Blu-ray Review: A Serbian Film (2010)

March 27, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Look, most of you lot want nothing to do with A Serbian Film… I know I didn’t ever want to again… but it got sent my way for review from the fine fiends at Unearthed Films and MVD Entertainment, so here we are…
The long and short of A Serbian Film goes as follows: ex-porn star Miloš (Srdjan Todorovic) is livin’ the quite life with his wife (Jelena Gavrilovic) and son… though he does return to “the biz” when low on dough.
This opens the door for Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovic), a director of questionable motives to enter the scene with his “art film” he wants ol’ Miloš to do his magic in… but this being a film of questionable motives, the film is a sort of snuff film… and that’s the most pleasant aspect of the production…a production that may be the end of Miloš body and soul…
Writer/director Srdjan Spasojevic (along with co-writer Aleksandar Radivojevic) go waaaay too far with A Serbian Film… and that’s exactly the point. This film will make you feel absolutely horrible… and that’s also the point. It’s kinda hard to review this one succinctly.
For all of it’s simulated nastiness, the undercurrent of the A Serbian Film is one of folks caught in a nasty situation with seemingly no chance of redemption or salvation. It’s a chilling look at people slipping into an abyss, then finding it’s still a long way down… a fact that becomes more poignant after doing even the briefest amount of research into what existence in Serbia can be day to day.
There’s also plenty to say here on just what constitutes “art”. When is a work an excepted piece of artistic expression and when is it just exploitation. This theme is examined to shocking, and darkly satirical extremes… and as mentioned above, it’s all (thankfully) movie magic bullshit, but it hits hard as fuck all the same.
Further exploration into just what was on the mind of Spasojevic and Radivojevic is provided on this Blu-ray release courtesy of a commentary track between Spasojevic and Unearthed Films’ head honcho Stephen Biro, with additional commentary on the film’s impact and themes courtesy of The Movie Crypt’s Joe Lynch and Adam Green. These are essential listening if you wish to peel a few layers away to get to the heart of the film.
Speaking of special features, there are also a duo of Q&A segments from various film festivals, a photo gallery, trailers, as well as a look at an exhibition of the props used in the film, a glimpse behind the scenes of the film’s special effects, and a preview of an upcoming documentary centered on the film.
A Serbian Film is vile, disgusting, and completely repulsive… but if you can get beyond that… and that’s a huge “if”… you’ll find layers of social commentary, as well as pointed commentary on art and just what qualifies as such.
 

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