What a time to return! As the nation yet again storms and protests for national immigration policy clarification and reform, Serbian immigrant and writer/director Darko Lungulov has crafted a love-story that intersects our very own passions on this topic with cosmic forces wherein love, marriage and a green card become a truly winning combination.
At last year's Tribeca Film Festival, "Here And There" garnered the prize for "Best New York Narrative Feature" in competition, a category juried by Adrien Brody, Karen Durbin, Richard Ledes, Melissa Leo, Parker Posey, Andre Leon Talley and Beau Willimon. Since then, "Here And There" has been everywhere: winning hearts, minds and prizes at major film festivals both stateside and abroad.
Starring David Thornton ("Civil Action" and "John Q") and Serbia's Leading Lady, Mirjana Karanovic, "Here And There" is chock full of star-crossed lovers, unintended romantic trysts, and bereaved lonely hearts. All align to create a humorous pathos that transcends simplicity and stuns profundity.
The ethical compass that guides "Here And There" is zero tolerance for lies. Each and every character in "Here And There" refuses to lie - either ultimately to themselves and/or each other. While their own individual worlds - in both New York and Belgrade - are disintegrating, the characters sustain their faith in each other and the promises they made to one another.
As Rose, Grammy and Emmy-award winner Cyndi Lauper delivers with an opening so stunningly landscaped yet spare that it raises the bar for all that follows thereafter.
In opening sequences with Thornton, her real-life husband, Lauper portrays a gal who is hell-bent on proving that girls really want and really will just have fun.
Art has a way of imitating life, yet who would have forecast in 1991 when Lauper and Thornton tied the knot that they would share scenes almost two decades later in a film where no one can easily mount the marriage carousel? En route to Belgrade in high-octane pursuit of redemption while unexpectedly rekindling a love for music and life, Thornton's character finds a paramour in a woman half his age who passionately yearns for a reunion with her true sweetheart in New York.
Wherever "Here And There" is - New York or Belgrade – it’s got rhythm. As the credits rise, Lauper's original intense homage soars off the theatrical scrim. Courtesy of an exquisitely talented composer, Dejan Pejovic, "Here And There" swings with soul-filled sounds that flower the passageways en route from high-in-the-sky schemes to realized dreams. Within a back-drop jazz refrain that alternatively wipes out, wallows, and wails, the characters discover their true tempo. At the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, Lungulov was invited to jury the "Best New York Narrative Competition" along with fellow jurors Selma Blair, Zach Braff, Zoe Cassavetes, and Andrew McCarthy.
Lungulov's documentary "Escape" won the Audience Award at the 2004 Hamptons International Film Festival.
"Here And There" earned the support of, amongst others, the City of Belgrade, the Ministry of Culture Republic of Serbia, and has been promoted by the United States Agency for International Development via the USAID Serbian Competitiveness Project.
Lungulov, a graduate of the Film Program at City College of New York, intends to pay an ultimate homage 'old school'-style to his Alma Mater if he 'makes it.' Lungulov is well on his way with "Here And There".