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A Wonderful Night in Split
A Wonderful Night in Split
Actors: Dino Dvornik, Marinko Prga, Mladen Vulic
Director: Arsen Anton Ostojic
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts
UR     2008     1hr 40min

Set in the dark, eerie streets of medieval Split, Croatia, during the two hours before midnight on New Years eve, this stylish film noir spins several tales of desire, treachery and murder. While crowds gather in the ancie...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Dino Dvornik, Marinko Prga, Mladen Vulic
Director: Arsen Anton Ostojic
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/18/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2004
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Black and White,Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Croatian
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A ...not so Wonderful Night In Split
David Casaccia | Fresno, CA | 12/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This Croatian import from 2005 is a well handled debut from director Arsen Anton Ostojic. The film's promoters seemed to want to tout it as a Tarantinoesque thriller, where all of a city's underbelly is exposed in one seemingly endless night. And don't get me wrong, that isn't a bad description, but I felt that, like most true pieces of art-house cinema, it's best to watch without expectation and let the film absorb you. This is something that Ostojic seems both suited to and qualified for. Straight away the audience dives or is driven, depending on your sensibilities, deep into the heart of this medieval Central European city on a modern New Years eve. Using relatively simple black and white photography Ostojic and his crew show us an enviroment of tight back alleys, dingy bars, seedy inns, and a town square brimming with citizens for midnight concert. The later serves as the esential base of the film where all major characters pass through or connect, all be it unwittingly, as they traverse the live and animated city. It is in these moments that we realize just how small Split really is and credit to Ostojic, who if it weren't for these moments unfamiliar audiences would think the setting was Budapest or Warsaw and it's the quaintness of the eerie town that gives it it's charm.
As for the plot I'm afraid, again as most true pieces of art-house cinema, to give away a little is to give away a lot. The general idea is that the film is split (pun intended) into three points of view, that of course criss-cross and overlap throughout. The major characters include a two-bit hood who has fallen into a drug trafficer's plot (the most thirlling aspect in this reviewer's mind). A young girl with an obvious heroin problem who seems quite new to her path in life, only upping her character's sense of desperation. And the last being two young lovers trying to find a place for quiet carnal relations (suprisingly enough the least interesting portion of the picture for myself). There are also bar maids, transients (including a homeless junkie who has some of the film's best lines) and a roving trio of American Navy sailors, two of which are looking for a young girl for one of they're down and out friends, puzzlingly played by Coolio (Yes! That Coolio) who preforms even worse than expected.
A surrealistic third act turn makes a Wonderful Night In Split a stylish and unique film the likes of wich most first time filmmakers would be proud of. Although the film isn't perfect by any means, it is a picture with a beating heart, that serves up an enjoyable slice of Central European cinema."
Humor and Honesty
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 11/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""A Wonderful Night in Split" (Ta Divna Splitsa Noc)

Humor and Honesty

Amos Lassen

Arsen Anton Ostojic gives us this Croatian film that deals with desire, treachery and murder on New Year's Eve.
The entire film takes place in the two hours before midnight when crowds gather in the ancient city square for a concert. Among the people there are a widow, a junkie, and an American sailor. Their lives merge are altered during this one night. Above everything that happens that night, there is the Croatian reality which focuses on the aftermath of war and the dissipation of war veterans, drug abuse, a feeling of ennui and the fact that hopefulness will be the feeling that all will have. We meet a war widow who is having an affair with her dead husband's friend and he doesn't seem to care about her at all; he just wants the sex she can provide him, The American sailor is depressed and finds a prostitute for the night. Two teens agree to lose their virginity to each other but they realize that they do not have a pace to do so. When the New Year finally arrives there are not only fireworks but violent death and madness.
Split is an ancient city on the Mediterranean Sea and looks as it did in medieval times. It is lit in a way so that it is shown in surreal beauty and the cinematography captures the New Year's goings-on beautifully. The pieces of the lives of the three main characters are amazingly portrayed by an adequate cast ad the dark humor is excellent. Photographed in black and white, there is eeriness and uneasiness to the film and this is probably due to the hypnotic imagery.
The film is not linear and the way the film is constructed draws the viewer into the three subplots as he tries to guess what will happen next. Details and human behavior are what Mr. Ostojic shows us and there is a wonderful emotional and behavioral impact.