Is "A Serbian Film" the most shocking film of all time?

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 8 years ago '05        #1
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DaOmega_1 271 heat pts271
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Is "A Serbian Film" the most shocking film of all time?
 

 
DISCLAIMER: I have chosen to give this film 1 Skull. This represents the most difficult decision I have ever made regarding the rating of a film. The reason for this decision is hopefully laid out before you in this review. It is not a reflection on the physical quality of the work contained here or the execution and success of the film based on the Director's intentions. Serbian Film is a polarizing production, one that is in many ways a work of either pure genius or absolute insanity. However as I find the film to personally have no redeeming social or political or artistic value, it is my option that a 5 skull rating just for sheer audacity is both misleading and unfair to you as a viewing audience. Take that as either a recommendation or a damnation, as you will.

Salo, Gummo, Inside, all of these films have one thing in common. I was unprepared for what I saw when I sat down to watch them. I mean, sure, I had an inkling that they were supposed to be "shocking" but no real comprehension of the horrors that would fill my screen with each passing frame. Each film had some buzz for me, I knew of Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini from reading a Kathy Acker book in high school that featured the Director as a character. I knew Gummo was from the writer of Kids and I knew Inside was the second film I was to about watch in the ďFrench New Wave of Horror CinemaĒ. But the buzz on each film was a low hum and certainly not apocalyptic in scope. No one told me that these films would ruin me or make me physically ill but all three did that at varying intervals in my life. Salo in the early 90ís, Gummo a few years later and Inside just a few short years ago. Still, in the annals of my cinematic experience, none of these films can hold a candle to what I witnessed at the Alamo Drafthouse during the SXSW Film Festival.

Serbian Film arrived with every conceivable warning--unlike that trilogy above. I was told time and again by a trusted source (with a stomach of iron) that this film contained scenes that wouldÖnothing short of r*pe my soul. Hyperbole that I couldnít even argue as I sat in stunned silence with 250 other people as the credits closed. It wasn't that I was unprepared for what I had just seen. I was fully prepared. I was over prepared. I was ready to have my soul r*ped. I had no faith in humanity to question. Iíve seen everything. Iíve seen internet pr0no that would make you run to a monastery. Iíve laughed at the August Underground and Guinea Pig films. Iíve sat behind the lens on film sets and watched every manner of chunk blowing effects shot executed 50 feet from my face. I've seen people die in documentaries jumping off the Golden State Bridge, I've seen PeTA videos, I sat with you all on September 11th and cried as the towers came tumbling down. Nothing was going to faze me. I was wrong.

I canít bring myself to utter the two-word phrase joyously shouted with mad delight by the crazed film producer at the center of this story. I can't unsee what I saw. I can't close my eyes and not go on the journey of Milos (Srdjan Todorovic)--a former pr0n star with a beautiful wife and young son who is lured back into the world of adult films by a former co-star and a visionary director who promises a great deal of money to make the ultimate art house pr0no film. Not knowing what the film is about, Milos agrees--against his seeming better judgment--to pursue the project for the hope that the funds will free him and his family from their drab existence in Serbia. But what kind of movie is Vukmir making, why and for whom? These are the questions Milos asks and these are the answers that you donít want to know.

Serbian Film is not a ďWar MovieĒ however it is a battle and itís stained with the blood of tens of thousands. The film from director Srdjan Spasojevic is ostensibly a reactionary piece. Built out of a film industry that is just suffering the pangs of birth and freedom only a decade or so after the war ravaged country reemerged from the former Yugoslavia and only 4 years after gaining its independence from Montenegro.

Born of nearly 20 years of conflict, genocide and a systematic military campaign of r*pe as a tactical weapon. Serbian Film follows French cinema pioneers Gaspar Noe (Irreversible) and Virginie Despentes (Baise-moi) in destroying the status quo regarding on screen violence and s3xuality. It is as much a revelation as to the power of image as it is a repulsion to all be the most depraved viewer. Is it designed to make you sick. Is it designed to make you wish you were never born with the blessing of sight and the beauty of a moral compass. Is it a powerful film conceived in a place that saw the absolute worst of what humanity is capable. If you canít imagine what is like to sit though this movie, how can you ever imagine or empathize, understand or respect what the Serbian, Albanian, Croatian and other former residents of Yugoslavia endured for almost 15-years. But does that make it a good movie?

