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 »  Home  »  Culture And Arts  »  Croatian Cinema in Chicago from February 3 - March 6, 2008
Croatian Cinema in Chicago from February 3 - March 6, 2008
By Marko Puljić | Published  02/12/2008 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
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Cinema Croatia

The Gene Siskel Film Center's focus on the ever-surprising Croatian cinema, February 3 through March 6, encompasses six feature films ranging from the 1970 comedy ONE SONG A DAY TAKES MISCHIEF AWAY to the very recent ARMIN (above), hit of many a European festival and Croatia's current contender for an Oscar nomination. No survey of Croatian cinema would be complete without a look at the wonderfully innovative animation of the "Zagreb school," and we close the series with a large program of favorites by masters including Dusan Vukotic and Vlado Kristl.

For generous support and cooperation, the Gene Siskel Film Center thanks Consul General Marica Zorica Matkovic, Consulate General of the Republic of Croatia in Chicago; and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia.

2006, Antonio Nuic, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzogovina/Serbia and Montenegro, 94 min.
With Rakan Rushaidat, Natasa Janjic

"Hits the mark… a calm charm without fireworks."--Deborah Young, Variety

Absurdity and dark humor characterize this gently allegorical tale with sad roots in the Bosnian conflict. An astoundingly stupid barroom brawl leaves Goran (Rushaidat) suddenly bereft of his three best friends and drinking buddies. He fills the hole in his life by outfitting a truck as a rolling soda fountain and traveling the countryside to give away his wares "all for free." From town to town he is greeted with the utmost suspicion. In Croatian with English subtitles. 35mm. (BS)
Sunday, February 3, 3:00 pm
Thursday, February 7, 8:15 pm
2007, Ognjen Svilicic, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Germany, 82 min.
With Emir Hadzihafizbegovic, Armin Omerovic-Muhedin

"Echoes of Visconti's BELLISSIMA and De Sica's BICYCLE THIEF… realistic, down-to-earth performances."--Deborah Young, Variety

Winner of a host of film festival awards throughout 2007, ARMIN is Croatia's submission for Oscar consideration. An ambitious father brings his 13-year-old accordion-playing son to Germany to audition for a role in a film about the Bosnian war. The shy, pudgy boy, who may be epileptic, is hardly movie star material, but making dad proud is everything. Director Svilicic's (SORRY FOR KUNG FU) focus is not on the film within the film, but on the tenderly deepening relationship between father and son. In Croatian, German, Bosnian, and English with English subtitles. 35mm. (BS)
Saturday, March 1, 8:00 pm
Tuesday, March 4, 6:00 pm
2003, Zrinko Ogresta, Croatia, 90 min.
With Jasmin Telalovic, Marija Tadic

A series of portraits in miniature strikes a delicate balance between irony and tragedy in this award-winning drama. A soldier's attempt to help a homeless man backfires; a heroin addict goes to unusual lengths to find a fix; a lonely man is unexpectedly invited on a date by his neighbor; a TV actor sees the bottle as his only friend; and a father and son reach the limits of their endurance. Each story morphs into the next to create the sense that "here" is a state of mind because "there" in the film's war-torn landscape is a place that no longer exists. In Croatian with English subtitles. 35mm. (BS)
Sunday, February 24, 3:15 pm
Tuesday, February 26, 8:30 pm
1996, Vinko Bresan, Croatia, 97 min.
With Ljubomir Kerekes, Matija Prskalo

This wacky black comedy, set circa 1992 on a small Dalmatian island that has just been declared a part of Croatia, started its own film industry revolution with a daring and hugely popular send-up of the Balkan war. The stiff-necked commander of the island’s military unit threatens to blow the place sky-high rather acknowledge the altered sovereignty. When unorthodox methods to defuse him fail, enterprising citizens resort to an even more risky scheme: a recently arrived visitor is dressed up as a Yugoslav general and sent in to give orders. In Croatian with English subtitles. 35mm. (BS)
Saturday, February 23, 5:30 pm
Monday, February 25, 8:00 pm
  Light Drawings: The Zagreb School of Animation
1958-78, Various directors, Croatia, 112 min.

The golden age of the innovative "Zagreb school" of animation, spearheaded by the company Zagreb Film, creator of more than 600 animated shorts and winner of more than 400 awards, is showcased in this program curated by Mato Kukuljica. Included: THE LONER (Vatroslac Mimica, 1958); CONCERTO FOR A SUB-MACHINE GUN (Dusan Vukotic, 1958); THE INSPECTOR IS BACK! (Vatroslav Mimica, 1959); THE PIECE OF SHAGREEN LEATHER (Vlado Kristl, 1960); DON QUIXOTE (Vlado Kristl, 1961); THE SUBSTITUTE (Dusan Vukotic, 1961); THE WALL (Ante Zaninovic, 1965); CURIOSITY (Borivoj Dovnikovic-Bordo, 1966); REVELRY (Zlatko Bourek, 1966); PASSING DAYS (Nedeljko Dragic, 1969); and SATIEMANIA (Zdenko Gasparovic, 1978). In Croatian with English subtitles. 35mm. (BS)
Sunday, March 2, 5:15 pm
Thursday, March 6, 8:15 pm
1970, Kresimir Golik, Croatia, 96 min.
With Mirjana Bohanec, Relja Basic

This charming comedy with the soul of a musical is seen through the not-so-innocent eyes of six-year-old Perica. A sly seducer uses bogus courtship of the boy’s awkward spinster aunt as the cover for his visits to his luscious and very bored mother. Meanwhile, dad is not so much dimwitted as giddily distracted by the prospect of marrying off his old-maid sister-in-law. In Croatian with English subtitles. 35mm. (BS)
Saturday, February 9, 8:00 pm
Monday, February 11, 8:15 pm
1973, Krsto Papic, Croatia, 98 min.
With Rade Serbedzija, Milena Dravic

"Brilliantly evokes a Western in the vein of John Ford."--Cedric Cheung-Lau, Columbia Spectator

A satirical portrait of small-town corruption evolves from the story of a pompous provincial official’s attempts to earn brownie points with his superiors by mounting an amateur production of Hamlet, a work he doesn’t know but believes to be a suitably impressive classic. After claiming for himself the role of the perfidious king Claudius, the clueless commissar engages in some eerily true to life casting that results in the social and political conflicts of the village being played out onstage for all to see. In Croatian with English subtitles. 35mm. (BS)
Saturday, February 16, 8:00 pm
Thursday, February 21, 8:15 pm


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  Marko Puljić
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