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A Serbian Film(2010)
Milos is a former porn star who is down on his luck financially. When he receives a call from his long-time movie actress partner, Layla, he welcomes her call. Apparently she's heard that a new film director wants to hire Milos to star in his "artistically-designed" porn film for a very generous price. He is easily lured form his semi-retirement by the lucrative offer, agreeing to meet the director in an isolated mansion. As the filming progresses, Milo begins to suspect that the director's intentions may be darker than mere pornography. As the film begins to devolve into a horrifically violent production, Milos finds escape may not be an option.
For more about A Serbian Film and the A Serbian Film Blu-ray release, see A Serbian Film Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on March 1, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Director: Srđan Spasojević
Writers: Aleksandar Radivojevic, Srđan Spasojević
Starring: Srđan Todorović, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic, Slobodan Bestic, Katarina Zutic, Luka Mijatovic
» See full cast & crew
A Serbian Film Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, March 1, 2011
Screened at the South by Southwest Film Festival, Srdjan Spasojevic's "Srpski film" a.k.a "A Serbian Film" (2010) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Revolver Entertainment. The only supplemental feature on the disc is a Q&A session with director Srdjan Spasojevic and production manager Nikola Pantelic, hosted by film critic Alan Jones. In Serbian, with imposed English subtitles for the main feature. Region-Free. Please be advised that the film contains graphic and extremely disturbing footage that is not appropriate for minors!
Somewhere in Serbia. Milos (Srdjan Todorovic, Black Cat, White Cat), a retired porn star, is contacted by Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovic, The Border Post), a shady businessman, who wants to see him play the main protagonist in a new art film. Milos is intrigued because the pay is fantastic, but wants to know more about the project before he commits to it. Much to his surprise, the only description he is offered is that he would have to act absolutely unprepared. This new approach to filmmaking, Vukmir clarifies, guarantees total authenticity, which is what he and the rest of the film's producers are most interested in.
After a quick discussion with his wife, Marija (Jelena Gavrilovic, The Beautiful Blue Danube), Milos accepts Vukmir's offer. A couple of days later, he is picked up by one of Vukmir's giant bodyguards and taken to a remote building full of cameras. Shooting begins and Milos slowly realizes that he has sold his soul to the Devil.
Let's get right to the point: Srdjan Spasojevic's A Serbian Film contains incredibly graphic and seriously disturbing footage that most people will find impossible to tolerate. Violence and sex are mixed in a sickening cocktail that is far stronger than anything other similarly-themed films have offered in the past. So don't experiment with A Serbian Film unless you are absolutely certain that you are ready to endure extremely offensive and graphic visuals.
The film is a dirty, violent, repulsive caricature of the Serbian society - politically and culturally raped by its leaders and isolated by the civilized world. What Spasojevic wants to convey with it is that now things have gotten so out of control in his home country that anything, and he means absolutely anything, even the unimaginable, is possible there.
Whether Spasojevic had to go this far to have his voice heard is something that will most likely be debated for years to come. But it won't be a new debate, only a slightly updated one. Pasolini's Salo: 120 Days of Sodom, Despentes and Coralie's Rape Me, Noe's Irreversible, and most recently von Trier's Antichrist have all endured what I believe A Serbian Film will as well.
If there is anything that separates A Serbian Film from the films mentioned above it is the tiny bit of sanity they house. They can be tolerated because what they depict can be traced back to its origin. This isn't the case with A Serbian Film. What you see in it you have to rationalize on your own; you must also figure out on your own what has inspired it; and this isn't easy, because everything is so chaotic, so twisted, so Balkanized that more often than not it feels like the film actually promotes what it apparently denounces.
Ultimately, A Serbian Film makes it perfectly clear that a lot has been irreversibly damaged in Serbia. Serbians know it; most of their Balkan neighbors do as well. Slobodan Milosevic and his nationalists created a hell from which there is simply no way out, and now ordinary Serbians can either embrace it or end up doing what Milos and his family do in the film. Scary.
Note: The version of A Serbian Film included on the Blu-ray disc herein reviewed, courtesy of British distributors Revolver Entertainment, has undergone various cuts. As presented, the film runs at approximately 100 minutes. The fully uncut version of the film runs at approximately 104 minutes.
A Serbian Film Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in aspect ratio of 2.40:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Srdjan Spasojevic's A Serbian Film arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Revolver Entertainment.
Shot on location in Belgrade with a RED One Digital Camera, A Serbian Film looks impressive. Detail, clarity and contrast are all quite remarkable. The daylight scenes convey tremendous depth and fluidity, while the nighttime scenes look crisp and clear. Because of the limited lighting, however, some of the indoor scenes look somewhat soft (similar softness is also present on Steven Soderbergh's Che, which was also shot with a RED One Digital Camera). Color reproduction is practically flawless; even the memory flashbacks, where some colors are heavily manipulated, look strong. Lastly, there are absolutely no stability issues to report in this review whatsoever. All in all, A Serbian Film looks excellent on Blu-ray. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location. Please note that there is no problematic PAL or 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu).
A Serbian Film Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: Serbian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Serbian Dolby Digital 2.0. For the record, Revolver Entertainment have provided imposed English subtitles for the main feature. They appear inside the image frame.
The Serbian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track does not disappoint either. Sky Wikluh's intense music score certainly benefits greatly from the loseless treatment. Quite a few of the most controversial scenes in the film also feature good surround effect. The dialog is crisp, clean, stable, and exceptionally easy to follow. Finally, the English translation is good, but I notice a few minor grammatical errors.
A Serbian Film Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Note: The supplemental features on this Blu-ray disc are encoded in PAL. Therefore, you if you reside in North America, or another region where PAL is not supported, you must have a Region-Free player capable of converting PAL to NTSC or a native Region-B player and a TV set capable of processing PAL-encoded data in order to access them.
A Serbian Film Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Ugly, disturbing, controversial. These are only a few of many terms one could use to describe Srdjan Spasojevic's A Serbian Film. Ultimately, however, all of them are absolutely worthless, as what takes place in the film cannot be described with simple words. Time will tell if A Serbian Film had to be made, but for now its creators appear to have accomplished at least one of their goals - people around the world are once again talking about their native country. RECOMMENDED ONLY FOR MATURE VIEWERS.
A Serbian Film: Other Editions
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A Serbian Film Blu-ray, News and Updates
• A Serbian Film Blu-ray in October - July 30, 2011
Independent distributors Invincible Pictures have revealed that they are planning to release on Blu-ray Srdjan Spasojevic's highly controversial Srpski film a.k.a A Serbian Film (2010). Technical specs and special features are yet to be announced, but the preliminary ...
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