Archive for August 11th, 2015

lilika 1

by Allan Fish

(Yugoslavia 1970 80m) not on DVD

A tale of two slippers

d  Branko Plesa  w  Dragoslav Mihailovic, Branko Plesa  novel  Dragoslav Mihailovic ph  Aleksandr Petkovic  ed  Bojana Subota  art  Miodrag Hadzic

Dragana Kalaba (Milica Sandic), Blanko Plesa (counsellor), Ljerka Drazenovic (Aunt Jelena), Danilo Stojkovic (Poocim Sandic), Lilijana Kontic (Djurdjica), Vladimir Pevec (Peca),

We all know the final freeze frame of Truffaut’s Les Quatre Cents Coups; Jean-Pierre Léaud looking not so much at the camera as beyond it, to a free future.   It’s one of the most iconic closing shots in movie history.  Take another 13 or 14 year old child, this time a girl, with blonde hair, tiny freckles and blue eyes.  She’s seen in colour, not in black and white, and this ending has the opposite effect.  Where Antoine Doinel ran away from the equivalent of borstal to the freedom of the sea, this girl, Milica, is being taken from the freedom of the coast to the confinement of, in her own words, “a prison for children.”

In actual fact there was nothing much liberating about the beach for Milica.  The times we see her there it’s in a flashback, just her and her infant little brother playing with a ball on the beach.  Or else she’s running around, screeching, chased by her aunt, like a headless chicken with no sense of direction.  It’s a scene that acts as a metaphor for her whole existence.  She’s never had a sense of direction.  She lives at home with a brutish father who beats her and a mother who seems to spend her days in bed in her negligee, slapping Milica for not attending school.  The reason she doesn’t is that she feels equally unloved there, and has to bunk off regularly to do laundry, spied on by her idiot savant best friend, Peca.  She’s also caught stealing and had up in front of counsellors.  The only one in her family who does have any time for her is her aunt, but she’s a whore and has to pay for her board and can’t have a teenage girl staying when she brings home clients. (more…)

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