Author Topic: A Serbian Film  (Read 3883 times)

Clint Hollow

  • in the shadowed canyon of buildings
A Serbian Film
« on: August 28, 2010, 04:53:25 PM »


Quote
Milos, a former porn star with a beautiful wife and young son is lured back into the world of adult films by a former co-star and a visionary director who promises a great deal of money to make the ultimate art house porno film. Not knowing what the film is about, Milos agrees--against his seeming better judgment--to pursue the project for the hope that the funds will free him and his family from their drab existence in Serbia. But what kind of movie is Vukmir making, why and for whom? These are the questions Milos asks and these are the answers that you don’t want to know.


Quote
In many ways Serbian Film is like going to war. Its purpose is to shock you and it does so with impunity. I can’t imagine the horrors that the people of Serbia endured not so long ago. I can’t relate to the character of Milos. I can’t in even my most evil and vile dreams conceive of what he experiences over the course of the movie. I don’t identify with that, and for that I am eternally grateful. However, if going on this journey is enough to make anyone understand the metaphor than perhaps the film is a success.

Quote
If what I have written here is enough to turn your feelings of wonder into a burning desire to watch this monstrosity, then perhaps I haven't been clear enough. You don't want to see Serbian Film. You just think you do. You've been far too desensitized. You've laughed at people that fainted in theaters, snickered at legends of grown men and women who walked out of movie premieres and puked on lobby floors. You think you've seen it all and after this, you'll wish you had.


Tim Anderson, Bloody-disgusting.com


The UK premiere of 'A Serbian Film' the 2010 Serbian horror/thriller film, scheduled to be at this years Frightfest, has been cancelled after the BBFC stated that it required four minutes worth of cuts in order to recieve an 18 certificate!

The short report from The Guardian below, does actually highlight one of the most problematic scenes, which is apparently a major moment within the film and a MASSIVE SPOILER- so whether you want to read it is up to you.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/aug/27/a-serbian-film-frightfest

Rather than the usual hype about so-called 'shocking' or transgressive cinema, it genuinely does sound horrific - which makes me quite keen to see it!

Some early non-spolier reviews

http://www.fearnet.com/news/reviews/b18477_sxsw_2010_review_serbian_film.html

http://templeofghoul.blogspot.com/2010/03/serbian-film-2010.html

http://twitchfilm.net/reviews/2010/07/holehead-2010-a-serbian-film-critical-overview.php

http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/review/4501

It sounds as if we won't get an uncut cinema release of this film in the UK, throwing up the age old questions of censorship and art. Does A Serbian Film's claims of being an important allegory of the state of modern Serbia justify the scenes within the film? How far should artists be allowed to go in mainstream media? Do these decisions come down to our interpretations about whether the artists intentions are simply to shock or entertain, or to actually attempt to improve the world through the provocation of debate and the use of imagery to help us to  understand issues within our societies?

Or is it just another blank hearted exploitation flick, though dressed in the clothing of social comment.

An interview with the screenwriter can be downloaded here - http://daily.greencine.com/GC-SXSW-Serbian-Film.mp3 - and maybe you can judge for yourselves whether he sounds like someone intent on stirring up trouble, or making troubling, timely art.


Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2010, 05:58:07 PM »
That sounds horrible.  I think the older I get the less I want to see human suffering depicted on film, even when there's a point to the violence and degradation.  I'm intrigued by what I've read there but, upon reflection, I think I'll pass.   

Rev

  • A Manufacturing Concern
Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2010, 07:42:01 PM »
On a related note, the BBFC have also cut the remake of I Spit on your Grave.  They may have just done that for tradition's sake, though.

Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2010, 10:17:12 PM »
On a related note, the BBFC have also cut the remake of I Spit on your Grave.  They may have just done that for tradition's sake, though.

Aw, that makes me so nostalgic I want to buy a nth generation VHS version of the uncut remake from someone at a horror convention.   

Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2010, 10:21:05 PM »
Quote
Or is it just another blank hearted exploitation flick, though dressed in the clothing of social comment.

Given [probably!] no one was exploited during the making I doubt it's as seedy as any video nasty that's came before it when people were probably put through some torturous conditions ala the Evil Dead cast having to genuinely run barefoot and bare arse through dangerous woods in ice cold autumn weather, or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre cast having to do the same in the opposite weather, all for little to no pay.

It's just going to be a sleek, modern, polished horror film that's going ridiculously OTT ala Eli Roth or Rob Zombie and like an overly long Prodigy video but with some major balls behind it, going from reports. Of course i've not seen it so it could be genuinely horrible and have some kind of meaning going for it like the original Last House On The Left, or it could just be a pile of schlock played for scares and controversy -- the point is these rotten bastards at the BBFC need to be put fucking down for the cuntery they've exhibited since their existence. I can understand filmmakers wanting The Matrix having headbutts cut so they can obhtain a lower rating maximising the potential audience, same with the Expendables wanting 2 seconds cut for the same reason. But shit like Serbian Film? Grotesque? I Spit On Your Grave remake? fuck it. People know what they're going to get when they waltz into the theatre, and someones head being microwaved or cock being pulled off by a motorbike is exactly the kind of bullshit people want shovelled down their gobs from a film like this. In 2010 it's entirely pointless to do this, there's so many avenues of seeing what they've cut out and all these toerags are going to do is ensure a number of people just bootleg the shit out of uncut prints.

