Slovenian Cinema

Disintegration in Frames by Pavle Levi

Pavle Levi’s insightful and well-argued book, Disintegration in Frames: Aesthetics and Ideology in the Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav Cinema examines the evolution of the national Yugoslav and regional post-Yugoslav cinema within its shifting political and cultural landscape – initially, in the context of individual expression under the repressive government of Josip Broz Tito, then subsequently, as… read more »

Idle Running, 1999

With its rough hewn sequences of temps morts, odd length cuts, idiosyncratic characters, and sedate humor, Janez Burger’s debut feature, Idle Running unfolds like a Jim Jarmusch film, an upended road movie of sorts chronicling a young man’s proverbial journey (albeit in baby steps) towards self-discovery. As the film begins, perpetual university student and resident… read more »

Vesna, 1953

Composed as a lyrical comedy of errors, Frantisek Cáp’s charming and whimsical Vesna chronicles the misadventures of handsome university student and glider pilot Samo (Franek Trefalt) and his mischievous friends Kristof (Jure Furlan) and Sandi (Janez Cuk) as they try to hatch a plan for passing their mathematics professor’s (Stane Sever) final exam – that… read more »

Raft of the Medusa, 1980

One of the highlights from the Slovenian Cinema program is Karpo Godina’s insightful dark comedy, Raft of the Medusa, a film that captures the infectious energy, irreverence, and idealism of the assorted avant-garde isms that defined the art movements of the 1920s. Told from the perspective of a pair of rural teachers, Kristina (Olga Kacijan)… read more »

Dance in the Rain, 1961

Considered to be among the best Slovenian films ever made (that, according to author and Slovenian film and culture scholar Joseph Valencic, often ranks first in national film polls), maverick filmmaker Bostjan Hladnik’s dense and atmospheric Dance in the Rain finds greater kinship with the experimental narrative, fragmentation, and interiorization of Erik Lochen’s The Hunt… read more »

Spare Parts, 2003

Like Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Damjan Kozole’s Spare Parts is imbued with a metaphoric yellow haze, a contamination that has tainted the souls of those who move in the periphery of everyday inhumanity and despair. Opening with a seemingly mundane, bookending episode of a mentor meeting his assistant for the first time at a… read more »

Paper Planes, 1967

During his introduction to the screening of Bostjan Hladnik’s seminal film Dance in the Rain, Slovenian film scholar Joseph Valencic remarked that its modernist structure would serve as a blueprint for Slovenian filmmaking over the course of the next two decades, and this paradigm is clearly reflected in Matjaz Klopcic’s inspired, yet maddeningly (and deliberately)… read more »

Rooster’s Breakfast, 2007

During the introduction for the film, Marko Nabersnik mentioned that he had graduated from the New York Film Academy fourteen years earlier and, to some extent, the screening of his film in Lincoln Center was a culmination of that journey. In a way, that experience would also shape his well constructed, entertaining, and pleasant, if… read more »

Beneath Her Window, 2003

Another pleasant surprise from the Slovenian cinema series was Metod Pevec’s lovely, slow brewing Beneath Her Window, a film vaguely reminiscent of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s cinema (especially A Short Film About Love) in its interconnecting themes of obsession, missed connection, voyeurism, and chance, but played with the muted, idiosyncratic humor of a French romantic comedy. As… read more »

Valley of Peace, 1956

Overtly influenced by René Clément’s anti-war film Forbidden Games, France Stiglic’s equally poignant and impassioned Valley of Peace captures the horrors of war as seen through the eyes of its most vulnerable victims – a young girl named Lotti (Evelyne Wohlfeiler) and a protective older boy, Marko (Tugo Stiglic). Taken into custody by German soldiers… read more »