Tag Archives: Andrey Smirnov

Andrey Smirnov & Larisa Shepitko – Nachalo nevedomogo veka AKA Beginning of an Unknown Era (1967)

During the most liberal period of the Khrushchev regime, Grigori Chukrai, director of the classic Ballad of a Soldier, presided over an “experimental studio” dedicated to nurturing new talents. The studio was closed after it produced the three-part Beginning of an Unknown Era, conceived as a memorial for the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. The film was shelved and to this day the negative is reported lost. However, a print of Andrei Smirnov’s episode Angel and Larissa Shepitko’s Homeland of Electricity survived – both films were premiered at the 1987 Moscow Film Festival. It is understandable that the authorities might have considered Angel and Homeland of Electricity inappropriate for trumped-up celebrations of the Revolution. Read More »

Andrey Zvyagintsev – Elena (2011)

Elena and Vladimir are an older couple, they come from different backgrounds. Vladimir is a wealthy and cold man, Elena comes from a modest milieu and is a docile wife. They have met late in life and each one has children from previous marriages. Elena’s son is unemployed, unable to support his own family and he is constantly asking Elena for money. Vladimir’s daughter is a careless young woman who has a distant relationship with her father. A heart attack puts Vladimir in hospital, where he realizes that his remaining time is limited. A brief but somehow tender reunion with his daughter leads him to make an important decision: she will be the only heiress of his wealth. Back home he announces it to Elena. Her hopes to financially help her son suddenly vanish. The shy and submissive housewife then comes up with a plan to give her son and grandchildren a real chance in life. Read More »

Andrey Smirnov – Belorusskiy vokzal AKA Byelorussia Station (1971)

Quote:
A sympathetic, emotionally persuasive drama describing the friendship of four World War II veterans, their sudden reunion after 25 years and the subsequent effect of this occasion upon their thoughts and evaluations of the past and present. In a way, The Byelorussian Station is reminiscent of the poignant, realistic look at the returned soldier remembered in Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives. In this film, however, the sentiments are leavened by reminiscence and a touch of remorse, and the spectator must be prepared for a deeply moving cinematic adventure. Read More »