Soviet Union, near the Chinese border, 1923. A stranger has just come in this little country village. He is a teacher, sent by the Communist Party to teach the ignorant masses. But the ... See full summary »
The story of a man (Andrey Sokolov) whose life was ruthlessly crippled by World War II. His wife and daughters were killed during the bombing of his village, he spent some time as a ... See full summary »
Young Siberian writer Volodya meets Kolya in the Moscow metro in his visit to a famous author. Volodya and Kolya's friend Sasha adventure their love interests in their own way, while Kolya sets out to help them.
On a hot Sunday morning, Nathalie Sanchez, an unemployed hair stylist, walks across the Causses plateau in search of a shepherd. When she finds one, he tells her that he has lost his flock.... See full summary »
Man, those Russkies sure know their way around a camera. I've come to expect great cinematography from Soviet cinema, but this is the finest I've seen in quite a while. I could make a picture book out of screenshots from this movie, but even that wouldn't capture all the magnificent movement, such gracefully choreographed tracking shots. The movie has a visual energy that captures the hustle and bustle of Moscow, particularly from the perspective of youth. But it also beautifully highlights the quiet moments of the wee hours of the morning. It's gorgeous, breathtaking, exciting photography. And the soundtrack has a lot to offer as well, with interior monologues, heightened sound design, and the use of contemporary tunes (including American rock and French pop), folk songs, classical and moody ambient music. I haven't even gotten to the substance of the film yet. The story follows a young man and his two pals, trying to find their place in life. The narrative has a freewheeling new wave vibe to it, accentuating individual moments rather than grand dramatic arcs. These are the lives of youths unsure of how to live or what to live for, a generation with many left fatherless by the war. Although a rather long film, I can't think of anything that felt superfluous, every scene had its own insights or charms. I'm tempted to give this film a 10, but I'd like to have a second viewing before I jump the gun. It definitely made an impression on me.
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