Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mirta Learns Statistics

Mirta uči statistiku; comedy short, Croatia, 1991; D: Goran Dukić, S: Nataša Dorčić, Sven Medvešek, Boris Miholjević, Ljubica Jović

Mirta is a law student who is annoyed by her father's obsession with statistics, whether it applies to burglary, car defects or mortgage. One day, she has a fantasy that she runs away from home with her boyfriend in a car. However, in that dream of hers, he commits suicide because he cannot find a job. Back in reality, Mirta uses his rants about the percentage of unemployed people as a useful advice to apply in real life.

Shrill style, pointless story: Goran Dukic's short student film "Mirta Learns Statistics" (rightfully) gained critical acclaim thanks to its upbeat-playful nature filled with numerous comical scenes, ideas or solutions (while Mirta and her boyfriend leave the town in a car, they cynically shout: "Goodbye, lizards! Goodbye, dirtbags!" while people on the streets wave at them cheerfully; throughout the film, unusual, "off" clips show up, such as a man on a tree, a man by the river and seven people looking down from the roof. At the end, as the boyfriend holds a rant about statistics, he mentions the current suicide rates and actually gives those clips a context when he says that "one youngster hanged himself" (man on tree), "five drowned themselves" (man by the river), "seven jumped from the roof" (seven people on the roof) etc.) that walks somewhere between "Amelie" and "Bonnie and Clyde" whereas the main actress is contagiously fun. However, the blend between a fantasy world and a young couple of rebels does not have a point nor a conclusion, obvious in the witty but ultimately pointless scenes involving the father obsessed with statistics, which is why the movie still seems more like a stylistic exercise than a truly thought out, intact story.


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