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Raindancer

Yestereve:

Started off the day with a very in which I was back in Australia, except this time I was travelling on the train and I think I was ill because I kept having seizures; The train was travelling towards the end of the world, which wasn't as traumatic as you might think, and in one of the carriages I could talk to my Dad. He smiled when I came in, and we stood next to the window. And he said: Do you remember? and suddenly I did.

Then I was back in another place, a space in between train carriages - it seemed to be the place for people who weren't feeling well; In that place I met a man who reminded me of Dobrica but wasn't. I'm not sure exactly what was familiar about him - a similar smile perhaps (just more shy), the same way of moving, the same wholesomenss and quietness. He seemed more insecure than D, or perhaps less experienced - gave me the impression that he felt he hadn't quite lived fully yet, that he was just coming alive - as though he'd spent most of his life asleep.

And I laughed and flirted with him, which seemed to throw him greatly and he bent down to whisper to me as though he was going to impart a terrible secret and said: You know, I'm not sure that at this stage I can commit to a serious romantic relationship so I smiled and whispered back: What makes you think that I'd want a serious romantic relationship which seemed to throw him again, so he asked: What do you want? and I answered: Kindness , so he smiled in relief for the first time and assured me that was all right, he had plenty of that.



Then having roused myself to a state of functioning wakeness, I trotted off to the Raindance Film Festival to watch When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Kangoroo do not be decieved by the title, this is an excellent film not about Australia but about Belgrade - and the foyer was like a mini-Belgrade get-together where I saw people I didn't even know were in London, and some people I hadn't seen since last year's Raindance and a bunch of English people who still aren't divorced the Yugs they are married to and seemed instead to have got sucked into the culture.

The film had a delayed start, as it was riddled in obstacles and we almost didn't get to see it. It turned out that the film reel was still on the plane in Belgrade which had broken down and wouldn't take off (it had a flat tyre, and the mechanics were on strike - I am not making any of this up); then they dug out the tape they had previewed the movie on for the Festival, and the tape player ate it, so they had to dismantle the tape player, reassemble the tape and dig out another player - as such I'm deeply impressed with the management's perseverance.

The film was excellent, a terrific comedy (and for once not about the War(s)), very much about Belgrade, where the central action revolves around a football game (Eastwich vs. Manchester), and a man Zoran Paunovic (known as Kangoroo) who is the goalie for Eastwich - causing people to congregate in the betting shop to follow the game as suspens and tension slowly rise and the longshot bet (that Eastwich will beat Manchester) that two guys have staked their savings on seems to have a chance of winning.

There are two other side-stories (this film is mostly about men, the women are little more than supporting characters) - in one a completely self-obsessed macho man known as Braca is going on a date with a beautiful woman he wants to charm and romance into bed, but the fact that he's broke is simply the beginning of his hurdles (my favourite thing about this is how completely oblivious he was to her and her emotions, very much a portrayal of a Balkan male) and two young guys are spending thier lives and evenings on the roof drinking beer, smoking weed and doing nothing (no income, but no expenses).

And through it all weave the many many threads of life in Belgrade as we've known it that made all of us laugh outloud, and details such as you get in the Balkans (where at intervals through the film crops up a man, yelling *Sladjana*- the name of his lost love).

And in conclusion (I've nicked this bit from the review on the Raindance site):
In this Belgrade, nobody’s really getting anywhere, and they’ve forgotten how to try. But Braca’s struggle, the stoners’ withdrawal and the gamblers’ hopeful desperation come together in a surprisingly uplifting resolution for these young people trying to peer into their uncertain futures.

Unfortunately due to the late start of Kangoroo I missed Memo which looked excellent, so I will try to beg it off Andrija on tape (he gets access to a lot of preview tapes because he works for Raindance). (Yugs are everywhere I tell you, which occasionally is useful).

Then afterwards as most Yugs dispersed my friend Mara and I went for coffee to hide from the rain ande wait for the second film we wanted to see to start - a docu-film about The Ramones . Mara and I used to go to school together, and since her parents work in london she spends stints of time here (oh incidentally, she would like to come to your birthday party verlaine, as I told her you're a charming fellow).

