Andrei Konchalovsky – Shy People (1987)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Diana (Jill Clayburgh) and her rebellious cocaine snorting daughter (Martha Plimpton) travel to the Louisiana bayou to meat their distant relatives. They find a wild gun-toting marsh woman (Barbara Hershey), and her grown children who she protects from the outside world still, going as far as putting one in a cage. Diana came to write an insightful article about her lost family, but may have gotten in over her head. The atmosphere is beautiful. There are some great performances by the brilliant Barbara Hershey (won best actress in 1987 Cannes), and Martha Plimpton. The turning point of the film is a bizarre rape sequence involving Martha Plimpton, cocaine, a big barrel of honey, a dozen goats, and Patrick Swayze’s brother, Don Swayze. This leads to both Jill Clayburg and Martha Plimpton being alone in the swamp, fighting for survival, and also a serious conflict within the family. Photographed by Chris Menges (The Killing Fields, The Mission). This film is incredible. Continue reading

Andrei Konchalovsky – Dyadya Vanya AKA Uncle Vanya (1970)

http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/7397/dyadyavanya1970rusdrama.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis from IMDB:

A retired professor has returned to his estate to live with his beautiful young wife, Yelena. The estate originally belonged to his first wife, now deceased; her mother and brother still live there and manage the farm. For many years the brother (Uncle Vanya) has sent the farm’s proceeds to the professor, while receiving only a small salary himself. Sonya, the professor’s daughter, who is about the same age as his new wife, also lives on the estate.
The professor is pompous, vain, and irritable. He calls the doctor (Astrov) to treat his gout, only to send him away without seeing him. Astrov is an experienced physician who performs his job conscientiously, but has lost all idealism and spends much of his time drinking. The presence of Yelena introduces a bit of sexual tension into the household.
Astrov and Uncle Vanya both fall in love with Yelena; she spurns them both. Meanwhile, Sonya is in love with Astrov, who fails even to notice her. Finally, when the professor announces he wants to sell the estate, Vanya, whose admiration for the man died with his sister, tries to kill him.
Continue reading

Andrei Konchalovsky – Sibiriada aka Siberiade (1979)

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/3999/sibiriada1979rusdramawa.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Amazon.com
This ambitious 1979 Russian film attempts no less a feat than the encapsulation of the tumultuous history of Russia in the 20th century. Written and directed by Andrei Konchalovsky (Runaway Train, Tango and Cash), the film weaves an engrossing tale of three generations of two Russian families in the remote region of Siberia, each trying in their own way to find fulfillment in their lives as they seek to reconcile themselves with the ever-changing landscape of their homeland. Sandwiched between the chaotic events of the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Russian Revolution of 1917, the people of the small village find themselves at the cusp of great changes, from communications to the expanding infrastructure and the changes that brings, to the discovery of oil and the riches and perils that come with it. Konchalovsky juxtaposes archival footage with stunning cinematography and contrasts the assaultive changes of the modern world with the timeless impulses of family and the enduring need to adapt and survive. Reminiscent of such great films as Giant and 1900, Siberiade is a visually adept and stunningly effective epic about the price of a country’s history on its people. —Robert Lane
Continue reading

Andrei Konchalovsky – Maria’s Lovers (1984)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

One reason to want to watch this movie is to see perform one of the most talented actresses of her generation, Nastassja Kinski. Others: Her traumatized husband coming back from WWII, a perfectly suited role for Mr John Savage. The plot is simple and misleading, The scenes full of suspense yet stealing our breath at the least expecting moment. This movie reminds us of what acting used to be and how subtlety creates miracles. Simple and excellent. Continue reading

Andrei Konchalovsky – Asya’s Happiness AKA The Story of Asya Klyachina (1966)

http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/1315/asya00.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Asya Klyashina is a cook in a small Russian village, lame and unmarried. During harvest time she works at a field camp where she renews acquaintance with Sasha, a driver returned from the city, who announces that he loves her but has no thought of marriage. Mothers look after their children amid the harvest; the men reminisce about the Patriotic War (“fighting for the Motherland, for Stalin”) and about the prison camps after the war. But complications to her life start when Asya discovers she is pregnant by another youth, Stephan. Continue reading

Andrei Konchalovsky – Pervyy Uchitel AKA The First Teacher (1966)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

from imdb:

Soviet Union, near the Chinese border, 1923. A stranger has just come in this little country village. He is a teacher, sent by the Communist Party to teach the ignorant masses. But the countrymen are to help him, and even to let their children go and “sleep” at school instead of giving a hand. There is only, Altynai, an orphan, to seem fascinated by the teacher and his knowledge. Continue reading