A theater director unearths a play by an obscure Icelandic author and begins rehearsals in Janez Burger's 2004 Slovenian film. Searching for his own style, he's an emotional manipulator onstage and off, and as the lives of the troupe devolve into a loopy Balkan chaos of allegations and betrayals, he's also revealed to be a liar—he wrote the play. Some comic moments skewer literary pretentiousness, but then the play's staged, and the brief section that ends the film is spectacularly stylized, reminding us that art can be salvaged from life's wreckage. In Slovenian with subtitles. 100 min.
By Fred Camper