Sunday, March 02, 2008


'Into the Wild', a movie with Sean Penn is the must-see film of the moment it seems. Pal B and I tried to get to see it last night, in the original version at the Diagonale cinema natch, but it was sold out.

What to do then? Give up and go to the pub? Go home? It was 6pm so too early for dinner which meant that food was out except for a MacDo. We opted for watching another movie and settled on a little Serbian something 'Promets-moi' (Promise me) directed by Emir Kusturica (never heard of him). It was not quite what I had expected.

The basic storyline is that an old bloke is living with his grandson, Tsane, in a tiny hamlet on a Serbian mountain. The only other inhabitant is the schoolteacher who is quickly made redundant by a bureaucrat from the town because she only has one pupil. Fearing imminent death, the grandfather sends his teenage grandson to the nearest town with instructions to sell the cow, buy an icon, a souvenir and bring back a wife. Despite many adventures, he manages this and the ending is happy.

Within the story are a number of themes. One is pulleys and traps. The grandfather is an inventive chap and likes to keep intruders out of his hamlet with various traps in the road that cars fall into thus discouraging an invasion...

Another theme is bestiality. Yes, I know... odd... You don't actually see it, of course, but it is more than evoked from within sheds. Tsane gets into trouble with some bandits who decide to steal his cow so they can use it for their own bestial ends. Luckily Tsane has found a couple of 'extended brothers' who help him combat the bandits and retrieve the cow which he then sells to buy the icon. A turkey is another target, and remarks are made about a wild boar...

Tsane finds a lovely girl to fall in love with and rescue from an imminent forced career as a prostitute and they escape in the boot of a Trabant driven by the brothers, and set to getting down to some serious nooky. It's all rather under-age too...

The most amusing theme is the love of the bureaucrat for the teacher who, herself, loves the grandfather. On arriving at the hamlet the bureaucrat's car ends up in a trap. When he next visits, he's fixed a bull-rack to his Trabant, and still ends up in a trap. The following visit sees him wooing her from the top of the road with his stretch limo Trabant complete with fridge and leather seats. She's impressed only to make the grandfather jealous.

All this bucolic clowning about finishes with two weddings, a funeral (some neighbour) and a final battle with the bandits which ends with the leader disappearing into a trap door.

The movie is odd, but is accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack of bouncy folksy music which adds greatly to the picaresque joviality of the story. Think Monty Python on speed and you'll have a idea of just how crazy it was. It didn't inspire me to rush out to watch the next Emir-directed Serbian movie that comes to town however...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are bienvenue.