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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