The existential protagonist is a hungry, homeless, socially isolated, and socially alienated young man living on the streets of an anonymous Russian big city in the 19th Century. He's ... See full summary »
Third part in Aleksandr Sokurov's quadrilogy of Power, following Moloch (1999) and Taurus (2001), focuses on Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Japan's defeat in World War II when he is finally confronted by General Douglas MacArthur who offers him to accept a diplomatic defeat for survival.
Inspired by Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Sokurov's Save and Protect recalls the most crucial events of Emma's decline and fall, including affairs with an aristocratic and a student. Focusing ... See full summary »
A father and his son live together in a roof-top apartment. They have lived alone for years in their own private world, full of memories and daily rites. Sometimes they seem like brothers. ... See full summary »
Pretentious, unwatchable mess from a director that has done better
In the final years of the Soviet Union, a Russian doctor arrives in a godforsaken town in the middle of a desert in Turkmenia (the place that would become a few years later the independent state of Turkmenistan, one of the least known and more mysterious countries of the world). His mission there is not clear, though it is apparently to investigate why old believers get fewer ailments than other people. But soon, a series of mysterious things will happen to him.
Shot in a very opaque style and with a photography almost drained of color, this movie promises in the first quarter of an hour that it might be interesting if very unconventional, but it soon descends into absurdity. It ends up being a complete mess.
Director Alexander Sokurov has made some interesting films after this (Russian Ark, for instance, or some of his documentaries) but this, one of his first movies, is basically unwatchable.
Filmed mostly with a fly on the wall - style (there are very few closeups), the shortcomings of this film are too many to mention. But to mention a few, the actors look like zombies, delivering lines with zero expression (this is fault of the director, not of them). The plot becomes incomprehensible – not that the director seems to care much about that. And though this was shot in present day Turkmenistan, very few Turkmen appear – mostly as far away props.
Based on a well regarded science fiction story by the Arkady and Boris Strugatsky –though in no way this movie can be called a SF film, it's basically a pretentious art movie.
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