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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 57 | volume X | November-December, 2007



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 57November-December, 2007
Gallery Reviews

Sex with Ghosts


p. 1
Vlatko Galevski

Writer and director: Milčo Mančevski
    Roles: Borče Nacev, Vesna Stanojevska, Filareta Atanasova, Sabina Ajrula
    Cinematographer: Fabio Cianchetti
    Music: Ryan Shore

With Before the Rain, Mančevski anticipates
    With Dust, he juggles
    With Shadows, he simulates

After the screening of Shadows, an older lady commented to the TV reporter: “I’m not sure if I understood the contents, but I liked the directing and the music”. One of Mančevski’s comments on his own movie was that Shadows was not made for the American audience at all, probably afraid that the sub-text on the Aegean Macedonians was not even remotely attractive as a story on the Amish people, for example, would be. However, even this lady (who is not American) and who probably goes to the movies from one opening night to another, still could not understand something of the story.


Basically, this is the simples and the most understandable of the three movies that Mančevski made. His “marketing trick”, amalgamation of the local exotic and cosmopolitism, is stressed the least in Shadows, but it also functions the best. The less he deals with the formal aspects of the story, the more Mančevski gains on the visual. We shall dare say that Shadows is his best movie from the craftsmanship aspect, consistent and almost without any flaws. The cooperation of the director with the cameraman Fabio Cianchetti and the production designer David Munns has evidently resulted in quality.

However, not everything that comes to our senses from the big screen can be assessed positively. We hear replicas, text, dialogues that often do not correspond the logic of the usual, but also film language, a strange linguistic syncretism (informal you, than formal you), which creates a distance to characters, scepticism to the logic of their behaviour. The next “inconsistency” which is mostly experienced as an attraction by the visitors, is the citation manner, to which Mančevski is “consequent” in all of his three movies; this time it has an elephant dose of borrowed scenes. Let us start from the most banal one Ghost of Jerry Zucker (transformation of man to a ghost and vice versa; the traffic accident of Patrick Swayze); via the cult Shining of Stanley Kubrick (the scenes with the grandma in the bathtub and the bird perspective of the car drive though the canyon); up to some details of Lynch’s movies (Twin Peaks) or Cronenberg (Naked Lunch) or Donner (Omen)…

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