A group of scientists is sent to the planet Arkanar to help the local civilization, which is in the Medieval phase of its own history, to find the right path to progress. Their task is a ... See full summary »
A tragicomic movie which focuses on two women and their daily struggle for survival during a summer in Berlin. Katrin, a jobless single mom, and Nike, a nurse, live in the same house and ... See full summary »
Guido Carani, an engineer of noble descent, has just lost his son born to him by a chorus dancer, who, desperate, has become a nun. After a while he also loses his wife and daughter in a ... See full summary »
It is summertime in a blue-collar, marginal district of a city in the South of Spain. Tano, a teenager currently serving a sentence in a juvenile reform center, is given a 48-hour leave to ... See full summary »
Juan José Ballesta,
An amalgam of influences ranging from "Ivan the Terrible" (gloom-filled court intrigues) to "Andrei Rublev" (horses and grisly executions) to "Conan the Barbarian" (exotic sex scene), with quite a lot of Kurosawa (an array of Toshiro Mifune character types from the various stages of his career) thrown in as well - making a unique whole. Inexplicably shot on both color and black and white stock with little transitional logic. At times threatening to lapse into incoherence, but never quite abandoning the audience. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Amirkulov must have been enjoying almost total artistic freedom: as evidenced by the near-constant violence, a good deal of nudity, and plenty of religious discussion, no censorship of any kind has been imposed by the state.
Amazingly enough, this is an altogether compelling, thought-provoking and even historically accurate (more so than "Gladiatior", at any rate) picture. Some background in Ghengis Khan's 13th century conquests does help understand the proceedings, but is not necessary. If anything, do the research after the film (like I did) and see it again (like I hopefully will if it's ever released in a digital format). Given the very limited budget of the filmmakers, some of what they achieved here is truly impressive (and surely more authentic and heartfelt than any latest computer-generated imagery).
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