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South East European Film Festival


Southeast European Film Festival, Los Angeles (SEEfest) is a competition festival which educates about the cultural diversity of Southeast Europe and fosters cultural exchange through its annual presentations of films from the countries of the Balkans and Caucasus. Categories: Feature films, narrative documentaries, short fiction and short docs as well as short animation. Submissions are typically opened from mid-September to mid-February. SEEfest is week-long event and takes place annually at the end of April-beginning of May, in Los Angeles, CA. Awards are given in all categories by juries of Hollywood professionals. For more info, please visit https://seefilmla.org/


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Conclusion of the Slovenian Film Retrospective in Los Angeles

The last week of the Slovenian Film Retrospective at the
Hammer Museum in September was as memorable as the first, which I wrote about
in two previous blog posts.

 

I was unfortunately not able to see the next two films in
the series, Dance in the Rain, an
enigmatic love story that (to quote the program) “masterfully weighs whether
life’s plateaus are cause for disillusion or hope,” and Sand Castle, a “tour-de-force of absurdist, physical comedy [that]
subtly interrogates the supposed panacea of materialism, leisure, and the
flight from one’s own history.” Both were by master filmmaker Boštjan Hladnik, and were among the last
films made before Marshal Josip Broz Tito was named President for Life in 1963.
The two I did see were somewhat disappointing. Stronghold of Toughs, 1967’s view of juvenile hall bullies, may
have offered startling in-your-face realism not usually condoned by a communist
state at the time, but it was oh, so tame by our standards today. And Paper Planes (also 1967) was so dreamily
slow that the love story did not hold me.

 

On the final weekend, I did not see 1980’s Raft of the Medusa, but caught the final
evening, which was great. Gravehopping
(2005) was a very darkly comic view on death and suicide, which remains a
leading cause of death in Slovenia (higher than in any of the other former
Yugoslav republics, I’m told). The film follows Pero, a resilient character who
makes ends meet by writing and giving funeral orations in which people
sometimes laugh for all the wrong reasons. It’s funny until Pero finds himself
giving an oration that he’d much rather not. This film was paired with 9:06, a thriller about the events and
obsession that lead a private investigator to assume the identity of the man
he’s investigating, living in the dead man’s apartment, contacting the man’s
paramour, and revisiting the scene of the man’s suicide on the highest and
perhaps most beautiful road bridge in Slovenia, over the river Soka. The
evening concluded with a stimulating conversation with 9:06’s director, Igor
Šterk.
, who was there in person
from Slovenia.

 

Both films represented stories that could not have been
made in America—the world view is just so different. I found it especially
illuminating to experience, through film, these windows on interior Slovenian worlds
that travelers rarely see. I’d love to hear what anyone else thought of these
films. Any comments?

 

For photos of the Slovenian Retrospective, see http://t.co/ShUih4cM   
Deirdre 

About South East European Film Festival

Mijojlic Vera
(SOUTH EAST EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL)

Southeast European Film Festival educates about the cultural diversity of Southeast Europe and fosters cultural exchange through its annual presentations of films from this region. For more info please visit: https://seefilmla.org/


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