Underground Screen 3 articles

Underground

1995

Underground Poster
  • ++

    Sight & Sound: Kate Stables
    March 04, 2016 | April 2016 Issue (p. 103)

    Possibly his best film, certainly his most significant, this tragicomic epic allegory about Yugoslavia's troubled 50-year trajectory simultaneously crowned and crippled Emir Kusturica's previously meteoric career... Tragedy replayed as farce (Kusturica's favourite mode), it has a thematic and visual audacity (communism as a cellar, a postmodern take on the 'red western', the float-away wedding party) that compensates for its hectic overload.

  • Emir Kusturica’s greatest achievement, an epic satire that takes on a full half-century of Balkan history. . . . UNDERGROUND is filled with rollicking comic set pieces, gloriously outsized characterizations, and near-constant marching band music—it feels as much like party as it does a film. Kusturica has been compared often to Federico Fellini, yet there’s a sense of formal control underscoring the chaos here that’s arguably beyond anything the Italian director achieved.

  • Emir Kusturica establishes the freewheeling tone of Underground from its opening seconds, with the film roaring into life on the boisterous din of a brass band that doesn't so much march through Belgrade's streets as it sprints through them while blaring its music in an accelerated triple-time whirl. . . . The manic intensity of this opening stretch prefigures a film that maintains its sense of sweeping, grandiose farce even as the action narrows.