Andrei lives a secluded life with his aunt, studying and thinking about his now-deceased mother. His friend Tsenin is concerned, and tries to get Andrei to accompany him to social events. ...
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Andrei lives a secluded life with his aunt, studying and thinking about his now-deceased mother. His friend Tsenin is concerned, and tries to get Andrei to accompany him to social events. After watching the actress Zoya Kadmina perform, Andrei is fascinated with her, and is then astounded to receive a note from her. He has only one brief meeting with her, and then three months later he is shocked to learn of her death. He now becomes obsessed with her memory, and he decides that he must find out all that he can about her.Written by
A more modern film tells a story through the characters, but Bauer tells his story primarily through the camera- through the motion, the color and the framing in the scenes. This results in a surreal, though not entirely unpleasant experience. This is fitting to the story as well, because of its emphasis on the supernatural. The connection between Death and the human psyche plays a central role in the story, and it treats the subject similarly to an Edgar Allan Poe story. The greatest similarity to Poe is how the film does nothing to establish the main character as a reliable narrator. Through the film the audience only briefly enters the main characters point of view, mostly resulting in visions of the deceased, but most of the time we are instead watching events as an outsider. There is a voyeuristic nature to many of the scenes, with the camera watching the events of the movie from behind doors or plants. This is especially evident in the party scene the camera walks slowly around the room, learning the story through the going-ons in the settings rather than through the main characters. Ultimately the same message is conveyed through this particular scene- that our main character is somewhat of an oddity in the room- but more indirectly. I think the film is brilliant because of the mystery it presents by not handing out information so simply. The camera intrudes on the characters lives and allows the audience to pick apart the events- and this elevates what would otherwise be a cheesy melodrama into an opportunity to explore the characters minds. It's enjoyable to watch because of how the story is told more than what is told.
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