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 »
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A film-in-film story set in a provincial town in Russia. Pasha (Churikova) is an amateur actress who plays a witch at a local club, but her dream is to play Joan of Arc. In a strike of luck... See full summary »
Platon Ryabinin, a pianist, is traveling by train to a distant town of Griboedov to visit his father. He gets off to have lunch during a twenty minute stop at Zastupinsk railway station. He... 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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