BLUE MOUNTAINS, OR AN IMPROBABLE STORY ("Why two titles?") is an absurdist tale in which a novelist takes his latest manuscript to his familiar publishing house, only to have it pushed aside, lost, damaged, stolen, or simply ignored again and again as the employees go about their meaningless, repetitive work. Things start out fairly normal and get gradually stranger as the story continues. As film satires go it's not quite as cunning as Bunuel's best work (which it seems it could have been influenced by) but it's still a funny, sharp and brutally honest jab at the crumbling Soviet government and bureaucratic ineptness in all its forms. Ramaz Giorgobiani's expressionless lead performance is an interesting and eventually necessary realist counterpoint to the often wild and intentionally bloated performances of the bureaucrats. The aforementioned Bunuel is an obvious cinematic connection, as is Fellini's ORCHESTRA REHEARSAL, but as I was watching it I kept thinking this is what might happen if Preston Sturges filmed a Kafka story. Well worth a look.
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