The film is set in St. Petersburg, Russia after the Russian revolution of 1917. Based on the eponymous book by Boris Lavrenev. Maj. General Yevgeni Pavlovich Adamov (Popov) was a lawyer in ... See full summary »
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A film-in-film story set in a provincial town in Russia. Pasha (Churikova) is an amateur actress who plays a witch at a local club, but her dream is to play Joan of Arc. In a strike of luck... See full summary »
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It's hard to explain or comment on this film. It's cinematography was beautiful, but even as a Russian I found the plot/story/events almost impossible to understand. That, however, did not make me enjoy the movie much less. Granted I would have loved to have understood what i watched, but i honestly think that is what the director wanted, as another poster said, to have you be lost and confused. Why? To make the film better I guess. We watch things we don't understand, or rather we understand what we are seeing but can't put together why it's happening or how it fits into the story. I would have loved to watch this film with subtitles; my Russian is now rusty and this film had a lot of dialogue and people talking over each other.
German's genius masterpiece is of course "My Friend Ivan Lapshin", made in 1984. A movie so perfect and genius that it hurts. Both films are similar, they have the same "voice" narrating - even German's son who became a director would keep using this somber narrator's voice.
Why did I give this film a 10 even though i had no idea what the story was?? A couple of reasons. I already said genius cinematography, not as perfect as "..Lapshin" but somewhat similar and even more busy, even more free and creative. The work and though that went into this film is staggering. It's a film filled with action. A true piece of art I'd say, even though almost impossible to understand. We are given no context, no historical data, no explanations about who the characters are except a couple of words on their work. This movie proves ultimately that you can like a movie without understanding it. They should have sent a poem, I have nothing else to say about this film. A very strange and different film, see it one. But if you see this film definitely see German's masterpiece "My Friend Ivan Lapshin", it's a hundred times better, the story is perfectly clear and geniously artistically told, see it before you watch "Khrustalyov mashinu", because if you watch "Khrustalyov" first you might not want to watch the other if you don't like it, which would be the biggest shame, "Ivan Lapshin" is at the top of best Russian Soviet films.
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