The Consolation of Hypertrophy: Samuel Fussell’s “Muscle: Confessions of the unlikely bodybuilder” by Samuel Wilson Fussell

Reading Camille Paglia’s essays in  “Sex, Art and American Culture”, I came across a book that very much appealed to me, especially given that I only became passionate about going to the gym on the cusp of my 30s. She gave it the highest praise, in her own characteristic way: “Muscle, sympathetically read as an archetypal hero saga of embattled masculinity, exposes the parochialism, preachiness, … Continue reading The Consolation of Hypertrophy: Samuel Fussell’s “Muscle: Confessions of the unlikely bodybuilder” by Samuel Wilson Fussell

Art though Politics: “Hitler and the power of Aesthetics”, Frederic Spotts

Imagine a state where the government works hard not only to build crucial infrastructure projects but to elevate the tastes of the people through lavish funding of the arts and protects them from contemporary kitsch. A country where every larger town would have an opera and which would invest in making its citizens healthy and joyful through various initiatives. A country led by a ruler … Continue reading Art though Politics: “Hitler and the power of Aesthetics”, Frederic Spotts

Gradually, then suddenly: “And just like that…” review

!Spoilers ahead! It was my Dad who got me into Sex and City.  As it started airing on B92, the purveyor off all things Western in the early 2000s, post-Milosević Serbia, my Dad lauded it as an instruction manual of not only the sexual and social mores of the day in the West, whereas I, just entering my teenage years, liked the title. Needless to … Continue reading Gradually, then suddenly: “And just like that…” review

Belgrade Post-Modern: Ruins at the End of History

“The only way for us to become great, or even inimitable if possible, is to imitate the ancients.” Johann Joachim Winckelmann  “As is the case with the weather: rain and storms from the West reached us and so did Postmodernism. At the very beginning of Postmodernism, a great conference was held in Zagreb on that topic, which identified vectors and positive values ​​of the movement … Continue reading Belgrade Post-Modern: Ruins at the End of History

Darkness of “Enlightened”

Just as I was modishly repeating Red Scare-induced pieties that truly great pop culture is dead, the White Lotus hit HBO. Nuanced and openhearted as truly great satire should be, it brought back hope that there can be incisive social commentary that does not want to be didactic, but leaves the viewer to assess and re-assess their views of class and personal relationships. This of … Continue reading Darkness of “Enlightened”

Bor u Veneciji, Moderni u Beogradu

“Osmi kilometar” je postavka koja predstavlja Srbiju na ovogodišnjem Bijelanu Arhitekture u Veneciji, i koja se bavi jedinstvenim nasleđem grada Bora, ali i izazovima sa kojima se on susreće. Autori postavke su Moderni u Beogradu, grupa arhitekata entuzijastičnih da predstave naše modernističko nasleđe, i sa Snežanom Zlatković i Daliom Dukanac sam razgovarao o Boru, Veneciji, ulogom i promocijom arhitekture i zašto entuzijazam ima limite.  Podržite … Continue reading Bor u Veneciji, Moderni u Beogradu

VIS Idoli and Subversion in the 1980s SFRY

Opinion on Yugoslav pop music among Serbia’s intellectual elite oscillates between breathless adoration (in 1990s, when it was a sign of being “educated” against the onslaught of the ovelry maligned folk and turbofolk) to disgust (currently liking EKV, let alone Bijelo Dugme,  is considered a sure sign of pseudointellectualism and/or smarm) and back to ironic appreciation (Zdravko Čolić and Bajaga). As Yugopop was the soundtrack … Continue reading VIS Idoli and Subversion in the 1980s SFRY

The Diary of Diana Budisavljević – Review

The best thing about The Diary of Diana Budisavljević (styled for international audiences without those confusing Slavic last names as “The Diary of Diana B.”) is that this film was made at all, considering all the various barriers to this story being told. Its titular character, Diana Budisavljević (nee Obexer) has only recently become recognised as an unsung heroine of the very bloody WWII in … Continue reading The Diary of Diana Budisavljević – Review

Ezra Koenig and the Incredible Buffness of Being

If there is something like a leitmotif to the last two Vampire Weekend albums it would be “I don’t want to live like this… but I don’t wanna die”. It first appeared in the middle of their relatively dark third album, Modern Vampires of the City, on the multi-layered, feverish “Finger Back” and then reappeared on the deceptively sunny, deeply political “Harmony Hall” the, lead … Continue reading Ezra Koenig and the Incredible Buffness of Being

