Russia

Yuri Mamin & Arkadiy Tigay – Okno v Parizh aka Window to Paris (1993)

Plot
Nikolay (played by Sergei Dontsov) has been fired from his job as a music teacher and has to live in the gym until he finds a place to stay. Finally he gets a communal room in the apartment of Gorokhov (Viktor Mikhalkov). The room’s previous inhabitant, an old woman, has died a year ago, and yet her cat is still in the locked room, healthy and fat. Soon, Nikolai and his neighbours discover the mystery: there is a window to Paris in the room. That’s when the comedy begins – will the Russians be able to cope with the temptation to profit from the discovery? Read More »

Kira Muratova – Nastroyshchik AKA The Tuner (2004)

Quote:
At the heart of Kira Muratova’s newest film, The Tuner (Nastroishchik, 2004), is her characteristic and enduring love of predation—predation for its own sake. Of course, any talk of “the heart of Muratova’s work” is a judgment of anatomy rather than sentiment, as any admirer would attest. With The Tuner, she has produced an extraordinary new film that offers a complex assessment of the human subject, civilization, and the creative act. Read More »

Lidiya Bobrova – V toy strane… AKA In That Land… (1998)

PLOT:
In That Land is a rare journey into a world which in many respects has not changed in a hundred years. Its territory is a small village in the north of Russia, a region which for better or worse has been largely overlooked by the probing eyes of the modern world. The film centres around three main characters who come to signify the essence of the Russian soul. Chapurin is the village’s team-leader who takes care of the people, yet will betray them for the right price. A shepherd, Skuridin, feels the weight of a difficult family life and harsh political realities on his shoulders. Lastly there is Zaika, a talented soul wasting his life on alcohol. Facing an unforgiving landscape, they embrace life and death in ways unique to their circumstances, universal in spirit. Read More »

Andrey A. Tarkovskiy – Andrey Tarkovsky. A Cinema Prayer (2019)

The documentary recounts Tarkovsky’s life and work, letting the director tell the story himself, as he shares with us his memories, his view of art and his reflections on the destiny of the artist and the meaning of human existence. Read More »

Aleksandr Sokurov – Smirennaya zhizn AKA A Humble Life (1997)

An ancient, solitary house lost in the remote mountains of the village of Aska, in Japan. Inside the house lives an old solitary woman, whose humble life is made of little and silent tasks and traditions whose origins are lost in time: stitching kimonos, cooking, eating, keeping the fire alight, combing her hair, reciting unadorned a haicai, a prayer on solitude. With music from Japanese folklore and melodies from Tchaikovsky, Sokurov creates a poem in images which recalls a culture thousands of years old and his own feelings of nostalgia for his native Russia. Read More »

Georgiy Daneliya – Oryol i Reshka AKA Heads and Tails (1995)

To earn money for married life, a young engaged man takes a job as an engineer on a privately operated oil drilling rig in the far North of Russia. A friend’s letter brings the sad news that his fiancée has already married someone else and in desperation he quits his job and flies back to Moscow. There all his vast efforts to win her back seem in vain… Read More »

Stanislav Govorukhin – Voroshilovskiy strelok AKA The Rifleman of the Voroshilov Regiment (1999)

A very typical post-Soviet era storyline. Three young men lured an innocent teenage girl to their apartment, offered her a drink, intimidated then gang raped her. Local cops are incapable to undertake an adequate action against the scoundrels – prevented by the superior chief of the local police (militia) which is the dad of one the scumbags. The case is closed. The girl’s grand-dad tired of endless circumlocution decides to take revenge of his own. Read More »