In many ways Serbian Film is like going to war. Its purpose is to shock you and it does so with impunity. I canít imagine the horrors that the people of Serbia endured not so long ago. I canít relate to the character of Milos. I canít in even my most evil and vile dreams conceive of what he experiences over the course of the movie. I donít identify with that, and for that I am eternally grateful. However, if going on this journey is enough to make anyone understand the metaphor than perhaps the film is a success and in that success the world would never go to war again.

To describe the horrors in this film to a niche movie-going public that will either embrace the film's extremity (or run screaming to the nearest cliff and hurl their bodies off it in protest) is futile. If what I have written here is enough to turn your feelings of wonder into a burning desire to watch this monstrosity, then perhaps I haven't been clear enough. You don't want to see Serbian Film. You just think you do. You've been far too desensitized. You've laughed at people that fainted in theaters, snickered at legends of grown men and women who walked out of movie premieres and puked on lobby floors. You think you've seen it all and after this, you'll wish you had.

In the end, maybe Serbian Film is just another exploitation film. Just the twisted ravings of a lunatic mind, just another P.T. Barnum, button-pushing product that can famously tote that cinema labs in Hungary and Germany refused to even print the film due to content issues. Perhaps it is an allegory for what the Bosnian War mean to generations of people. Perhaps it's a cold hard look into a desensitized world where video games morals have turned 10-year-olds into rapists and murders? Perhaps, in some ways itís all those things. But, the one thing it is not, is entertainment.

[pic - click to view]

 Bloody disgusting Horror - "A Serbian Film (SXSW '10)" Movie Info, Review, Headlines, Gallery

Here's the trailer

[pic - click to view]

 Serbian Film (Srpski film) Red Band Trailer B - Trailer Addict

Needless to say, f*ck this movie. I ain't watching this bullsh*t. The trailer was enough.

206 comments for "Is "A Serbian Film" the most shocking film of all time?"

 8 years ago '07        #2
RedMonkeyJunkie 11 heat pts11
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wtf, trailer lookin real stupid.
 8 years ago '05        #3
DaOmega_1 271 heat pts271 OP
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 RedMonkeyJunkie said:
wtf, trailer lookin real stupid.
Milos (Srdjan Todorovic), a retired pr0n star who's lured in for one last (inevitably ill-advised) gig, is shown a tape in which a man attends a nud3 pregnant woman through labor, and then unzips and r*pes the still-bloody infant.


Again, f*ck this movie.
 8 years ago '07        #4
RedMonkeyJunkie 11 heat pts11
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Don't get how movies like these are even made.
 8 years ago '06        #5
StillFree28 27 heat pts27
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rape your soul....damn
 8 years ago '06        #6
G2MC 35 heat pts35
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Mental Sickness.
 04-11-2010, 10:49 PM         #7
The Muffin Man 
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I watched this and didn't flinch

either I'm Hannibal Lecter or people forget it's just a move...even with the imagery
 8 years ago '07        #8
Bleezy 10 heat pts10
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WTF did I just watch. Damn my curiosity, damn it to hell!!!
 8 years ago '09        #9
kingstown04 1 heat pts
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not watchin the trailer...comments enough said, the hell is the point to making these wacked out movies..:smh2:
 8 years ago '04        #10
persuazion 2 heat pts
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def gotta check this out!
 8 years ago '05        #11
DaOmega_1 271 heat pts271 OP
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 The Muffin Man said:
I watched this and didn't flinch

either I'm Hannibal Lecter or people forget it's just a move...even with the imagery
Either you are Hannibal Lecter, or you're lying and you didn't see it because it has only shown anywhere in the world TWICE, and that was in Austin, Texas for South By Southwest. There are no screeners. It doesn't even have a distributor.
 8 years ago '05        #12
marzeial 1 heat pts
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f**k that movie... That limit pushing business for no artistic reason is just plain stupid. The talk about that film is down right disgusting


