Director Mikhail Brashinsky won the "New Director's Showcase" award at the Seattle International Film Festival, 2003, for this film. The jury that awarded him the prize called it "A striking directorial debut that abandons traditional narrative structure in favor of provocative aesthetics and inventive storytelling." Out of the 80 films I saw at that festival, this film was one of my favorites. In a realm of cinema where the struggle that filmmakers face, of trying to fit a story into a flowing narrative, this film goes beyond the conventions and gives us refreshing cinema with all its human rawness. Shot on Sony DVcam 100, and utilizing exactly 1101 shot set ups, fit into 77 minutes of film time, we witness what a five minute encounter can lead a person into. One minute we start learning more about our main character, until the next minute we completely change main characters and are left in a new story. Hi-contrast lighting and imagery add to the edginess of the characters' mental realm. Very nice use of out-of-focus fotography, used as creating layers within the image. The role that out-of-focus shots take in this film are similar to how silence functions within music. The soundtrack utilizes a mix of sound effects, thus taking the concept of a melodic film score a big step further and insists on re-defining what film music should be. It is very rare that cinema gets more refreshing than this. Former film critic Mikhail Brashinsky showed me a side of Russian cinema that i never knew existed. Thanks to this film, the 29th annual Seattle International Film Festival was a rewarding experience.
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