Whether the guy has something to say or is causing shit, he has every right to put whatever fictional work he wants out for mass consumption because THIS IS AMERICA GOD DAMNIT. In fact even if the guy is on the wind up, I admire a guy who sets out purely to be on the biggest wind up of all time.

So there!

Rev

  • A Manufacturing Concern
Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2010, 02:22:12 AM »
the point is these rotten bastards at the BBFC need to be put fucking down for the cuntery they've exhibited since their existence

I don't mind the BBFC at all, and to be fair, the whole 'video nasties' nonsense would have been averted if they'd have been involved at the time.  You need a body like them to provide a sense of control and regulation, otherwise any film a tabloid disliked would be banned in one way or another.  They have become very liberal in the last decade or so, too, which is why these cuts seem a bit peculiar.  I'm wondering if they're doing another Manhunt 2; asserting their authority just to prevent accusations of being weak.

Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2010, 06:49:48 PM »
It's out there in torrent form if anyone has the stones for it. As it happens, my morbid curiosity-meter is running pretty low, especially after watching Martyrs the other week and nearly being put to sleep by it.

Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2010, 06:58:22 PM »
I think [spoiler]a newborn being raped to death[/spoiler] is a pretty solid metaphor. If you're going to use film as social commentary, the only way to express such bleakness and anger without showing 'exactly what it was like' is to show something of equivalent analogous diseased terror.

I've no real interest in watching this movie, however, though I did pop an S-Class when I saw some all-fours arse.

Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2010, 08:35:25 PM »
Watching it now. I will post my thoughts later.

Edit:

I'm going to have to go out, but I'm half way through and rather than shocking it's rather silly.

I'm sure there's probably one particularly shocking scene later, but so far it seems like it's shock value has been overstated somewhat.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 09:13:18 PM by thugler »

biggytitbo

  • WHAT ABOUT THE GODDAM JAFFA CAKES ASSWIPE
    • theunredacted
Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2010, 08:39:48 PM »
I bet it isn't as disturbing as return to oz.

AsparagusTrevor

  • Member
  • **
  • I'm fine, thank you.
    • My DeviantArt page
Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2010, 09:11:29 PM »
I bet it isn't as disturbing as return to oz.
It certainly isn't as scary.


I watched the screener doing the rounds a few weeks ago. Yep, it's disturbing, but it seemed like it was trying too hard sometimes. It's probably the only film I've seen a [spoiler]newborn baby raped, and also someone literally being skull-fucked.[/spoiler] So... bonus points for that I suppose.

biggytitbo

  • WHAT ABOUT THE GODDAM JAFFA CAKES ASSWIPE
    • theunredacted
Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2010, 10:15:45 PM »
Wouldn't it be illegal, in the uk at least, to show someone having sex with a child, even if it's completely faked?

Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2010, 12:13:08 AM »

It sounds as if we won't get an uncut cinema release of this film in the UK, throwing up the age old questions of censorship and art. Does A Serbian Film's claims of being an important allegory of the state of modern Serbia justify the scenes within the film? How far should artists be allowed to go in mainstream media? Do these decisions come down to our interpretations about whether the artists intentions are simply to shock or entertain, or to actually attempt to improve the world through the provocation of debate and the use of imagery to help us to  understand issues within our societies?
I think there are two different questions here. The first is whether certain aspects of transgressive/extreme cinema are aesthetically or artistically justified. The second is whether those transgressive elements should be censored, and to me, that should be separate from the first question. When you bring in questions of artistic merit into debates surrounding censorship (and classification), you're getting into cloudy territory. What one person sees as artistic, someone else may not. To me, censorship should be based purely around the legality of what is presented on screen; if during its production there has been abuse of either actors or animals, then censorship is fair enough, but if it's a film made by and with consenting adults, and if the shooting process has abided by the law, then the film should be granted an uncut release and anyone over 18 should be allowed to see that film. Questions about taste, decency and artistic merit should come after.

