Monday, November 26, 2012

EUFF 2012 Film Review - Bread and Circuses

Family Patriarch Josip  (Peter Musevski) sits in the family apartment watching a small TV screen. His wife and daughter are making costumes for a popular game show similar to wheel of fortune. The Novak's have won a spot on the show and have to drive from their small town to the shows taping in Ljubljana where they will a meet shows famous host Jos Bauer (Jonas Znidarsic).  At first Josip and his son Simon do not want to attend but decide to go to avoid the wrath of his wife Jelenka (Sasa Pavcek).

On the way to the show they stop for a rest break where they have a run in with the police who mistake their cat outfits for the show as a disguise and arrest them for attempted bank robbery.  The two arresting officers release the Novak's but make a show of it to impress a local girl. Simon takes advantage of the situation and collects a couple of souvenirs from one the unwitting officers.

The family make it to the show only to get into a rear end accident with the aforementioned Bauer. They negotiate a settlement involving the prize that the Novak's will have a chance to win during the game show.  Jelenka takes an immediate interest in Bauer and he notices her as well. As the different families check in for the show Josip starts a feud with the patriarch of the family dressed as roosters which last throughout the rest of the film.

Bauer is very busy back stage flirting with Jelenka, calming down his upset girlfriend and dealing with his wife the shows producer. He even finds time to spend quality time in the men's room philosophizing with Simon.  The police eventually show up looking for Simon's trophies but Bauer gets Simon out of the jam with the law mainly because he needs him for the show.  The game show itself never really gets started and by halfway through show prep no one really expects it to.

Klemen Dvornik tells a late 80's former communist republic story with an eastern european sense of humour. The characters refer to each other as comrade. Seemingly throwaway items to a westerner are cherished and revered.

A full out farce Bread and Circuses has several laugh out loud moments but beneath the surface the politics of eastern europe are always present, perceived favouritism, ferocious competitiveness background secret deals, and seemingly harsh punishments for minor offences.

** 1/2 out of 4

Bread and Circuses| Klemen Dvornik | Slovenia | 2011 | 94 Minutes.

 European Union Film Festival 2012.

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