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JDIFF 2015: I Can Quit Whenever I Want (Smetto quando voglio) // Monument to Michael Jackson (Spomenik Majklu Dzeksonu)

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I Can Quit Whenever I Want (Smetto quando voglio)

★★½

i can quit whenever i want

I Can Quit Whenever I Want is an Italian comedy that takes the similar premise of “Weeds” and “Breaking Bad”, but mines them for laughs instead. Eduardo Leo plays chemistry professor Pietro Zinni, barely scraping through life due to his low pay when he is told he no longer has a job. In order to keep his girlfriend happy he lies and tells her he’s got tenure, so he needs money quick. After finding out how much a student pays for drugs in a nightclub he uncovers a legal loophole which means he can create a substance which isn’t technically on the illegal substance list and make a tidy fortune, but obviously it’s not that simple.

A lot of the humour comes from getting a group of professors who are all out of work for different reasons together to form a gang and Zinni trying to keep the secret from his girlfriend. While a lot of the jokes are funny and work quite well and the twists in the plot are reasonable enough, overall it wasn’t funny enough or dramatic enough when it really needed to be, probably worked a lot better for an Italian audience.

Director: Sydney Sibilia
Year: 2014
Country of Origin: Italy
Duration: 100 minutes
Writers: Valerio Attanasio, Andrea Garello, Sydney Sibilia
Cast: Edoardo Leo, Valeria Solarino, Valerio Aprea

Monument to Michael Jackson (Spomenik Majklu Dzeksonu)

★★★

monument to michael jackson

A comedy drama from Serbia set in 2009 about a barber living in a dying town who, after seeing a communist statue being taken down, comes up with the bright idea of putting up a statue of the King of Pop instead. This will bring some tourists in and help save the local airport that needs rebuilding – but more importantly, impress his wife who has left him and is refusing to come back.

The film looks like it’s going to be cosy enough at the start but there’s plenty of substance in it, not everyone is on board with his idea. The film conveys the desperation and heartbreak that can be felt by people living in a struggling community but also has something to say about a dark streak of nationalism that can only lead to hurt.

It’s beautifully shot and the ambling pace of the movie works well and helps it pack in a few emotional punches that you’re not expecting. Unfortunately the laughs don’t come quite as quickly or as fast as you’d like, but it takes chances no mainstream comedy would dare go near and is commendable just for that.

Writer- Director: Darko Lungulov
Year: 2014
Country of Origin: Serbia/Germany/Macedonia/Croatia
Duration: 95 minutes
Cast: Boris Milivojević, Nataša Tapušković, Dragan Bjelogrlić

 

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Amawaster writes our monthly "I Streamed a Stream" Netflix column and blogs at http://amawaster.com. Don't be creeped out by by how freakishly similar his film tastes are to the two Spooool.ie founders...