films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Black Cat, White Cat

Crna Macka, Beli Macor
1998 / 127m - Yugoslavia
Comedy, Romance
Black Cat, White Cat poster

Quite a bit livelier than I remembered it to be. Black Cat, White Cat is a pretty entertaining film, full of zany characters, odd situations, and sporting a fair number of absurd moments, though never quite crossing over into complete madness. An uplifting Balkan comedy if there ever was one.

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Matko is a hustler, even though he isn't cut out to be one. When he combines forces with a notorious criminal, he gets scammed and has to give away his only son Zare in marriage to the criminal's sister. Zare is in love with another woman, luckily his grandfather is there to help him out.

Kusturica is fun as long as you don't expect a relaxing film. The characters are noisy, the music is ever-present and everything is well over-the-top. The comedy is borderline slapstick. Not always very refined, but there's a bit more to it than barebones physical comedy. A great way to waste two hours, if you have the energy for it.

Time of the Gypsies

Dom za Vesanje
1988 / 142m - Yugoslavia
Crime, Drama, Fantasy
Time of the Gypsies poster

The fact that I haven't seen too many Kusturica films yet, yet I can still recognize this as a vintage Kusturica says something about this director. I'm not a spirited fan of his work, but there are definitely moments of genius in his films. It's a shame they're not a bit more consistent, though I guess that's also part of the charm.

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Perhan is a young gypsy with telekinetic powers, living together with his grandmother and lame sister. Life as a gypsy isn't easy and after a ton of drama he takes off to Milan, hoping to find a better life there. At first, he tries to make an honest living, but after being dragged through the mud Perhan turns to a life of crime.

Kusturica delivers his usual blend of genres. There's drama and crime, but also touches of fantasy and a good dose of comedy. The cinematography is excellent and the performances are solid, sadly the soundtrack has its ups and downs. When everything comes together (the scene in the river) the film is truly magical, but these moments are a bit sparse and the soundtrack does get a little grating. The film's also a tad too long, but well worth a try if you like to see something unique.


1995 / 167m - Yugoslavia
Comedy, War
Underground poster