Rhapsody in White

A strong cabaret-sketch element infuses "Rhapsody in White," first feature by legit director Teddy Moskov, starring his wife, Maya Novoselska. A kind of meditation on Bulgarian (and Balkan) personal identity, pic reps an almost impossible offshore marketing challenge beyond occasional fest slots.

With:
With: Maya Novoselska, Filip Trifonov, Irina Marinova, Samuel Fintsi, Hristo Dimitrov, Hristo Gurbov, Zlatina Todeva, Stoyanka Mutafova, Georgi Kaloyanchev, Konstantin Kotsev, Ivaylo Hristov, Krusto Lafazanov, Rangel Vulchanov.

A strong cabaret-sketch element infuses “Rhapsody in White,” first feature by well-known legit director Teddy Moskov, starring his wife, theater actress Maya Novoselska. A kind of meditation on Bulgarian (and Balkan) personal identity — or lack of it — shot through with nods to silent and slapstick comedy, plus grand guignol, pic reps an almost impossible offshore marketing challenge beyond occasional fest slots. However, the home crowd went wild at its Sofia festival screening. Pic won Best Cinematography award voted by foreign guests at the fest.

The Giulietta Masina-like Novoselska plays Danna, a puppeteer in a kids’ marionette theater. Childlike, clownish and with big wide eyes, she goes through life in a perpetual state of wonder. A female colleague eventually tries to fix her up with a man. Second half, with Novoselska in Chaplinesque B&W duds, is more accessible with its silent-cinema pastiches, though the poetic-cum-philosophical voiceover commentaries remain codified to any but Bulgarian auds. Tech credits on the blowup from Super-16 are top-drawer, and the minimal $200,000-plus budget never shows through.

Rhapsody in White

Bulgaria

Production: A Bulgarian National Television, Darik Radio, Art Fest, Boyana Film production. (International sales: Art Fest, Sofia, Bulgaria.) Produced by Kiril Gotsev, Radosvet Radev, Teddy Moskov, Stefan Kitanov, Evgeni Mihailov. Directed, written, edited by Teddy Moskov.

Crew: Camera (color), Ivan Tonev; music, Antoni Donchev; art director, Georgi Todorov. Reviewed at Sofia Film Festival, Bulgaria, March 13, 2003. Running time: 79 MIN.

With: With: Maya Novoselska, Filip Trifonov, Irina Marinova, Samuel Fintsi, Hristo Dimitrov, Hristo Gurbov, Zlatina Todeva, Stoyanka Mutafova, Georgi Kaloyanchev, Konstantin Kotsev, Ivaylo Hristov, Krusto Lafazanov, Rangel Vulchanov.

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