14 March 2010

A Call Girl / Slovenka / A Slovenian Girl (Damjan Kazole, 2009, Slovenia)

Slovenka is my very first Slovenian film, I think. It's about a college student from the provinces who's studying in Ljubljana and earning herself a bit of the new prosperity promised by Slovenia's entrance into the EU (a constant backdrop in the film) by working as a call girl. She's found herself a fabulous apartment, which she's barely holding on to and her grip in university is similarly tenuous. An ex-boyfriend has left his wife for her and is practically stalking her and a couple of thuggish pimps are trying to get their hooks into her. Meanwhile her father and estranged mother are off in her hometown of Krsk, which she makes frequent visits to. The allegory in this film, of Slovenka as Slovenia, is compelling. I read a bit somewhere that the director said that the people in the film are like Slovenians, always blaming outside circumstances for their troubles instead of taking control of their own lives.
The story is compelling and the acting is adept. I liked the visual feel of the last movie I watched, Jonas Jonason's Guidance, which was bright and grainy. This film was sharper and the shots were more composed. The colors were also more saturated. I quite liked a number of the shots but had trouble finding images online that reflect all that. The girl and her father both have this habit of licking the side of the cigarette before smoking it. It's done to death in the movie but I really liked the way it crafted a sort of continuity. B+

My experience with this fest is off to a good start. I'm so excited, I just can't hide it.

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