Film Oct 16, 2007 18:54:30 GMT -5
Post by Cat Stevens on Oct 16, 2007 18:54:30 GMT -5
Did you know that the word "vampire" is the only Serbian word that went into all dictionaries of the world? (even in Georgian, I checked)
Well, yes it is! Yup! Yessir! Sometimes I think it's the best word in the whole linguistic universe! Let's see what some distinguished critics had to say about this magnificent little word.
"triffic, innit" - Percy Bysshe Shelley
"love it" - William Butler Yeats
"way kewl" - Wallace Stevens
Ok, so you better learn it properly now: it is written "vampir", pronounced - vampeer.
Anyhow, didn't really know how to start a film thread, so now I'd like to introduce you to the first Serbian horror film, that possibly only conky - or is it davey here - saw; it was called Leptirica "Butterfly" (1973).
Words cannot describe the utter horror this TV film (60 min) made on the Yugoslavian kids (me included) when it was shown (for the 2nd time only) in the mid 80-ies; during its premiere in 1973 one older fellow in Skopje (now capital of Macedonia) actually died of fear; it was that unusual for the Serbian cinematography (by that time made mostly of pathetic partisan movies).
It was filmed after a short story by a Serbian writer Milovan Glisic (1847-1908). Here he is:
"I'm gonna write this story which will fuck up all your kids brains for good, LOL!"
Glisic was heavily influenced by Gogol (in his youth he even translated some of his work into Serbian); and so was the director of this film, who decided to alter the end of Glisic's story and add the bit from Gogol's "Viy"; and I guess that's the most frightening bit - that typical Slavic metaphysical fear; even now when I'm seeing that wood where it was filmed and the old mill (in Serbian mythology the home of all the ghosts, witches, etc), I have this unpleasant feeling; my family still has got a holiday house in a region of Serbia called "Shumadija" (shuma - forest); 3 houses on each mile, surrounded completely by wood, during the day it's beatutiful, birds singing, sun shining, the wonderful nature; but when it gets dark... all you can hear are the crickets. Damn crickets! It's amazingly rural ambience; the peasants still talk - and they are quite convinced - that some of their fellow neighboures are vampires; that during the night you can quite clearly see a ghost of a young woman who visits her children to breastfeed them in their house made of mud (I saw the awful house, it was frightening even during the day), etc.
Shit, I can't type no more, 2 am... here are 2 clips of Leptirica on youtube:
edit: and even that fucking bird called "drekavac" (something like "howling") that can be heard as the only "soundtrack" for most of the scenes; once I heard it live walking through the woods and couldn't believe it, the damn thing actually exists.