Old Prof. Preobrazhensky and his young colleague Dr. Bormental inserted the human's hypophysis into a dog's brain. Couple of weeks later the dog became "human looking". The main question is... See full summary »
We're going all out for all of you Holmes fans. That's right, three versions of the Baskerville classic for you to digest and compare. This version was filmed in Russia and comes sub-titled in English. Color. 35mm.
A group of old friends have a tradition of going to a public bathing house on New Years eve. Occasionally too much vodka and beer makes two of them unconscious. The problem is that one of ... See full summary »
A kindergarten director Troshkin is a dead ringer for a criminal nicknamed "Docent" who stole the priceless headpiece of Alexander the Great during an archaeological expedition. But after ... See full summary »
In this comic but dated story, nerdy Shurik travels to the Caucasus in search of native legends and folklore. But what he finds is a beautiful girl whom, due to intoxication and deceit of ... See full summary »
After WWII is over, a young officer Volodya Sharapov returns to Moscow to work in MUR - Moskovskiy Ugolovny Rozysk (Moscow Criminal Police). There he meets Gleb Zheglov who is a chief of a ... See full summary »
Anatoli Yefremovich Novoseltsev works in a statistics institution, whose director is an unattractive and bossy woman. An old friend of his, Yuri Grigorievich Samokhvalov, who gets appointed... See full summary »
A wizard invents characters who all come to life and start to arrive at his house: a King, his servants, a princes, a bear trapped in a man's body - the usual lot. The Plot mainly rotates ... See full summary »
A young aristocrat, Aleksei Fedyashev, is languishing in his family's country estate, spending his days reading poetry and confessing his love... to a statue. Upon hearing that famous Count... See full summary »
Master and Margarita (2005) is a Menippean film based on the eponymous book by Mikhail A. Bulgakov. Set in Moscow under Stalin and in Jerusalem under Pilate, it has several story-lines ... See full summary »
The hero of the film is an insurance agent who is also a car thief. He steals cars only from various crooks and never from the good people. Then he sells those stolen cars and gives all the... See full summary »
Based on the eponymous book by Boris Vasilyev, the film is set in Karelia (North-West of Russia, near Finland) in 1941 during WWII. In a beautiful and quiet wilderness far from the ... See full summary »
Old Prof. Preobrazhensky and his young colleague Dr. Bormental inserted the human's hypophysis into a dog's brain. Couple of weeks later the dog became "human looking". The main question is "Is anybody who is looking like a man, A REAL MAN?" Written by
Eugene Lilitko <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie (and yes, it's a movie - it was shot as a two-parter, but the two parts together come down to slightly more than 2 hours) is one of the unsung masterpieces of world cinema. A very well-mannered, and yet at the same time absolutely savage denunciation of the Soviet regime and the type of person who flourished under it, the film is a faithful adaptation of the long-banned eponymous book by Mikhail Bulgakov. The sets are flawless, and the director made the brilliant decision to film in monochrome sepia, adding a feel of authenticity where a late-80s washed-out color incarnation would have all but ruined the film. I won't say much about the plot, which deserves to be discovered by the viewer himself, but the performances are true Oscar material; special mentions go out to E. Evstigneev, who plays the old professor with such presence, gravitas and kind wisdom that with barely a word or a gesture, he ends up stealing every scene he's in. The second, of course, is Creature/Sharikov, who, played to horrifying perfection by V. Tolokonnikov, is by far more frightening a character than Hannibal Lecter, because not only does he exist in real life - entire countries have been ran by men like him throughout history, with all that ensues.
While it's a socio political allegory, it is worth mentioning that the movie is also brimming with humor, albeit dark - there are many outright comedies which haven't made me laugh as much as this film. What's more, when laughing at this movie, the feeling is not only one of hilarity but of understanding and agreement, which is always a plus.
There is hardly a complaint I have with this movie - the only slight flaw is the tone of intellectual/bourgeois snobbery I caught at times from the "enlightened" characters. But that's a minor quibble.
Sadly, this film appears to have been bypassed by Western licensing companies. It's a crying shame that one of the all-round best movies out there is languishing unrestored and untranslated (which shouldn't be incredibly hard - though all the cultural references and the revolutionary terminology will necessarily fade in translation, the film's main themes should be accessible to all). While we're waiting with our fingers crossed for the Criterion edition, I'm considering creating English subtitles myself. Will see how that works out.
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