Klip (Clip, 2012)
Maja Miloš in her debut film is trying to visualize, through a perverse adolescent love, a without makeup reality that was created in a plastic and fake world.
As the new Serbian cinema is going through a radical and dynamic renewal it is distancing from the militaristic dramas that the civil war left behind and is following a new filmic language. In this new generation belongs the actress and director Maja Miloš. With her first feature-film Klip (Clip, 2012) Miloš makes a more than impressive debut with a raw realistic adolescent drama that doesn’t follow the usual and illusory norm of the genre. The film participated in several international festivals and Maja Miloš was awarded with the Tiger Award in 2012 International Film Festival of Rotterdam.
The heroine is the 14-year-old Jesna (Isidora Simijonovic) who is living her life like most of the other teenagers in her country. She has completely lost any interest in school and she just want to have fun by drinking and dancing with her friends. She also lives in a neglected suburb outside Belgrade that does not offer her any way out. The relationship with her parents is usually characterized by often conflicts despite the fact that her father is seriously ill. Jesna will drive herself in extreme situations in her attempt to conquer the indifferent 18-year-old Djole (Vukasin Jasnic) who as a typical “bad boy” among other things is involved in drugs and he just wants to have fun with her. They will both develop an inappropriate but wholly legitimate and self-imposed sexual relationship which is based on exploitation and submission.
Maja Miloš was inspired for the film’s title by the numerous videos that teenagers upload on the internet which are usually shot with their mobile phones and depict them in scenes of alcohol, drugs and sex abuse. Klip follows to a great level this aesthetic, since it is a social phenomenon which is also a part of the current reality and cannot be overlooked. Despite the fact that the director is apparently dealing with a specific group of teens, she is appealing to a larger and broader audience. Any kind of moral barriers of the past are now either absent or at least relaxed and that allows this generation to be easily unrestricted. So while Klip thematically begins by examining a general problem, inevitably focuses on the kids who have just discovered sex but are constantly looking for alternative and more extreme forms of sexual satisfaction. Teenagers who mechanically copy the pornographic scenes that have been imprinted to them as commonly accepted are rehabilitated into sexual zombies who simply perform without any substantial pleasure. Without being afraid or ashamed, Maja Miloš is presenting raw and uncensored scenes which help her to avoid a patronizing theoretical approach of the problem since she is observing it through a realistic factuality.
Certainly Klip is a fictional film and doesn’t become at any moment a documentary, but this is not an obstacle to accurately portray the younger and less innocent generation of the Balkan music turbo-folk. This sub-genre is notoriously known for promoting specific false sexual exemplars, tolerance of violence and acceptance of abusive behavior. The film doesn’t attack directly turbo-folk but observes the effects of a continuous and daily bombardment of all its principles towards today’s youngsters. Under that perspective, seems as a natural aftermath that Jesna and her friends are going through an unintentional prostitution, starting initially with their appearances, in order to be accepted and integrated even in their scholastic environment. The director finds unnecessary to condemn a behavior that is generally reprehensible, and the teenagers already know that, in that way she is bringing the film closer to her heroes’ age so they don’t have to feel yet the reputable adult distance. Alongside it is indirectly admitted that her heroes are inherently victims of their own deadlock acquired choices that led them to try everything and hence to feel already bored and unsatisfied. This lifestyle has become even more dangerous since it is combined with the fastest and more demanding rules imposed by the virtual social networking. As a result, their natural urges are filtered through an unnatural ordered standardization which makes their lives, their relationships and even sex to resemble to a video game and not to something real and tactile.
Maja Miloš didn’t want and didn’t make an enjoyable movie that will just raise some discussion. She followed a rather violent and tough approach that seems quite bleak but it feels closer to what is really happening. For some viewers, Klip may seem as a pointless deliberately provocative film as it does not offer any solutions. But this is not the issue. Klip is trying to visualize, through a distorted and perverse adolescent love, a without makeup reality that was created in a plastic and fake world.