know when to laugh or not, some of the plot turns and character actions felt forced and the HOW in terms of getting the hero to do shit didn’t sell me; but overall; this sick bastard got the job done. In the mood to go limp/dry and to vomit in your mouth? See A SERBIAN FILM.
The flick was shot in 61 days in Belgrade, Serbia.
The state prosecution of Serbia opened an investigation on the film to find out if it violates the Criminal Law of Serbia.
Screenwriter Srdjan Spasojevic said this about the controversy: "This is a diary of our own molestation by the Serbian government. It's about the monolithic power of leaders who hypnotize you to do things you don’t want to do. You have to feel the violence to know what it’s about."