The lead of Tarkovsky's ANDREI RUBYLOV and SOLARIS as the long suffering author, oppressed by debt and memories, going from the funeral of his dear ones to struggle with his crooked publisher's deadline. This one is the artist as victim biography taken to extremes.
Things do pick up with the recruiting of a young stenographer which gives an excuse to drop excerpts of "The Gambler" into the production, as it is being written. She stalls the bailiff.
The tasteful period filming was the Soviet industry at it's then most accomplished. The limitations of their laboratory work were evident in the copies circulating - is there a nice, new, low fade Eastman print off the negative anyplace?
The Russian art movies were less compromised by political content than original subjects and it is to be regretted that a piece as substantial as this has been allowed to sink into screenings limbo.
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