A self-pitying but popular playwright drives to Vladimir to relax with a doting female student and another writer. He's convinced his writing is of no lasting value, but he still has an ego...
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A self-pitying but popular playwright drives to Vladimir to relax with a doting female student and another writer. He's convinced his writing is of no lasting value, but he still has an ego, about his work and his masculine appeal. He's drawn to a museum guide he sees on his first afternoon, and when she appears at dinner, he tries charm. She reads widely, knows his work, loved it once and now finds it trivial; and she says so. He's stung. The next day, they walk through a cemetery where she talks of a dead peasant's poems and he grabs an idea of hers as the theme for a new play. She remains indifferent; he's baffled. So that night he spies on her. All is revealed.Written by
Visually and dramatically this is the dullest film I have seen in quite some time. As a typical example, one scene in a dining room, which runs over thirty minutes, consists of exactly three shots: one medium close-up of our lead character, one medium close up of the female he is infatuated with, and, I kid you not, over 15 minutes of footage from a camera placed ACROSS THE ROOM featuring one character with her back to us and another occasionally blocked from view. The majority of the film is in medium to long shot with (yeah, I'm still not kidding) endless voice-overs from the lead character describing his self-loathing and the pointlessness of existence. As you might guess pacing is not considered a major part of the cinematic art by Panfilov and Co. but if a somber, reverent study of self-pity (er, the sufferings of the artist) set against a frozen landscape (oh, the symbolism!) is your cup of borscht, hey ... (actually I wouldn't wright anything at all about this movie but I consider it my public service for the month to warn whatever other foreign film adventurers that might stumble upon this iceberg).
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