A self-pitying but popular playwright drives to Vladimir to relax with a doting female student and another writer. He's convinced his writing is of no lasting value, but he still has an ego... 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 »
If money can't buy happiness, can it at least buy control over others? Xiang is hard-working, running a small sesame oil business. Her husband is lazy and drinks; her son is blood simple. ... See full summary »
A self-pitying but popular playwright drives to Vladimir to relax with a doting female student and another writer. He's convinced his writing is of no lasting value, but he still has an ego, about his work and his masculine appeal. He's drawn to a museum guide he sees on his first afternoon, and when she appears at dinner, he tries charm. She reads widely, knows his work, loved it once and now finds it trivial; and she says so. He's stung. The next day, they walk through a cemetery where she talks of a dead peasant's poems and he grabs an idea of hers as the theme for a new play. She remains indifferent; he's baffled. So that night he spies on her. All is revealed. Written by
Banned for several years after being completed in 1979, this is one of the truly great Soviet films that was released during the perestroika policy. A Chekhovian tale of playwright's incompetence and lack of inspiration is mixed very skilfully with critical social comments. The movie resembles the ones of Ingmar Bergman, even though it's not as painstakingly open as the Swedish director's. Panfilov uses very long shots which don't actually resemble Tarkovsky's shots, because the mystical symbolism is completely missing. Panfilov also uses the stereotypical expression of Russian hospitality to a good comical effect. Vodka is being consumed all through the film.
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