The fanciful tale of an introverted little girl who grows up believing she has the power to make wishes come true.
She must reconcile this belief with reality when, as a young woman, she journeys to Moscow and grapples with love,
modernity and materialism. Continue reading
OMG by by Mark Deming
Blending dramatic situations with a documentary -influenced visual style, S Dnyom rozhdenya / Happy Birthday looks in at a typical day in a Russian maternity hospital. The patients range from a middle aged woman pleased if surprised by her current pregnancy to a Muslim woman whose marriage to a Russian has blighted her relationship with her family. No matter what their situations, the women draw strength and support from each other as they share their common experience. This film was shown at the 1999 Rotterdam Film Festival. Continue reading
A small village located on the shores of the White Sea, 2008. In Northern Russia.
While winter has shrouded everything in the glacial night of the North, a few hours of light per day seep in on the eve of Easter in the village of Soumskiy Pozad, around a thousand kilometers to the north of Saint-Petersburg, in the province of Karelia. Connected to the rest of the country by a vague muddy road and a piece of railroad, the village experiences a suspended and mysterious time. The film is about the Russia of unending forests and potato fields. A few robust and intransigent people live peacefully, in no hurry by pressing needs. Two small girls have just been adopted by a family. The woman is sweet and soft-spoken, whereas the man is hot-tempered. It is Chekov’s Russia: still happy, yet torn apart, and cold.
link Continue reading
Loosely based on a science fiction story by the Strugatsky brothers. The film tells the story about a young scientist who travels to a poor provincial town in Central Asia to do research on the Russian Orthodox church. Mysterious forces, unbearable heat, strange people, a conversation with a dead friend and aliens disturb his research. Continue reading
Marina (Dihovichnaya) is a gorgeous upper-crust Muscovite with an opulent wardrobe and good-looking husband to match. She’s employed as a social worker, a profession offering meager financial rewards. Thankfully her affluent father provides the supplementary income her job — and her hapless husband — cannot. Yet instead of finding contentment in her win-win situation, Marina carries on an affair with her best friend’s husband, and also initiates a bizarre series of erotic encounters with a deadbeat cop who previously raped her. Continue reading
It became a cult movie for an entire generation. And it’s significance only increases as the years pass. Rock musicians who were the founders of contemporary rock culture are captured here in their youth: giants such as Boris Grebenshchikov, Yuri Shevchuk, Viktor Tsoi, Oleg Garkusha, and Anton Adasinsky. “Rock” is a film about fate and about music; it is the portrait of a generation. Director Uchitel observes his characters up close, and offers up the same unique opportunity to his audience.
AMG (allrovi.com): Maria Saakyan’s elegiac, semi-autobiographical slice-of-life drama The Lighthouse (2006) unfolds in the very early ’90s, against the backdrop of the Caucasus wars that plagued Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. As the scope of this mass-scaled conflict extends itself to one woman’s small village, she is forced to drop everything, move to Moscow, and start over from scratch — thus bidding farewell to her hometown and way of life, perhaps indefinitely. Continue reading