20 Yugosphere songs from 2010s that you have to hear before 2020

As the last summer of 2010s is slowly coming to an end, I thought that it was a high time for a listicle celebrating songs from countries of ex-Yugoslavia that marked the past decade for me. I don’t want to claim that they are the best songs made in the past decade in the region, nor a fair representation of what is going on on … Continue reading 20 Yugosphere songs from 2010s that you have to hear before 2020

‘Nemanjici’: the Show that United Serbia

A recent survey by IPSOS showed that Serbia is the world’s most divided society among 27 countries around the world that were included in the study. Some 93 per cent of Serbians agree that Serbia is fairly or very divided, compared to “only” 84 per cent of Americans or 75 per cent of the French. Given the country’s relative ethnic homogeneity and lack of immigration, … Continue reading ‘Nemanjici’: the Show that United Serbia

Ederlezi Rising (2018) Review

A Serbian low-budget sci-fi film  featuring a renowned adult entertainer in the role of an android designed to help (and pleasure) her astronaut/operator on the trip to Alpha Centauri, sounds like something that could, at best, aspire to be a cult-classic taken apart by trash-movie enthusiasts like Mystery Science Theatre 3000, or, at worst, languish in the depths of IMDB’s Bottom 100, only occasionally drawing … Continue reading Ederlezi Rising (2018) Review

Druga strana svega (2017)

Uprkos nagradi za najbolji dugometražni film na IDFA, dobrom prijemu na Filmskom Festivalu u Torontu i skoro jednoglasnom obožavanju u anti-nacionalističkom, pro-demokratskom delu srpske javnosti “Druga strana svega” Mile Turajlić, ne uspeva da stvori koherentnu priču, niti da dovoljno istražuje mnoga zanimljiva pitanja koja postavlja, pa na momente deluje kao vema dobro producirana montaža porodičnih videa i arhivskog materijala Razlog za to je najmanje što … Continue reading Druga strana svega (2017)

How to change your life and achieve your dreams: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the best show of 2016

These days we believe that following our hearts is a choice to be celebrated. We share inspirational quotes about “just-going-for-it”, try to make ourselves happier and wiser by changing towns, and share how #blessed we are with family, friends, or, often enough, photogenic avos-on-toast. In our pursuit for meaning and happiness we take cues from TV shows and films in assessing what to wear, if … Continue reading How to change your life and achieve your dreams: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the best show of 2016

High-rise (2015)

Very on-trend with recent nihlistic entertainment (Game of Thrones, House of Cards) where there are zero characters to sympathise with, High-Rise is vertiginous film about a very dire fact that is becoming apparent more and more these days: that high-minded efforts to create equality for the past century seem to have either been a veneer (in Western democracies) or a catastrophe (in communism). The film, … Continue reading High-rise (2015)

Welcome to me (2015)

It is no news that in our age it is rather cheap and easy to be self-obsessed: we broadcast the daily minutiae on Twitter, show the flitered snaps of our coffees, travels and faces on Instagram, and dump blogs on arts, politics and travel on unsuspecting audiences. Although it is probably since times immemorial that people searched for their identities and meaning by scoruing through … Continue reading Welcome to me (2015)

Youth/ La Giovinezza (2015)

Paolo Sorrentino returns to shining a light on the poor rich souls dangling precariously from the top of Maslow’s Pyramid; chronicling the beautiful paradox of questioning, from the top of the greasy pole of worldly success and talent, if this is truly all there is to life and, more importantly, if it is enough to keep you going. While La Grande Bellezza seductively examined lingering … Continue reading Youth/ La Giovinezza (2015)

A primer in lostness: Into the woods

For those of us who feel a bit strange wandering through the thicket of life (especially post-uni, pre-fully-adult), and occasionally (melodramatically, egoistically?) despairing about the choices (made, possible, or impossible), Into the woods, brings our woes to the big screen, by way of fairytales, set to a lovely Sondheim score. Inspired by a psychoanalytical readings of fairytales, it premiered as a stage musical in 1986 in … Continue reading A primer in lostness: Into the woods

Century of Fakers: La Grande Bellezza/Frances Ha

It is a truth universally acknowledged, especially among those of tender soul, born in Europe, young and educated at some of its finest universities,  that the world is going to the dogs and that we are all doomed. Those with longer hair and penchant for floral prints see the doom in the impeding food shortage, those who are more into pashmina shawls and ethnic prints see it in political … Continue reading Century of Fakers: La Grande Bellezza/Frances Ha