In the 1970s, writer (Nebojsa Dugalic) wanders in search of information about his father, Eduard (Slobodan Custic). Intercut with this is Eduard's story, as the railman witnesses the rounding up of Jews and the tumult ...展开of war-torn Serbia. Decision to fit in themes and situations from three disparate books was certainly ambitious. Helmer Szabolcs Tolnai gambled that Kis' approach to kaleidoscopic imagery and elusive narrative progression could be visualized. Character and incident survive, yet even those with an intimate understanding of the work will chafe at the pic's chaos. Tech credits are adequate, with the sludgy monochrome look in keeping with the atmosphere. Lenser Gergely Poharnok won the Hungarian Film Week cinematography award for work on this and the very different look of helmer Kornel Mundruczo's "Delta."
The daunting task of adapting Danilo Kis' loose trilogy of autobiographical writings about a train inspector navigating a war-torn, Kafkaesque Central Europe -- and the son who retraces his steps 30 years later -- comes up short in "The Hourglass." Fans of the writer will support the pic on the fest circuit, though commercial prospects are limited to tube sales and ancillary curiosity.