Of course, that's not how the BBFC always sees it (particularly with regard to eroticised sexual violence and images of children), which brings me to:

Wouldn't it be illegal, in the uk at least, to show someone having sex with
a child, even if it's completely faked?
Yes. As of quite recently, in fact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coroners_and_Justice_Act_2009

Quote
Among its provisions are:

    * preventing criminals from profiting from publications about their crimes[1]
    * abolishing the anachronistic offences of sedition and seditious, defamatory and obscene libel[2]
    * re-enacting the provisions of the emergency Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008 so that the courts may continue to grant anonymity to vulnerable or intimidated witnesses where this is consistent with a defendant's right to a fair trial[1]
    * criminalising possession of pornographic non-photographic images depicting under-18s, and of adults where the "predominant impression conveyed" is of a person under the age of 18 (see Legal status of cartoon pornography depicting minors#United_Kingdom).[3] The Act makes it illegal to own any picture depicting under-18s participating in sexual activities, or depictions of sexual activity in the presence of someone under 18. The law has been condemned by a coalition of graphic artists, publishers and MPs, fearing it will criminalise graphic novels such as Lost Girls and Watchmen.[4] These sections came into effect on 6 April 2010

Sorry for quoting from wikipedia, but the whole act is quite long and hard to abridge. You can read it all here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2009/25/part/2/chapter/2 (note the key phrase they use is 'pseudo-photographs', which essentially means any non-photographic image).

Basically the BBFC has an obligation to abide by this and several other laws (read about it here http://www.bbfc.co.uk/classification/the-bbfc-uk-law). There's also the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (summarised at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_63_of_the_Criminal_Justice_and_Immigration_Act_2008 or in full at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/4/contents), which applies to extreme pornography, but I'm not sure if scenes from A Serbian Film would come under this.

And even if the film abides by UK law, there's still the issue of what the BBFC calls 'potentially harmful material', which is basically any depictions of violence (particularly sexual violence) that endorses or eroticises the violence in question or invites identification with the perpetrator(s). This was the reason the I Spit on Your Grave remake was cut (http://www.bbfc.org.uk/BFF271143).

Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 12:41:53 AM »
I'm not sure that showing a child being raped could be illegal in the UK, there are too many films/TV shows which deal with child abuse (No Child of Mine being one example, that film showed a 12-year old being raped several times). Even real-life child rape was shown on TV as long as the genitals and faces were blurred out as in the Hunt for Britain's Paedophiles docu but that might not be allowed now with that new law (which worries me a bit as I have it on DVD).

Funcrusher

  • Been shot up more times than Tom Mix
Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2010, 09:38:37 AM »
Basically, it's ridiculous that in the 21st century British censors still prevent us from watching these things, while other countries deem their citizens mature enough to decide for themselves. It's particulalrly pointless now the internet makes censorship a nonsense anyway.

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2010, 11:43:55 AM »
I'm not sure that showing a child being raped could be illegal in the UK, there are too many films/TV shows which deal with child abuse (No Child of Mine being one example, that film showed a 12-year old being raped several times). Even real-life child rape was shown on TV as long as the genitals and faces were blurred out as in the Hunt for Britain's Paedophiles docu but that might not be allowed now with that new law (which worries me a bit as I have it on DVD).
That no-one has prosecuted in those cases thus far is no guarantee that possession of identical material at a different time (or, for example, if you re-edit, changing the context) would not make you liable for prosecution. Ostensibly classification of the film should protect you, but only if no changes are made to the presentation of the material. (I don't really see why, for example, pausing the DVD at the wrong bit or playing the scene over-and-over-again wouldn't leave you open to prosecution in theory, but I'm not really sure on this.)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 12:08:33 PM by Zetetic »

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2010, 11:55:13 AM »
(note the key phrase they use is 'pseudo-photographs', which essentially means any non-photographic image).
Wrong. Or at least not right.
Quote from: Consultation on the possession of non-photographic visual depictions of child sexual abuse, 2007
Under current law it is an offence to possess indecent photographs (including videos) and pseudo-photographs of children. However, it is not an offence to possess non-photographic visual depictions of child sexual abuse.
A fairly clear demonstration that, at least in 2007, that the problem that the Government had with 'pseudo-photograph' was that it didn't essentially mean any non-photographic image (or indeed non-photograph which I think is what you meant).

Previous legislation already provided for criminalising possession of 'pseudo-photographs'. What has been changed between 1974 and 2008 was the definition of pseudo-photograph (to include tracings, etc.), although the law had already been interpreted such that material that had at no point involved a photograph was still illegal to own. The whole of Part 2 - Chapter 2 of the 2009 act deals simply with 'images', rather than the odd term 'pseudo-photographs' (although it also serves to amend the 1974 act with 'pseudo-photograph' in places) and that's the point of it. It makes it very clear that what is important is the interpretation of the image not its production (which is obviously ill-judged to my stupid eyes).

Besides which, the relevant 2008 act largely insures that any kind of image is illegal to possess, dependent largely on ill-defined and subjective properties. Conversely, almost any scene, if the BBFC does classify the film, could be legal in the context of that film.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 12:07:06 PM by Zetetic »

Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2010, 02:18:28 PM »
Right I've seen it now.

It's boring and silly. Nothing in it was that shocking, except how poorly put together it was, and how a supposedly shocking 90 minute film can seem really long due to the boredom.

The couple of nasty scenes are just badly trying to court attention, when the film itself stinks.

Sovereign

  • No Tags or PM's or Report To Moderator For You
  • I study murder
Re: A Serbian Film
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2010, 03:49:08 AM »
I saw this the other day, i got about 20 minutes into it and thought it was revolting. And a poorly made film.