(Feature film, Yugoslavia, 1961, 100’, Black and white, VOSTF)
In quest for the ideal woman, a painter roams every night in the streets at the despair of an actress he has an affair with. When she commits suicide, he finally understands that he has lost the happiness he dreamed of.
To escape, Peter and Marusa dream. Wistfully yearning for better things, they never really discover true hope. Peter finds short-term comfort with other women, as well as with Marusa, when he's bored. She takes comfort in the young prompter at the theatre, who is madly in love with her and in whose eyes she can do no wrong. But against her better judgment, it is Peter's elusive affection and acceptance from the world at large that she tragically craves.
Soul searching and personal identities are the two main themes. Misguided attraction to other people's hideous follies is an interesting point made by Hladnik. His treatment of sex is daring for its time, as well as his use of voyeurism. Peter's elderly flat mate is constantly spying on him through the wall, jealous of the fact that he stole a girl from him once. Echoes of Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, made a year earlier, ring softly.
Hladnik's use of dreamlike sequences bolsters the strongly introspective feel of the film, conveying an awkward sense of pessimism and alienation. Both Baloh and Pockaj are convincing. The latter's oscillation between carefree drunk, nostalgic dreamer and manic-depressive is most impressive.