Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Hark Bohm, Davor Dujmovic, Mirjana Jokovic, Erol Kadic, Dr. Nele Karajlic
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Military & War
This sprawling, exhausting, deeply moving Palme d'Or winner represents the pinnacle of Serbian director Emir Kusturica's considerable abilities, and what is easily one of the best cinematic achievements of the 1990s. It en... more »
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A wild, extravagant fable Yugoslavia's history
Danny M. Hobbs | Tigard, OR United States | 04/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As with Kusturica's "Black Cat, White Cat," it's almost impossible to summarize the plot of this film. Suffice it to say that the film is a quasi-realistic fable of perhaps 50 years in the history of Yugoslavia, beginning during WWII. It has everything - love, betrayal, greed, tragedy, comedy - even a touch of magic now and then.
I love the pure extravagance of this film. A tiger, trapped in ruins, reaches for the head of a defiant swan. An elephant steals a pair of shoes from an open, 2nd story window. A young woman flies through the air to her waiting groom - attached or not to a battering ram? Blacky, an electrician, has seemingly infinite resistance (pun intended) to torture by electrical shock - not to mention that he sleeps with his eyes wide open and charges on-stage while his lover is performing, ties her on his back, and carries her away.
And all this is done at the pace of the Marx Brothers on speed and with NO reliance on computer-generated graphics. It's all from the creative brains of the writer/director/cinematographer team. Forget realism - just take a ride on the back of this film and try to catch your breath!
The movie explains why Yugoslavia fell apart
Boris Malagurski | Vancouver, BC Canada | 05/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you ever wondered why all those wars in Yugoslavia broke out, don't watch documentary films about it, watch this movie. I am originaly from Yugoslavia, and I know how horrible that war was. And why did it brake out? Why did Serbs kill Croats, Croats kill Serbs,...? Why did brothers kill brothers when they all lived together under Tito only 10 years ago? Is Milosevic to blame? No, if the people didn't want to kill each other, they wouldn't have elected him. To find out the reason why it happened, we have to analyze WWII in Yugoslavia a little better. Thats exactly what this movie does. Even if you're not Yugoslavian, you will feel sad at the end of the movie. Yugoslavs are not crazy, war-loving animals, we are just hungry for party's, tuba music and just having fun. After seeing this movie, you will have a new understanding for the Balkans conflict and probably will be very mad when you hear someone say "Yugoslavia fell apart because those Slavs are nuts". I think that Emir Kusturica is a genius, and you will understand why when you see this movie.
Boris, from Vancouver (originaly from SUBOTICA, YU)"
Not to go with the rest of your movie collection!
Ivan Milicevic | Chicago, IL | 02/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you have a DVD shelf do not group this movie with the rest of your collection. It deserves a throne, a piedestal to sit on all by itself, above everything else that has ever flickered over the silver screen. This movie is not seen, it is lived, expirienced, read like a book. The metaphors and similies in this movie equal any in any poem or a novel. Raw, inspired, dark, and bitter, it will twist your guts into a knot, which is precisly what the 50-odd years of history of the region it symbolizes does (Ex-Yugoslavia '41-'95) It is amazing how this movie manages to offer images and idealogy to represent the social changes in the society as well as mental changes in the people of the region.
On the next level, cinematography, acting, directing are all unrivaled, if at times overemphasized and overdone (but that's Kusturica for you)"
The masterpiece film of an unprecedented cinematic genius
email@example.com | 04/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Funny how film reviews are so easily transformed into political battlegrounds...or is it tragic? The anonymous reviewer from California is not alone in his or her one-star grading. The New Yorker had also ruthlessly criticized the political implications of the film in its 1995 review of Underground, which is not surprising, given the anti-Serbian sentiments of the US since the early nineties (which have multiplied as a result of the long-ignored ethnic cleansing of ethnic Albanians taking place in Kosovo as we speak), but also the inability of many Americans to comprehend the complex history of Yugoslavia, both pre- and post-Tito. No matter how 'well-informed' one claims to be, and no matter if one's political opinions are valid, one simply cannot obliterate the value of a film for its political background. But all this talk about politics obscures what this film is really about. Underground is not a political film. It is utterly clear to one who sees the it for what it is, and not for what some would like to interpret it as, that this is the expression of the director's personal anguish that the fall of Yugoslavia brought upon his life. So I ask you, who is anonymous-California-person or any Mr/Ms USA who feels that they have the authority or the 'well-informedness' to silence, or even worse, to invalidate the voice of a man who feels he has something to mourn. Many Americans can go about their lives without ever having to face any political reality whatsoever (or have you forgotten that most Americans don't even vote?) let alone being told by some guy in a blue hat that yesterday you had a country and now you don't. The situation of Yugoslavia is a tragedy all around, and this film expresses with sincerity the universality of its horrors. For any reader who was led to believe by bad reviews (which incidentally are far outnumbered by the good ones) that this film was propagandistic in any way, please don't let it keep you from seeing it. Underground is not only one of the most artistically exquisite films ever made --it is also a genuine expression of hopelessness in a time of insanity."