Dogs’ Home

A strained fantasy about dashed dreams and lost hopes at a seaside villa-turned-kennel, short Bulgarian feature "Dogs' Home" is long on earthy surrealism and octogenarian shenanigans but short on narrative arc and emotional modulation.

With:
With: Ilka Safirova, Nikolaj Binev, Petar Antonov, Valentin Tanev, Itzhak Fintzi, Vassil Vassilev-Zuek.

A strained fantasy about dashed dreams and lost hopes at a seaside villa-turned-kennel, short Bulgarian feature “Dogs’ Home” is long on earthy surrealism and octogenarian shenanigans but short on narrative arc and emotional modulation. Theatrical prospects appear dim, although completist fests may be interested in pic from near-dormant regional industry.

Lost in their dreams of Parisian nightclubs and Charlie Chaplin films, former opera singer Bozhana (Ilka Safirova) and her old friend Philip (Nikolaj Binev) spend their time operatically acting out her death (a psychic predicted the day, but not the year), caring for the canines that wander the estate and sitting on a bluff overlooking young people camped on the beach. The arrival of 20-year-old Victor (Petar Antonov) causes Bozhana to become smitten, much to Philip’s distress. Their vicarious acting out takes on a more desperate tone as the August 1999 solar eclipse approaches and Victor spends more and more time on the beach. In the end, elderly pair have only the dogs and each other. Tech credits are handsome, with some imaginative framing and lighting from d.p. Vladimir Michaelov and a lazily sexy score from Stefan Valdobrev.

Dogs' Home

Bulgaria

Production: An Ady Films (Bulgaria) release of a Marten Visual Design Studio, Boyana Film Co. production. (International sales: Marten Ltd., Sofia.) Produced by Christopher Bojilov. Directed by Stefan Komandarev. Screenplay, Yurij Datchev.

Crew: Camera (color), Vladimir Michaelov; editor, Evgenia Tasseva; music, Stefan Valdobrev; art director, Ivan Andrejev; costumes, Mira Kalanova; sound (Dolby Digital), Alexander Simeonov. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum of New Cinema), Feb. 15, 2001. Running time: 79 MIN.

With: With: Ilka Safirova, Nikolaj Binev, Petar Antonov, Valentin Tanev, Itzhak Fintzi, Vassil Vassilev-Zuek.

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