[pic - click to view]

 8 years ago '05        #13
DaOmega_1 271 heat pts271 OP
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 marzeial said:
f**k that movie... That limit pushing business for no artistic reason is just plain stupid. The talk about that film is down right disgusting


[pic - click to view]

Co sign to the 10th power.
 8 years ago '04        #14
RICKS 7 heat pts
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damn...reading that made me curious...def wanna watch this...
 8 years ago '04        #15
persuazion 2 heat pts
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 marzeial said:
f**k that movie... That limit pushing business for no artistic reason is just plain stupid. The talk about that film is down right disgusting


[pic - click to view]

Who are you to decide whats artistic and whats not? I like the idea of them giving a big middle finger to their countrys censorship laws....
 8 years ago '05        #16
DaOmega_1 271 heat pts271 OP
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 persuazion said:
Who are you to decide whats artistic and whats not? I like the idea of them giving a big middle finger to their countrys censorship laws....
Believe it or not, I don't think there isn't artistic merit in this film. I think art is all relative, and can be defined many different ways. BUT, as for my own moral compass, I just can't co-sign it. That's all... This will talk to some people... Just not me.
 8 years ago '04        #17
RoyceDa59 240 heat pts240
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I'd watch this, I thought the trailer was gonna be some extreme s**t but it was
 8 years ago '06        #18
25toLife 
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 RoyceDa59 said:
I'd watch this, I thought the trailer was gonna be some extreme s**t but it was
 8 years ago '04        #19
persuazion 2 heat pts
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 DaOmega_1 said:
Believe it or not, I don't think there isn't artistic merit in this film. I think art is all relative, and can be defined many different ways. BUT, as for my own moral compass, I just can't co-sign it. That's all... This will talk to some people... Just not me.
thats cool......all people have their own views and tastes on things. I read the bloodydisgusting review where they gave it one skull but then theres reviewers like this who have a different take on the film...

"This is, quite simply, a flat-out brilliant film. There are no wasted scenes. From the first sequence that establishes the generational divide and the discovery of the sins of the father, each scene is note-perfect in escalating the film to a fever pitch. Content aside, on a purely technical level, this film could be released in theatres tomorrow. It's a beautiful film, amazingly well shot, with clear stylistic influences from '70s grindhouse to giallo. It is a mind-blowing, visceral experience that, days later, I still can't get out of my head. It has sparked some of the best and longest discussions on art and film of the entire festival. A Serbian Film hit me like a shot of adrenaline to the brain. Emotional, angry and intense, this is one of the best films I've seen in a long time."


Either way I hope its not banned and shelved forever....
 8 years ago '05        #20
DaOmega_1 271 heat pts271 OP
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 persuazion said:
thats cool......all people have their own views and tastes on things. I read the bloodydisgusting review where they gave it one skull but then theres reviewers like this who have a different take on the film...

"This is, quite simply, a flat-out brilliant film. There are no wasted scenes. From the first sequence that establishes the generational divide and the discovery of the sins of the father, each scene is note-perfect in escalating the film to a fever pitch. Content aside, on a purely technical level, this film could be released in theatres tomorrow. It's a beautiful film, amazingly well shot, with clear stylistic influences from '70s grindhouse to giallo. It is a mind-blowing, visceral experience that, days later, I still can't get out of my head. It has sparked some of the best and longest discussions on art and film of the entire festival. A Serbian Film hit me like a shot of adrenaline to the brain. Emotional, angry and intense, this is one of the best films I've seen in a long time."


Either way I hope its not banned and shelved forever....
Yeah, I've been reading review after review on this to gain a better perspective on this. As a filmmaker, and as an artist, it's hard for me to say that I am against this movie, even though I am never ever ever gonna see this.

I remember them saying this about Von Trier's "Antichrist". But, I really can't see this getting a theatrical release, but it could have a long and steady life on DVD as a cult film.
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