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Radmila Djurica

Radmila Djurica is your guide to the festival scenes: Sarajevo, Cannes and many more

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Ralph Fiennes at the Screenings of FEST 2010

The 38th International Film Festival - FEST 2010 opened 19th of February in Belgrade, Serbia, at the gala ceremony, by Serbian actor, director and producer Ljubisa Samardzic, member of the FEST Committee. After the gala opening in Sava Centar, the audience had the opportunity to see Aleksey Balabanov's new film "Morphine" based on Mikhail Bulgakov's novel "Notes of a Young Doctor", with a special role performed by a Serbian actress Katarina Radivojevic.  


This festival, FEST 2010 is proving something that has been there for 40 years and its faithful audience will have the final verdict on films. All generations are still happy and  come together to FEST to enjoy good movies. The City of Belgrade is the founder of FEST and in the times of the economic downturn, it will have to reduce its investments in all festivals it is the founder of, but the festival is an excellent one in terms of quality and organization. It is the festival that should live up to that reputation, and one of the rare international festivals that have survived in a big city. FEST promotes Belgrade as a big production destination, where as for instance Ralph Fiennes has just begun shooting of his film in Belgrade. A good thing is that Serbia is now open for all types of co-productions. As of recently, some film projects may compete directly with European film funds. Owing to the new law on Serbian cinematography, the filmmakers will have much more to do, not merely to an art film, but also to an industry.

  The biggest news for now is certainly the appearance of Ralph Fiennes on the journalist screening of the film „Lebanon film directed by Samuel Maoz, about a first Lebanon war. Ralph Fiennes has just begun shooting of his brand new film in Belgrade.    



 Morphia Morpheous   Morphia is based on Mikhail Bulgakov’s semi-autobiographical early diaries and the script was written by late Sergei Bodrov Jr. The film has been discussed in terms of the second hand in a way, because the Notes of a Young Doctor are not that well known Bulgakov's work, but appreciation (or tolerance) on this film will inevitably depend on where you stand regarding his work on yet remarkably consistent aesthetic and ideology. The film Morphia is closest in terms of its historical context to a Revolution that we see non. It is also more subtle than any other of such films, and visually more accomplished in its stunning color palette, and mixing. Yet it may also be Balabanov’s most pessimistic, perhaps ideologically conservative film.  On the other hand, the film is technically impressive, the period reproduction is particular awesome. Set in Siberia, during the important time of the Russian Revolution, a young doctor is sent to a small provincial hospital as a doctor. After an allergic reaction to a diphtheria vaccination, he is given morphine, to which he gradually becomes addicted to.   Despite obvious strengths, the film may be a challenge for some audiences. An amputation are particularly gruesome, with constant snow and blizzards that give a chilling effect. Perhaps most significant is that there are virtually no redeemable characters and the main character, young doc is an terrible drug addict, and in order to get insights into his inner world we see all the gruesome details of his slow decay due to his drug addiction. The director insist on keeping audience out in the cold, on many ways. And there is no warm to it, it is disturbing and needs something light afterwards.     

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