Ivan is old Russia: thick, dour, hard-working, often brutish; he misses Communism. He drives a taxi and one night meets Alexi, a new Russian, a musician, an alcoholic, irresponsible. Alexi ... See full summary »
During World War II, 19 year old soldier Alyosha gets a medal as a reward for a heroic act at the front. Instead of this medal he asks for a few days leave to visit his mother and repair ... See full summary »
An engineer in charge of the production line of a factory in Moscow is sent to a small town to try to specify the distributor the new dimensions of a mechanic part they need. But in this ... See full summary »
Platon Ryabinin, a pianist, is traveling by train to a distant town of Griboedov to visit his father. He gets off to have lunch during a twenty minute stop at Zastupinsk railway station. He... 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 »
A young romantic loves step dance but there is only one person who knows this forgotten art. Beglov was a step dance super star back in 50s but as step became unpopular he lost everything. ... See full summary »
A former aristocrat Ippolit Vorobyaninov leads a miserable life in Soviet Russia. His mother-in-law reveals a secret to him - she hid family diamonds in one of the twelve chairs they once ... See full summary »
delightfully absurd chronicle of 18th-c countess's misadventures in present-day Moscow
Time travel is often amusing and is at the core of Russia's most popular comedy "Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession"(1973). "Sny" or "Dreams" is masterful comedy director Karen Shakhnazarov's riff on the same theme. In "Sny", a beautiful countess finds herself in present day Moscow, which continually horrifies and astonishes her.
Amalia Mordvinova is gorgeous in the lead role.
As ever Shakhnazarov's adroit sense of the absurd delights. Unfortunately, some of the humour demands an understanding of the cultural context of modern and Soviet Russia -- but many American comedies are equally self-referential.
And frankly, Russian absurdity is a lot funnier than anything that Tarantino or his boorish friends and loutish imitators could ever dream up.
Occasionally production values disappoint -- signs of the times, 1993 wasn't a good year in Russia. Shakhnazarov's "Kurier" is perhaps a more accessible, more evenly brilliant film.
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