Jos Stelling: Duska – Masterpiece of Atmosphere

by Milos Itic on February 25, 2011

Duska 02Directed by Jos Stelling. Starring Gène Bervoets, Sergei Makovetsky, Sylvia Hoeks. Written by Hans Heesen and Jos Stelling.

Search on his own. Everyday is the same. Story of Friendship. Sympathy. Empty night streets. Cinema and future ruins for young generations.

The story is about Bob middle-aged Film critic, movie journalist and script writer (Gene Bervoets)  who spends lonely times seeing movies, staying and living alone opposite, in the same street of a movie theater. Everyday, he is writing on  his computer and keeping his house in a mess. He has sympathy for a girl (Sylvia Hoeks)  who is working in the theatres. Knock at the door and an old friend of Bob arrives – Duska (Sergei Makovetsky) from Russia. Bob tries hard to chase of Duska from his apartment and life, but does not succeed.

This clever mimick of thought, along with Stelling’s extreme close-ups and brilliantly controlled movement from the cast, convey more than subtitles could. Slow, smart and unsettling. The start point idea of movie “Duska” is a harsh lesson about how not to hand out your business card.

Duska 03The atmosphere of the movie is formed by long shots of certain slow paced situations which are often a bit strange or slightly absurdistic. Beautiful shots of main street, surrealism of expression, emotions of main character, honest guest from nowhere and beautiful blond girl in the front of the cinema.

Story of lifetime, how it is hard to find really good friend, a fable examining the inevitability of time and lost dreams and comic tale of an unwanted guest, Dutch film Duska has a little something for everyone. It is neither obvious as a comedy — never reaching for guffaws, as all existing peculiarities within the film have meaning — nor heavy-handed on the dramatic front. Instead, it settles in as a thought provoking tragicomedy. And after you watched it, you think film finished, it just just start.

Duska 01

  • Minimum of dialogues
  • Atmospherically long shots
  • Noir color it style of movie making
  • Emotions of three main characters
  • Excellent soundtrack
  • Divine Cinematography

Written by Itic Milos

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