Clip (Maja Milos, 2012): Serbia
Reviewed by Samuel Ek Viewed on November 4th at AFI Filmfest
After watching two minutes of Clip you immediately know that this is going to be two controversial and uncomfortable hours. The explicit sexual nature of the footage shown definitely sets it apart from your typical Hollywood blockbusters and makes it a must see if you’re into controversial movies. I saw this movie at the AFI Filmfest in Los Angeles and the director Maja Milos was present and did a Q & A after the movie. She shared some interesting background story and information about the movie such as the fact that the movie was sponsored mainly by the Serbian Minister of Culture in an attempt to increase awareness of the lives of young adults in Serbia.
Clip follows the typical “a day in the life” linnear structure of movies most other movies suggesting that we follow the teenage girl Jasnas, played by Isidora Simijonovic in her acting debut, around in her everyday life growing up in the serbian suburbs and her interactions and struggles with friends, family and unresponsive love, but unlike other Romeo and Juliette stories Clip follows a darker and more realistic path. It manages this through a mixture of live action shots and footage shot from Jasnas cellphone. The cellphone footage adds another level of realism to the movie that other movies often lack.
The movie both follows and breaks the classical Hollywood style of movie making, it has the linear narrative, a protagonist, a love interest in the form of the male lead Djole. It even gives a sort of closure and wraps everything up in the end in a nice package with a bow on top. Just like a most other movies. But it differs from other movies on certain points such as the lack of an antagonist and the strong female character of Jasna doesn’t follow the rules of white patriarchal notions that most other movies adhere to.
Milos does in her directing debut what a lot of other more experienced directors often fail to do, she manages to add a layer of realism in her movie that really helped add to the movies overall structure. Her decision to have the actors themselves shot all of the cellphone footage added to make the movie more believable. Furthermore her choice to show alot of Jasnas sexual encouters through cellphone footage gave the movie another level of uncomfortableness and grit. This isn’t a movie with fancy editing or camera work, it’s a movie about the real life of todays youth.
In conclusion I’d like to state that this is not a particularly bad movie, nor is it a very good one. It’s definitely a movie worth watching in the theaters though. I feel like watching this movie at home doesn’t give it the same kind of uncomfortableness as if you are watching it in the theater next to a bunch of random people.