Before the Rain

Director: Milcho Manchevski
Year Released: 1994
Rating: 1.0

Cyclical narrative about bloodshed in Bosnia - the following 'get it' (in order): two turtles in a ring of fire, a cat on a roof, one androgynous Albanian girl, several restaurant patrons, Katrin Cartridge's husband, a friend of Rade Serbedzija's, Rade himself, those same two turtles, etcetera. The screenplay is amateurish and fails to develop its key characters (namely Cartridge's editor and Serbedzija's Capa-esque photographer), so if there's anything to celebrate - and it's not the patchwork construction - it's the cinematography by Manuel Teran, who makes Macedonia look positively gorgeous. Manchevski's fatalism is somewhat disarming, and he doesn't have much positive to say about the conflict - he's a little too preoccupied playing visual artist than telling a solid story (and I can't help but wonder if he teaches that way at Tisch).