ASSA is set in Crimea during the winter in the mid eighties. A young musician (Bananan) falls for mobster's (Krymov) young mistress (Alika). The parallel story line involves an 18th century...
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ASSA is set in Crimea during the winter in the mid eighties. A young musician (Bananan) falls for mobster's (Krymov) young mistress (Alika). The parallel story line involves an 18th century assassination plot.Written by
Andrew Obin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The title is a slang word from the counterculture of Moscow and Leningrad, meaning a mess, turmoil or confusion.The structure of the film itself represents a similar mixture of characters and stories which are not all connected logically. See more »
I had to re-watch this "perestroika gem" on a promise, otherwise I'd never do it for I still remember how poor it seemed when it first came out. Approximately one half of it can be tolerable if you love the city of Yalta with all your heart (I don't), and the other half is impossible to watch without a feeling of Spanish shame. The quintessence of absurdity is, of course, the final scene, with the now deceased rock underground hero Victor Tsoy making faces while singing in a restaurant orchestra, wearing a posy of red carnation, apparently symbolizing his courage and revolutionary fervor. If we remember that red carnations were a preferred decoration of French aristocrats on their revolutionary scaffolds, and juxtapose it with the strangled Russian emperor in this film, the mixed metaphor becomes obvious. In the accompanying band (apparently his band Kino) there are Victor Ryzhenko playing guitar (who never played with real Kino), and "Negro Vitya" (apparently there is a joke there, with half of the film band members named victors) who is actually a good Russian musician of a different band (again, never played with real Kino) wearing very bad blackface (rather, brownface). The band wears black t-shirts with different Russian inscriptions on them, all being clichéd Soviet slogans, like "Save the world," all in the same typeface, in real life never manufactured (those ones in the film were US-made as "perestroyka chic") but if manufactured, never worn by real protesters. So, it all comes as a big fat lie, an act of cultural appropriation, with filmmakers trying to monetize the Soviet underground culture of the time. These days, monuments are torn down for less.
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