Russian Language Hall of Fame II

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With deep regret I have to say that I feel compelled to withdraw from this competition.
It's just that I am kinda busy with job these days and I also will be, so somehow I feel like watching something else after a stressful day.
Hope it's ok....
I will watch movies I feel like watching though (not hat I don't like these ones as well - I've seen most of them anyway) so I'll maybe watch some other movies, maybe different foreign movies or something more cheerful
Had a moment in my life when I started to learn Russian intensively for about 4 years... also speak it on a conversation level now, not an academic one though .... so while I got in touch with some Russian language speakers they kinda recommended me many Russian movies....
I've seen plenty of them, (watch Bumer 1/2 maybe there's a 3 also) it's how they call the BMW in some parts over there ....
So I kinda know how are people feeling about their own "rodina" (homeland) and I've seen a bunch of Russian films about the difficult life from there, maybe some were funny or had different subjects, but I hope you will all forgive me since I feel like watching something else.
пожалуйста, не сердитесь на меня (pozhaluysta, ne serdites' na menya), Желаю хорошего дня товарищи (I wish you a great day comrads )
Aw, I'm sorry to hear that, but it's totally cool. Your nomination was Leviathan, as I recall, so that one is removed from this HoF then.



Please don't be offended.... I'm kinda stressed with work and just feel like casual talking or maybe write a few things about a movie or two. TY
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Please don't be offended.... I'm kinda stressed with work and just feel like casual talking or maybe write a few things about a movie or two. TY
It's cool you did tell us at the very start, so it's not a big deal. I hope you'll consider joining a future HoF, they are all quite different in their themes and the movies that are choose. What kind of movies (genres/type/etc) interest you the most?



It's cool you did tell us at the very start, so it's not a big deal. I hope you'll consider joining a future HoF, they are all quite different in their themes and the movies that are choose. What kind of movies (genres/type/etc) interest you the most?
I watch various films and it's not that I'm not interested in the Russian cinema. I've seen Solaris, The Mirror, Stalker also watched a few movies made by Nikita Mihalkov - which is a great actor and a great director in my opinion but he is not seen with good eyes in Russia since he is one of Putin's supporters. He made some sort of a remake after 12 angry men. Also seen other films with him and directed by Mihalkov.
I've seen The ISland (Ostrov) with Pyotr Mamonov.... also played Ivan the Terrible in one movie.... and many many new movies as well.

It's just that I'm going through some sort of a phase in which after I come home from work I prefer chatting and maybe write a few lines about a movie I've seen, every once in a while - not to feel pressured by any deadlines. (Not that you guys put any pressure on me- because there was plenty of time to watch all these movies)...
I did participate though in 25 foreign movie list that other user of this website created, so I've sent my nominations over there.
Maybe in the future if there will be more free time.... I'll join....
So I hope all will understand



I watch various films and it's not that I'm not interested in the Russian cinema. I've seen Solaris, The Mirror, Stalker also watched a few movies made by Nikita Mihalkov - which is a great actor and a great director in my opinion but he is not seen with good eyes in Russia since he is one of Putin's supporters. He made some sort of a remake after 12 angry men. Also seen other films with him and directed by Mihalkov.
I've seen The ISland (Ostrov) with Pyotr Mamonov.... also played Ivan the Terrible in one movie.... and many many new movies as well.

It's just that I'm going through some sort of a phase in which after I come home from work I prefer chatting and maybe write a few lines about a movie I've seen, every once in a while - not to feel pressured by any deadlines. (Not that you guys put any pressure on me- because there was plenty of time to watch all these movies)...
I did participate though in 25 foreign movie list that other user of this website created, so I've sent my nominations over there.
Maybe in the future if there will be more free time.... I'll join....
So I hope all will understand
I think you might have misunderstood my intention of my question. I wasn't questioning why you couldn't finish the HoF...I was just trying to make convo and also get some ideas for future HoFs that you (and others) might be interested in. That's all



I think you might have misunderstood my intention of my question. I wasn't questioning why you couldn't finish the HoF...I was just trying to make convo and also get some ideas for future HoFs that you (and others) might be interested in. That's all
I'll think of a few and post it.
But as far as I can see you guys (the older ones in here) already figured that out and created so many HoF, about which I couldn't even think of
It's great to see so many people around here with great ideas and imagination.
I'm sure I could fit in my seen movies in those and I will do it soon or later



The Cranes Are Flying (1957) -


WARNING: spoilers below
While I'm not the biggest fan of classic romance films, I was definitely eager to watch this film for this thread as I've been meaning to get to it for a while. While I'm not sure I consider it to be a great film, I liked a lot about it and another viewing may get me to like it even more.

