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DNKraljacic - Dex

Comments on some recent movies that are not widely available... from the standpoint of a filmmaker, screenwriting professor, and a film critic and scholar.

Dejan Nikolaj Kraljacic is a regular contributor


Montreal World Film Festival 2014 Movie Reviews: GONZALEZ - best first fiction feature

Mexican Gonzalez, an extraordinary debut film of Christian Diaz Pardo (made for less than $100.000), arguably won Golden Zenith award for best first fiction feature (awarded from a jury headed by film scholar and connoisseur, Iranian filmmaker Bahman Maghsoudlou, author of the great documentary Abbas Kiarostami: A report, which I reviewed last year).

Gonzales is a story about a young man in debt who finds a new job as a call center operator of a Christian sect led by a highly seductive pastor (compelling performance by Carlos Bardem, brother of Javier). Quite disturbing and unexpected is the call center by itself, which looks like any other contemporary teleshop, with a number of employees working inside their inhuman cubicles, yet selling “comfort” to their customers! Always dressed in a suit, charismatic samurai-like Gonzalez, on the path of fulfilling his ambitions (to climb the ladder of power and become a new pastor), leads us through the harsh world of unscrupulous manipulation of religious feelings where the main victims are people living in poverty. What keeps the audience’s attention the most is the very mature Pardo’s directorial style and his clever approach to subject matter, without sentimentality and redundant moralization, which are so often exploited in cinema dealing with this issue (usual images of poverty, etc.).

This intense, well-crafted thriller with a social-issue concern that owes much to its brilliant title role of Harold Torres (also producer of the movie) certainly gives a new hope to Mexican cinema, establishing two great young talents - Pardo and Torres. 


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Comments (1)

Montreal World Film Festival (FFM 2014) - movie reviews

If Icelandic Of Men and Horses was the only movie shown in this year’s FFM program, I would still argue that it was a year worth remembering. Yet, we were lucky enough to have more compelling titles that also deserve mentioning. Above all was the Mexican Gonzalez...

About DNKraljacic - Dex

Kraljacic Dejan Nikolaj

Dex wrote, directed and produced almost a dozen shorts and documentaries, including award-winning pieces (such as a short Balkan Blues and documentary Shattered Dreams) since the mid-1990s.

Co-wrote the Huddersfield feature film that was awarded for best screenplay of the year in Serbia (2007). Since the late 1990s, have been working in the advertising field, was a film program director, cinema books publisher, staged an original comedy in theatre, and dealt with film criticism (a member of FIPRESCI). An associate professor of screenwriting at Academy of Arts University of Novi Sad, Serbia, a Raindance / Staffordshire University postgraduate degree film program mentor (UK/Canada - worldwide (online)). Holds a Ph.D. in film studies. Very fond of comic books.

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