Let's out with it: not counting a diploma film, shorts, and TV work, this woman made only three films before her death, and on the strength of them feels like a major filmmaker. If one looks at these three films they are absolutely opposed to any kind of Soviet optimism: Shepitko's characters are lonely, sick, afraid, cracking up. Especially in YOU AND I, crack, crack, crack. The main character is a medical researcher who's been falling to pieces for some time. He returns to Moscow from a job in Sweden two years after he departed without really telling anyone, to a wife and friend who don't know how to handle him. Soon he's off again, this time on a train on a whim, where he ends up in Siberian boonies, doctor for the local laborers. Meanwhile the wife - who's already waited two years for the guy - and his friend get closer... As with WINGS, Shepitko's greatest film, the story itself is no great shakes - it's the technique that makes it sublime. The director is a great one for details, telling moments, weighty bits of conversation. But more than that she has a simply gorgeous sense of rhythm. YOU AND I, had it been just functionally edited, would have been quite bad. Shepitko's transitions - from place to place, time to time (the movie's liberally laced with flashbacks) - feel absolutely right, the film is poetic and moving.
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