After finishing it, I was rather surprised as to how it was a fairly low-key romance. After Boris left for WWII, most of the film followed Veronika's attempts of coping with his absence and the fear of him being killed, while she was stuck in a loveless relationship with Mark. Due to this, the film maintained a steady atmosphere of despair, yet never felt like it was wallowing in this. A major thing which sets this film above most other classical romances I've seen is that it refuses to tie itself up into a neat bow in terms of its emotional register. Many tragedies befall Veronika and, though she isn't able to recover from all of them, the ending shows that, even if she can't be made whole again, she can still move on. I found the ending to be more layered and impactful than what I normally see in romance films.

The camerawork and editing were also really impressive. The how-did-they-shoot-that scene of Boris running up a set of stairs as the camera followed him was pretty great, a dreamlike sequence of Boris imagining a wedding between he and Veronika was nothing short of technically impressive, and the air raid shown from the perspective of Veronika's apartment ranks among the most claustrophobic things I've seen in film in a while. I also appreciated how some of the lighting used in the happier and playful moments of the film had a strong, dreamlike glare to it (as could be seen with the sunlight in the opening, for example). These scenes caused the film to be stylistically impressive and they make me more excited to watch Kalatozov's Letter Never Sent for this thread.

With all that being said, while there's a lot to love about this film, I'll need to watch it again to decide if I think it's great or just really good since I'm still mulling over a major directorial choice in it. Around the middle of the film, Boris is killed in the war while on a reconnaissance mission. While his death is certainly unexpected and among the most visually and technically impressive scenes in the film, I did wonder whether his death would've had a stronger impact had it been saved for later. As it stood, I felt that his death sacrificed some of the narrative tension I enjoyed over whether he'd survive. To be fair though, this was in service of setting up an even bleaker tone in the second half with Mark being more at the forefront. Since I'm not quite sure what to make of that scene and the effect it has on the film as of now though, I'll have to rewatch the film to decide whether I liked this choice or not.

Regardless of what direction the film goes in in the second half though, I quite enjoyed this film and I found that it mostly lived up to its reputation as a great film. Another viewing may get me to like it even more.


Next up: The Dream of a Ridiculous Man



The trick is not minding
Stalker


Tarkovsky has always been a blind spot for me. I first heard of him back in 2003, I think? When the remake of Solaris had come out. I had read his original version was the one worth seeking out, as well as Stalker. For some reason though, I never did. Maybe because his films weren’t as easy to find in the Hollywood video rental I frequented at the time.*

Stalker begins with a unnamed man who takes anyone willing to pay into the Zone, an area steeped in mystery and legend. A meteor hit it years ago, and when trips were sent to recover it, they never returned. The area was then blocked off and no one is allowed to enter under threat of imprisonment or death. But inside the Zone, lies a room that grants all who enter their desires.**
So of course, our Stalker is hired to lead two strangers the writer and the professor, to this mysterious room.**

The film is really an essay of sorts, on the human psyche. It is deeply psychological and even on my first viewing, I know there was a lot I missed or it went over my head. As such, it demands repeated viewings. We watch as these three struggle to reach the room, and debate with each other while waxing philosophical. Stalker is deeply philosophical.**

It is shot beautifully. Alternating between color and sepia tone, the switch is sudden and almost seamlessly. And there are some scenes of foreboding as they enter the zone. Scenes of tanks from where the lost troops made their last stand.*

But what is the Zone exactly? Is it sentient? Seems so. It reacts to you and changes every minute, setting up traps according to our Stalker. And what of the mysterious dog that appears and follows them? Is there some significance to it? And the ending? Does that suggest the Stalker once entered the room?**

Indeed, it is more of an experience, and one has to experience it first before you can find the answers. The answers may or not come in repeated viewings. In that way, stalker is much like The Zone itself. Or even the Room that is so desired by them.



