DIRECTED BY: Srdjan Spasojevic
FEATURING: Srdjan Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic, Katarina Zutic, Slobodan Bestic
PLOT: An ethical and well-intentioned ex porn star collaborates with an Eastern syndicate to
produce a series of art-house pornographic films. In the process he is unwittingly ensnared in the dark, serpentine morass of his film executives’ depraved madness.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: Despite the colorful controversy surrounding A Serbian Film, including claims that it is torture porn and even child porn, the movie is a straightforward—if transgressive—cross-genre thriller, a skillfully blended mix of mystery, horror and suspense elements. Adventurous viewers who choose to watch A Serbian Film should seek the uncut version. The controversial scenes are a crucial part of the plot.
NOTE: Director Srdjan Spasojevic was confronted by the international press and informed that his movie A Serbian Film is nothing more than thinly veiled torture porn, perhaps even child pornography. He responded by asserting that the movie is in fact “a political allegory,” intentionally resplendent with metaphors for the historical, systematic repression of the Serbian people. For example, Spasojevic tells explains that the shocking baby scene “represents us and everyone else whose innocence and youth have been stolen by those governing our lives for purposes unknown.”
Is he being serious? Or does he believe the most effective way to point out the absurdity of detractors’ allegations and deliberate misinterpretations is to posit an equally absurd response? A thorough consideration of this controversy is beyond the scope of this review. The viewer should watch the movie and judge for himself. I present my own ideas regarding what I think the film discursively accomplishes in the addendum which follows the review. Whether Spasojevic intends the film to deliver any of these meanings is a matter of speculation. Despite what I think are some very good points made in the film, it’s my personal belief that he primarily set out to make an offbeat, tense thriller that was shocking enough to be sure to attract attention. He succeeded.
COMMENTS: Lurid and grim, suspenseful and exciting, A Serbian Film is a well crafted, taut thriller that doesn’t insult one’s intelligence. Sporting a chic visual signature and structured with a non-linear, temporally shifting plot, this sensational shocker fires off images that range from Continue reading CAPSULE: A SERBIAN FILM (2010)