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HOROSCOPE

Yugoslavia, 1969 (MIFF 1970, Programme 8)

Director: Boro Draskovic

A remote railway station near the Adriatic Riviera in Yugoslavia is the limbo where five young layabouts laze away the summer days, making pointless bets like placing heads on the line as a train approaches and the first one off is chicken. A train pulls in once a day. passengers pile out for refreshments. and so give the youths opportunities either for petty swindling or dreaming of faraway places. A new girl takes over the news-stand and one of the youths boasts idly that he will seduce her in seven days. But she shuns him in favour of a foreigner. The boys are outraged: it is an excuse for a gang bang. But one boy refuses to join in...

As social realism the film is masterly in describing the indolent rituals of boredom, inarticulacy, adolescent frustration. Only when Draskovié indulges a more symbolic vein (engines panting as rape begins, whistle screeching at climax) is his schematism apparent and our disbelief reawakened.

J. D. in Sigh: and Sound

The heroes are condemned to whimper in an idleness that is full of vicious instincts, apathy, and a nostalgia for things which they have never seen or experienced, but which nevertheless forcefully attract both their soul and body alike.

Yugoslav Film News

The horseplay that turns to violence and even tragedy is rightly delineated by a fine elliptical but revealing style, bright and incisive playing and keenly observed direction, especially commendable in a first pic... It veers from comedy to violence and bloodshed with a sharp directorial control that avoids excesses in mayhem for its own sake and reflects some youthful hang ups in a small town where there is no outlet for these young men who are natural rebels and not political activists.

MOSkOL'itz in Variety</p>

Special Award to lirst feature, Pula; PIPRESCI Award, Berlin; Golden Hugo, Chicago

See also...

KNOCKOUT

Yugoslavia, 1971
The theme is a contemporary one, involving the social, ethical, and psychological problems of that symbol our times—the "anti-hero". ... Marko, a young Yugoslav, travels abroad to satisfy his s… More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

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