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Göteborg Review: 'Death Of A Man In The Balkans' Is A Charmingly Human, Morbidly Funny Treat

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • January 29, 2013 7:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments
It’s a real-time film, in a single setting, shot from one locked-off camera position that shows the living room, kitchenette and hallway area of a small Belgrade apartment, in which the owner has just shot himself. But wait... come back! Take your fingers out of your ears and stop rocking back and forth in that corner: “Death of a Man in the Balkans,” despite the veritable bonfire of warning flares sent up by its premise and format, is a triumph. It's a rare black comedy that actually elicits out-loud laughter, and our screening at the Göteborg International Film Festival rang with it, proving just how well the film overcomes the staginess of its conceit with sharp writing, wonderful characterisation, and perfectly deadpan, droll comic timing. Dark of humor but light of heart, it’s the third film from writer/director Miroslav Momcilovic, and we’re ashamed to say we’re not yet acquainted with his previous work, but if it displays even half the inventiveness and assurance seen here, we’ll be seeking it out soon. He really gives himself nowhere to hide -- no effects, no discernible edits, no helpful scoring -- and we have to believe that it takes a lot of unshowy skill to make something so seemingly artless play so well.

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