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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Cast

Credited cast:
Mikhail Ulyanov ...
Kim Yesenin, writer
...
Sasha Nikolaeva, museum guide
Stanislav Lyubshin ...
Gravedigger, dissident, Sasha's friend
Evgeniy Vesnik ...
Igor Paschin, writer
Yevgeniya Nechayeva ...
Maria Alexandrovna
Natalya Seleznyova ...
Svetlana, Yesenin's disciple
Sergey Nikonenko ...
Sinitsyn, policeman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
V. Asessorova
Vadim Fedulov ...
(as V. Fedulov)
G. Ilyina
K. Lazarev
N. Matveyeva
Z. Petrova
P. Roshchina
S. Titov
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Comedy | Drama | Romance

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October 1986 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

Das Thema  »

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One of the truly great late Soviet films
3 February 2006 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

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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