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 »
A music student is expeled from school because he loves jazz, a kind of music that represents the US capitalism. He hires two street musicians to form a dixie band, and goes from one city ... See full summary »
A patient in a modern day mental institution believes that he is the man who assassinated Tsar Alexander in 1881 and Tsar Nicolas II in 1918. He and his doctor soon slip out of reality and ... See full summary »
Injured on the job Vasily Kuzyakin gets a ticket to the resort. There he meets femme fatale Raisa Zakharovna, and once under the charm, moves to live with her. Unfortunately, a new life is not all that sweet as dreamed hapless Vasily.
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 »
The members of a Soviet cooperative have pooled their money to have a badly needed parking garage built. But it turns out that the garage will have four fewer spaces than planned. In brutal... See full summary »
The 1975 film by Georgi Daneliya "Afonya" was an unexpected commercial hit in USSR. The main character Borshev A.N. is a locksmith who spends his free time, as well as working hours, ... 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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