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Double Bill: Emir Kusturica

MUBI Special

Serbian auteur Emir Kusturica is one of the most accomplished masters of contemporary cinema, despite his star fading somewhat since winning two Palme d’Ors across the 80s and 90s. This double bill of historical fictions and absurdist satires underscores his exuberant brilliance. Underground, an expansive masterpiece and winner at Cannes in 1995, is layered with both humor and melancholy, and Life is a Miracle is a touted vignette of Yugoslavia on the brink of war that is equal parts surreal and tragic. Kusturica films are impassioned and frantic, cutting against the grain of the slower, patient approach common to contemporary art cinema, and suggest a different, much more energetic style of moviemaking than is currently in vogue.

Underground

Emir Kusturica Yugoslavia, 1995

Opening our double bill of historical fiction from auteur Emir Kusturica is this Palme d’Or winner from 1995. An expansive masterpiece, the film is an exhilarating and absurdist satire, earning its reputation as one of the most controversial yet vital political tales in cinema.

Life Is a Miracle

Emir Kusturica Serbia, 2004

Probably breaking all of the safety rules that ever existed, Emir Kusturica’s Life Is a Miracle is a zany and surrealist vignette of Yugoslavia on the brink of the Bosnian War. A cacophonous, swirling and drunken celebration, with tinges of tragedy and criticism surrounding the conflict.

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