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Tractor, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll

An imaginative opening shot raises hopes that fail to flower in thesp-helmer Branko Djuric's derivative sophomore feature, "Tractor, Love and Rock 'n' Roll."

An imaginative opening shot raises hopes that fail to flower in thesp-helmer Branko Djuric’s derivative sophomore feature, “Tractor, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Cutesy tale of a long-in-the-tooth rocker trying to play mod music in a backward Slovenian village during the 1960s can only muster half-chuckles with its standard sight gags pitting farmers against citified sounds, while maltreatment of a deaf and mute dwarf (Jaka Fon), played for laughs, feels antediluvian. Far less successful than Djuric’s earlier “Cheese and Jam,” the pic may do well in the Slovenian countryside but won’t be traveling far.

Gypsy music is the norm in the farming community where Breza (Djuric) lives with his fortune-teller mother (Semka Sokolovic). An avid guitarist, he’s desperate to bring rock ‘n’ roll home, though his neighbors disapprove. Only waitress Silvija (Tanja Ribic) is impressed, but she’s spent years in Switzerland so knows about sophistication. Breza falls in love, Silvija goes along, and her dad (Vlado Novak) buys them the town’s first tractor. Ribic, winner of the actress prize at Taormina, at least generates interest. Multiple match cuts fail to spice up the standard visuals.

Tractor, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Slovenia-Bosnia-Croatia

  • Production: An ATA Prods. (Slovenia)/Refresh Produkcija (Bosnia)/Gustav Film, RTVS (Slovenia)/Jadran Film (Croatia) production. Produced by Janez Jauh. Co-producers, Ademir Kenovic, Frenk Celarc. Directed by Branko Djuric. Screenplay, Djuric, Feri Lainscek, Miroslav Mandic, inspired by the novel "Vankostanc" by Ferija Lainscka.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Sven Pepeonik; editor, Miran Miosic; music, Nedim Babovic; production designer, Ursa Loboda; costume designer, Alan Hranitelj. Reviewed at Taormina Film Festival (competing), June 19, 2008. Original title: Traktor, Ljubezen in rock 'n' roll. Running time: 102 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Tanja Ribic, Branko Djuric, Jaka Fon, Semka Sokolovic, Jernej Kuntner, Natasa Matjasec, Vlado Novak, Kico Slabinac, Vlado Kreslin, Dario Varga, Joze Kontrec, Miso Kontrec, Irena Varga, Miran Camplin, Jure Lang, Vita Zivko, Ludvik Bagari, Gorazd Zilavec.