In Memoriam: Petar Kralj (1941-2011)

Posted on Friday, November 18, 2011, under ,

Petar Kralj (1941-2011), that splendid figure of Yugoslav and Serbian theatre and film, is no longer with us. Who knows, by now he might have arrived at the Elysium café and joined his ex-Yugoslav thespian friends, feeding them the latest news from the old country. Unassuming as they come, Kralj was of that rare artistic breed who was able to project his private, almost tangible timidity and modesty into his roles, his sad azure eyes adding depth and a wistful dimension to his characters. Petar achieved one of his most memorable roles – and there were quite a few – in the film ‘Poseban Tretman’ a.k.a. ‘Special Treatment’ a.k.a. ‘What is it that attracts a human being to drink?’ (1980). Here he plays a failed actor, now an alcoholic convalescent who, as part of a travelling troupe, performs instructive sketches for the benefit of local communities. The following clip contains two great scenes. The first takes place at a restaurant where a snooty doctor, played by Ljuba Tadic, is lecturing an old man on ethics and integrity, while flirting with a blonde across the table (Milena Dravić, who that year won Palme d’Or for best supporting actress). The second scene has Petar Kralj stuttering Shakespeare (in Serbian!) while sitting on top of a cabinet, holding a carton of natural yoghurt. With English subtitles. 

My tribute for the wonderful man and artist. Click for better view:

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