It turns out that I got food poisoning from the coffee (maybe the milk was off), adding it to the list of other seemingly harmless substances I have done myself serious injury with (past highlights have included, one beer and beans). As such I was feeling queasy and dizzy and feverish even before the film started, and then the jerky and fast camera action started making me feel worse so I walked out of the film - much to the protests of people whose legs I was tripping over, but I figured they'd be even less pleased if I had thrown up on thier heads and stumbled out of the nearest exit which turned out to have been a wrong exit.

So I spent the next fifteen minutes journeying through the bowels of the building, up and down staircases like something out of an M.C. Escher painting and eventually stumbling through another movie theatre in a Don't Mind Me, Just Keep Watching Your Film kind of way and finally blessedly out and somehow managed to get home where I spent some time feeling sorry for myself and attempting to evade my mother's folk remedies (Stick two fingers down your throat!, Drink some vodka to disinfect your stomach ).

And today I'm off on further adventures, taking my mother to Casualty since someone knocked her down in the street and she fell managing to possibly fracture something important in her hand.

However, I feel well-equipped with Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell to tide me through the famously long waiting times that have marked my Casualty experiences.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
kayselkiemoon
Oct. 3rd, 2004 01:18 pm (UTC)
ohmy, i hope your mother gets better soon!

meanwhile, I can't remember if i've mentioned this before, but I think it was from you that i learned that Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell was out - thanks! I've been waiting for this book for a while, ever since Neil Gaiman mentioned it in his blog. ^_^
rainsinger
Oct. 3rd, 2004 05:41 pm (UTC)
my mum is better I think, thanks :)

And it was Neil Gaiman I blame for getting me excited about Susannah Clarke as well.

Have you read any of her short stories? I remember one from a Sandman book of short stories (Something and Dreamscapes, can't quite remember the title).
kayselkiemoon
Oct. 3rd, 2004 05:51 pm (UTC)
ack! that's that anthology Book of Dreams, isn't it? the one with something Tori wrote for it? I've been coveting it (due to Tori) for 6 or 7 years now, but my ambitions to own/read it are continually thwarted by my shoddy memory. *sigh* although, really, I need to focus on reading sandman vols. 7-10, Endless Nights, and all the other Gaiman graphic novels I haven't read yet (many, alas).

I haven't read anyhting by her, yet, but that book sounds awesome.
verlaine
Oct. 4th, 2004 04:28 am (UTC)
Mara should definitely come to my party! And I will try not to get her confused with the 1980s Dr Who villain who shares her name, I promise.
mooism
Oct. 4th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC)
You’re thinking of the Rani, played by Kate O’Mara.

I remembered it wrong, but checked with Google. I hate it when you have to say -nude.
mooism
Oct. 4th, 2004 03:20 pm (UTC)
I’d further like to say I was worried about remembering, and relieved by my inaccuracy.
verlaine
Oct. 5th, 2004 01:12 am (UTC)
Are you impugning my Dr Who knowledge, sir?
mooism
Oct. 5th, 2004 02:37 am (UTC)
Holy beetroot juice. Hats off to you, sir.
saucebook
Oct. 4th, 2004 05:16 am (UTC)
interesting dream. we're a bit spoilt for choice re film festivals at the mo, Raindance and the Bangladesh one and the LFF kicking off in a few weeks. Opted for the Bangladesh opening night, which was a bit of a mistake as there were 17 podium invitees (high commissioner, counsellor x from tower hamlets etc) all to be introduced, given flowers, invited to say a few words etc. The Time Out listing said 5:30 start for the film. After all the worthy speechifying it was 7:10 before the film started. thankfully it was a good 'un.

hope your mum is ok and has managed to avoid any serious damage to hand.

maybe see you thursday at zokmeet?
rainsinger
Oct. 4th, 2004 05:21 am (UTC)
The Time Out listing said 5:30 start for the film. After all the worthy speechifying it was 7:10 before the film started

Oh. My. God. I think I would have been climbing walls and strangling anyone attempting a speech, but perhaps that's just PMS.

I think mum's ok - bruised but not broken as it were.

Shall endavour to be at ZokMeet - would love to really, but I think I am coming down with some flu-like thing again. Bleh.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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