Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Nevinost bez zastite

see here[^] is just about my all time favourite movie. I don't really do favourites; how could one choose between A Clockwork Orange, Brighton Rock, Tommy, 2001: A Space Odyssey, War and Peace, Pennies from Heaven (the series not the movie), The Adding Machine, Footlight Parade, The Defiant Ones, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Carry on up the Jungle etc...

But gut feeling tells me that Innocence Unprotected (the translation of the subject) is somewhat less well known. You'd guess well if you guessed I saw it on SBS TV, Australia. I taped it and just about wore out the tape.

The original movie was shot in Serbia in 1940 or 1941 during the German occupation. It seems it was shown in Serbia at the time and it's popularity as the first Serbian sound movie caused considerable consternation to the German authorities. The Germans ran colour movies against it (it's a black and white movie) and eventually it was withdrawn, sealed in a barrel and buried. Many years later (when Serbia was on the other side of the Iron Curtain) it was dug up and Dusan Makavejev saw it.

Now I'll be the first to admit that the original movie is crap. The acting is just plain embarrasing. But Dusan saw something in it that was worth preserving - hence this version. He turns it into something wonderful; cutting from the original 1941 footage to WW2 propoganda from the German side (footage of a German flight crew grimacing over cod liver oil and footage of the oil flow from Kiev to Berlin) and then cutting to interviews with the original cast shot in 1968. Most of the latter is shot at the grave of one of the actors in the original film.

It's a wonderful film and I can't wait for it to come out on DVD.

Oh, and Dusan Makavejev directed another film I like though I haven't seen it in nearly 20 years. The film is[^] (The Coca Cola kid). I saw it on HBO in San Francisco nearly 20 years ago. There's a wonderful line in it (I need to paint the scenario).

In this film the Coca Cola company are concerned that Coke sales in outback Australia have fallen so they send an executive to Australia to find out why. The executive decides that Coca Cola needs an Australian theme to their adverts so he hires an Australian rock band to do the music for the ads. At a rehearsal he asks the lead singer 'is this authentically Australian?'. The Australian replies 'it's as Australian as a shit sandwich'.

I was watching that scene with some American friends and I cracked up laughing. The more they asked what it meant the more I laughed. Almost 20 years later I still can't explain just why that line is so funny; but funny it surely is! You have to be an Australian to understand!

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