Sunday, 23 January 2011

A Serbian Film

‘A Serbian Film’ leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth. The debut film by 'Srdjan Spasojevic' is growing in notoriety for its controversial scenes, banned in most places (including the USA) and released in the UK with over 4 minutes of cuts by the British Board of Film, the most cuts in 16 years.

The film follows an aging pornstar hired to star in a new 'art film', that descends into the dark, depraved world of underground pornography. I DO NOT recommend that anyone watch this film. But as a reviewer I will give my critique of what I watched; the film is actually pretty well made, there’s some good camerawork and editing, the acting by the main cast is mostly solid and it sustains threat and builds tension.

BUT, the films plot is constructed to allow shock tactic sequences for the sake of it, anyone looking for a deeper reasoning from the films horrid finale is giving the film more credit than it deserves. ‘A Serbian film’ is a repugnant piece of vile, hateful filmmaking. The unnerving ending made me feel quite sickened, I’m an open-minded fan of the weird and disturbing and I believe in freedom of expression, but this went too far. A nasty piece of exploitive work.

I've seen way more graphic films (Districted), I've seen films with more sex and violence (Baise-Moi). I've seen films with more thought provoking impact (Irreversible). And I've seen films with more brutal endings; 'Dancer In The Dark' left me feeling destroyed by its stunningly powerful finale, yet it managed to do so without sickening me with unnecessary imagery. 'Dancer in the Dark' is brutal in a different way and that to me is true 'art'. In the end, it's the tone, delivery and themes that make 'A Serbian Film' just plain nasty. Any deep message or moral hidden within does not give it artistic merit enough to redeem it.

If you still have some sort of morbid fascination about watching this film, remember; what has been seen, cannot be un-seen. Unless you want to feel violated, don’t watch it.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Film 2010

I haven't seen so many of the years best films, partly because they weren't released in the UK yet and partly because I don't get as much time to watch everything these days. Black Swan and True Grit are just two of those films that I'm positive I will love, but still haven't seen...

My favourite films of 2010, that I did see;


Filmmaking of the most highest standard, craftsmanship that is near perfection. Inception looks and sounds amazing, each shot is meticulously composed. Christopher Nolan has raised the bar. An intricate plot, a great ensemble cast, the most impressive special effects in years. Even if you don’t like the story, there’s no denying that it’s one of the most well made films of all time. Jaw-dropping! 9/10


I loved Kick-Ass! I thought it managed to surpass the comic book in every way, it balances a comic quirkiness with an often gritty raw edge perfectly. It’s good to see Nicholas Cage back on form (also good in Bad Lieutenant). And Chloe Moretz as ’Hit-girl’ is as good as the hype suggests. Matthew Vaughn is fast becoming one of Britain's best directors, I look forward to seeing what he does with ‘X-Men: First class’. 9/10

Toy Story 3

Pixar are probably the most consistent filmmakers in the business, making two solid sequels to a classic original is almost unprecedented (not even The Godfather trilogy achieved this feat). Toy Story 3 is clearly lovingly crafted and a fitting end to a great series. 8/10

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Banksy's documentary/film about street art and the fickle world of art is an inspiring little treat. I recommend this to anyone with an interest in street art, art, or filmmaking. 8/10

Films that Disappointed me;

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

I loved the comics. Pilgrim isn't a bad film and there's parts I liked, but the overall package seems to lack something that made the books so great.

The Expendables

I knew it was just going to be mindless action and a tribute to the 80's-90's action flicks, but for some reason I just expected something better. 90 minutes of testosterone and guns.


Maybe I was expecting too much, Rodriguez attached made me have hope. It's average at best, it doesn't build any tension, the action is bland and mostly too dark to see and the acting seems forced. It's better than Predator 2 and the AvP films, but it's still rubbish.

I think 'Sucker Punch' looks fun in 2011.