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Canadian Film Institute
Moving images.
Kauboji (Cowboys)
dir. Tomislav Mršić
Croatia, 2013, 107 minutes
Croatian, with English sub-titles

30th European Union Film Festival
ByTowne Cinema, Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 6:55 pm
Croatia’s official submission for Oscar consideration is in-your-face funny, with huge helpings of humour and a tip of the ten-gallon hat to the American Western genre.
After a nasty battle with cancer, a successful stage director returns to his decrepit home town — he’s not sure why — and immediately gets tricked into directing an amateur show for the stage. Five hopeless cases show up to audition, among them a mama’s boy postal worker, a closeted gay man, a ruffian who’s either a ‘gypsy’ or a Serb or both, and an odd young woman who seems to be some kind of performance artist. Resolving for once to work with the materials at hand, the director cobbles together a de facto ‘Western’ musical you might describe as avant-garde (vultures and tap dancing are involved). Even as his own off-stage troubles grow, the director finds himself warming to this strange, raggedy project. A delight, and a hit with international critics: “Unapologetically enjoyable…shares its working-class, do-it-yourself appeal with THE FULL MONTY.” Steve Greene (Indiewire); “Dark bite and digressive charm…switches nimbly from savagely funny to tender and back.” Ella Taylor (Variety). Hilarious!