Sunday, May 25, 2008

When Father Was Away on Business (1985)

It turns out that I've seen three other films directed by Emir Kusturica besides this one. The first, Underground, is also set in the Balkans beginning sometime during WWII and I think watching it on drugs is probably an equally weird experience as watching it sober. The second is Arizona Dream, in which Johnny Depp plays a young man who somehow ends up living on a ranch in Arizona with a dysfunctional family and trying to build a flying machine. The third is called Black Cat, White Cat and I don't remember a single thing about it except that it takes place somewhere in Eastern Europe. When Father Was Away on Business has a much more accessible and linear story than the others. Like many films it made me ask myself if foreign actors are inherently more talented than American actors. Maybe some cultures are better at living than we are, and by extension are better at pretending to live in front of the camera. Or maybe it's just because I don't understand Serbo-Croatian and can't tell the difference. So you have some idea what it's about: father doesn't actually go away on business, but complications arise because his loyalty to the party is questioned.

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