While hosting a game of cards one night, Narumov tells his friends a story about his grandmother, a Countess. As a young woman, she had once incurred an enormous gambling debt, which she ... See full summary »
Outskirts is an internationally renowned masterpiece of early sound cinema. In a remote Russian village during World War I, colorful and nuanced characters experience divided loyalties: ... See full summary »
First film ever that was shot by two cameras. Set in 1854-1855, in Sevastopol and Yalta during the Crimean War. Admirals Kornilov (Mozzhukhin) and Nakhimov (Gromov) organize the defense ... See full summary »
In the beginning of the industrial revolution, the Paris Commune was established in 1871 against the rich and the powerful, and violently repressed by the army that remained faithful to a ... See full summary »
Merry Fellows was the first Soviet musical comedy. Set in Odessa and Moscow in the 1930's. Shepherd Kostya Potekhin (Utyosov) is mistaken for an international concert star. He falls in love... See full summary »
Awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 41st Venice International Film Festival, this absurdist comedy, with its sprawling cast of crooks, thieves, anarchists, prostitutes, chief inspectors, ... See full summary »
Alix de Montaigu,
Andrei lives a secluded life with his aunt, studying and thinking about his now-deceased mother. His friend Tsenin is concerned, and tries to get Andrei to accompany him to social events. ... See full summary »
This is the second time I've watched this film, "Father Sergius", which seems rather rare. I remember being very bored. Watching this film a second time causes one to face such questions as: am I a masochist? Am I trying to avert myself of cinema? Perhaps, I'm just too thorough in viewing these old silent films.
It's based on the Tolstoy novella, but literature and cinema are very different media, so that's no guarantee of any success. The story of Prince Stepán Kasátsky discovering his fiancée was the mistress of the Czar, so he then becomes a monk, eventually Father Sergius is faithful, but I don't consider that enough or even necessarily important in an adaptation. Co-director Yakov Protazanov was a prolific filmmaker not of the montage school, who made the curious communist sci-fi film "Aelita: Queen of Mars" (1924). Ivan Mozzhukhin was probably the major Russian actor of the day. As well, the production values of "Father Sergius" are lavish enough.
The major problem is that the film consists of static, long takes. The camera placement and film technique are common for the day, although prosaic, but the pacing is too ponderous. The bad acting and theatricality certainly don't make up for it. The scenes that remained in my mind over the years before watching this film again were those of Father Sergius's seclusion and his torment over lust. I didn't remember the finger incident, just the dullness. I've given the film a second chance, only to add nearly two more hours of boredom to my life.
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