Monday, July 25, 2011

Emir Kusturica pulls out total zaniness from his hat, July 11th, 2011

A wonderfully entertaining show in the northeastern Italian town of Gorizia with Sarajevo’s “volcanic” singer and movie director, Emir Kusturica and his utterly crazy “No Smoking Orchestra”!

Kusturica and his thirteen-piece band almost brought down Gorizia’s Verdi Theater with a very entertaining mixture of rock and Balkan-style music surrounded by a totally zany circus-like atmosphere. Songs also included pieces taken from Kusturica’s punk-opera, “The Time Of The Gypsies”, which has been taken from the same title of his 1988 movie.

A production, Kursturica, an accomplished movie director and a master of European cinema (he’s a two-time winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes for “When Father Was Away On Business” and “Underground”), the eclectic Kusturica is also famous for having directed in 2006 a superb film-documentary, “Maradona by Kusturica”, on the life of the great Argentine soccer player Diego Armando Maradona, perhaps one of THE best reportages ever made on this formidable player (and a treat for your correspondent who not only got his own copy of the film autographed by Kusturica but who also saw Maradona play live five times during his illustrious career).

Decked out with a Che Guevara t-shirt (just one of Maradona’s heroes, along with Cuba’s Fidel Castro), Kusturica didn’t hold back at all as he performed for two solid hours, kicking, singing and jumping and along the way also taking shots at the power of MTV (the crowd was encouraged to yell out on more than one occasion, “Fu… you MTV”!). A rather controversial figure in his own right but a very cultured individual (twice he mentioned the British comedy group, Monty Python!), Kusturica performed something which has been rarely seen on stage: together with his violinist, Sparavalo Dejan, they both took their instruments and with the help of members from the audience they played under an oversized bow! The end of the show saw the entire audience that was invited to dance up on stage with his band. Musical mayhem at its best for this wild and crazy Serb!

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