Nikolai Gubenko auditioned for the role of Ivan Lapshin. Yet the director chose to work with Andrei Boltnev because "there was some sort of "doomed" quality about him - it was clear he'd be shot and killed". See more »
I decided to watch this film after a poster said it was voted best Russian film. I had never heard of it before (I'm Russian and watch many many Russian films). This is now one of my favorite films. To me it is perfect in every way: acting, script, cinematography, music, feel. The film is mostly in black and white, thought it is book-ended by color scenes, and has color scenes multiple times in the middle of the film, always appropriately.
The story is narrated by a grown man who remembers his childhood with his father during Stalinist times. His father is a doctor i believe and they live in an apartment with Lapshin, the police detective, and Okroshkin, another detective i believe, and their landlady. In the middle of the story a play-writer friend comes to live with them while a acting group is in town to do a show. What is the film about, what is it's theme? It's not important, it's a deep film of memories and feeling. Cinematogrpahy-wise this film is genius. The beauty of the images and the story are breathtaking, every scene is a miracle. As i watched the film i wondered "how in the world have i never heard of this film"?? I thought the following reasons: too creative, to free of interpretations, too perfectly shot.. the communist powers must have hated this incredible, deep, film. This film does not make communism look bad or good, that's not at all it's theme I don't think.
If you take cinema seriously, you have to watch this film. 10/10, a perfect film.
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