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Laramie Movie Scope:
Good Bye 20th Century!

A wild ride through Macedonia's future and past

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 18, 1999 -- "Good Bye 20th Century!" is not what it appears to be at first, which is one of those dopey post-Apocalyptic sci-fi movies about robed warriors galloping through nameless wastelands seeking justice and big-breasted women.

No, not at all. It just starts out that way. Nikla Ristanovski stars in the wasteland segment as Kuzman, a warrior who cannot die. Seeking death, a prophet tells him the answer to his quest is written on a basement wall. Next, there is a flashback to a time long ago when the Macedonians apparently sold women into marriage, but sometimes reneged on the deal in interesting ways. Next, there is a truly bizarre sequence with a Santa Claus, played by Lazar Ristovski, who is really not very nice at all, and no one is nice to him. He stumbles into a funeral, where his Santa Claus costume does not seem to fit in at all. Ho, ho, ho.

The only thing that ties these sequences together is a strange prophet (Dejan Acimovic) and ritualistic executions. There is a good deal of blood in the movie and some sex as well, including incest and sex with a saint. There's a little grim humor, but mostly the film is depressing. The message: "The Future is as Screwed Up as the Past."

So what does all this mean? I did not have a clue until I found a web site for the film (the link is below, and no, this one is not in the IMDB). It has a complete explanation of the plot. It also has the following:

"`Good Bye 20th Century' has been created as a result of a burning desire of a group of young people to make a movie. Its story was created in 15 minutes, its production, however, was much longer. In this creation we have included all of our favorite national and personal legends, myths, stories and heroes, which all helped us in our becoming mature individuals.

"`Good bye 20th Century' is a story about a geographical spot, through which many different people are floating, during the period of hundreds of years ... People with different appearances, but with the same destiny -- warriors who can never die, old ladies that can fly, armed priests, tattooed girls, one singing green-hair killer, one blood thirsty Santa Claus ... All the characters are invented, but all the quotations are deliberate! This is a genre movie! Adventure -- action -- erotical -- horror comedy! We wish you a good time during the projection!"

This explains a lot. Some people wanted to make a movie. They developed the story in 15 minutes. They found people and government agencies to fund it. Far be it from me to step on anyone's angst, but things can't be that bad in Macedonia if 40 people can just up and make a film because they have a burning desire to do it.

Since I don't know the "favorite national and personal legends, myths, stories and heroes" of these people it is no wonder I had a hard time figuring out this film. Also I saw it on cassette and the subtitles were difficult to read. It would probably be easier to follow on a full-sized movie screen. After reading the above, however, it appears these people had a lot of fun making this movie and I would certainly like to have that much fun watching it. I intend to see it again, just to see if it makes any more sense the second time now that I've read the synopsis. Until then, I'll have to give it a C.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1999 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]