Kira Muratova – Uvlecheniya AKA Passions (1994)

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Michael Atkinson:

Passions (1994) has a slightly different program: Accompany a pack of extroverted, sub-Fellini nutlogs to a horse farm, where they prance, vamp, and blabber about horses, love, and life. “It’s like somebody nudges me and whispers: Ask them—will they bear it?” one character says, summarizing Muratova’s strategy. Photographed in uncharacteristically lush colors, Passions won an indulgent Russian Oscar.

Jonathan Rosenbaum:

Since her groundbreaking The Asthenic Syndrome came out in 1989 Kira Muratova has made a feature every two years on average. One of them, Passions (1994), even won her a Nika, the Russian equivalent of an Oscar. Critic Ruslan Janumyan has noted that this luscious color film fulfills “most people’s expectations of what an `art film’ should be, with a lot of good looking people hanging out on the beach, talking about life, death, and love,” but it still displays all the screwy attributes of her other postglasnost features: minimal plot, maniacal repetition of a few lines of dialogue (which initially sound absurdist but ultimately register as hyperrealist), an unorthodox style of editing punctuated by jump cuts, a special feeling and fascination for animals (in this case, racehorses and circus dogs), and a highly aggressive, physical, and declamatory style of acting, by professionals and nonprofessionals alike.

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Subtitles: English, German, French (.srt)

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