The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (1992) -


This was an artsy and thought-provoking short film which really resonated with me. I find the subject of "life after death" really interesting, especially questions of whether the afterlife will turn out to be a utopia or hellish. Some people who are touched by suicide have a mindset of "If I kill myself, I'll be better off", but of course, there's no way of knowing what happens after you die until your time comes. Due to this ambiguity, another mindset one could have is that you should make the most of your time on Earth since there's no way of knowing what will happen after death. I've been touched by depression in the past and, for this reason, I found the plight of the man in this short film highly relatable. Ultimately, this short film culminated with exactly what I thought it would culminate with, but predictable outcome or not, I still enjoyed the protagonist's arc. The ideas in this short were what stuck out and lingered with me the most. I also loved the animation style. From what I read, the animation was created using practical effects by drying oil paint on sheets of glass, which makes me all the more impressed. Beyond that though, I liked all the atmospheric and moody colors in this short, especially in the surreal dream sequences in the latter half or so. In addition, I especially loved the usages of shadows in certain shots where the background was either indistinguishable or completely black such as the lamppost shot in the beginning and ending since these shots made the characters look isolated from the outside world as if there was nothing around them. Overall, while I don't think this is a great short, I do think it's a really good one and I'm glad I watched it.

Next up: Khrustalyov, My Car!




The Return (2003)

A powerful film of growing tensions, as an absent father returns home and takes his two estranged sons on a hiking trip that they soon won't forget. This is a well written, well shot, psychological study of a broken family. It felt very Russian to me in it's forlorn heaviness...the air of impending doom hung over the two boys, like an early morning fog over the Volga river.

The scenes & camera shots were never rushed and that gives us time to reflect on the moments at hand, which is important for the film's headiness to sink into one's mind. I liked that this was a linear story which allowed the film to focus intensely on the moment. The use of the personal journal as a narrative tool added to the growing tension.

The two child actors were superb in this. They easily conveyed emotions with just a facial expressions. It was like I knew what they were thinking without them even speaking it.
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Even though I'm on the bench, I'm enjoying the reviews so far.
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Even though I'm on the bench, I'm enjoying the reviews so far.
Out of curiosity, how many of the nominations have you seen (other than Stalker, which I believe you've already watched)?



Out of curiosity, how many of the nominations have you seen (other than Stalker, which I believe you've already watched)?
That's the only one I've seen.

Actually, these are the only Russian/Soviet films I've seen...

Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Viy (1967)
Stalker (1979)
Come and See (1985)
Russian Ark (2002)
Night Watch (2004)
Day Watch (2006)
Mongol (2007, multinational co-production)

That's one of the reasons why I decided to sit this one out. I assumed that either most people here would've seen Potemkin, Come and See, and Stalker, or that someone else would nab them first, and I didn't feel that passionate about the others to nominate them. Night Watch and Day Watch in particular are pretty cringey/bad.



That's the only one I've seen.

Actually, these are the only Russian/Soviet films I've seen...

Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Viy (1967)
Stalker (1979)
Come and See (1985)
Russian Ark (2002)
Night Watch (2004)
Day Watch (2006)
Mongol (2007, multinational co-production)

That's one of the reasons why I decided to sit this one out. I assumed that either most people here would've seen Potemkin, Come and See, and Stalker, or that someone else would nab them first, and I didn't feel that passionate about the others to nominate them. Night Watch and Day Watch in particular are pretty cringey/bad.
Aye, gotcha. Hopefully, you'll get some good recs from this thread though.



The trick is not minding
Aw man, I actually have been looking forward to watching Nightwatch and Daywatch for....well....must be 15 years now. (I know, I’m slow)

The director of those films finally has a US release for his latest film, Profile, starting this weekend so I’m planning on seeing it.



Professional horse shoe straightener
'The Cranes are Flying'


I'm a fan of every Kalatozov film that I've seen, and Cranes is right up there with the best of them. The camerawork especially is ground breaking (high angles, low angles, tracking shots, pans, zooms, it's mesmerizing). The acting is perfect. It's one of the greatest war films I've seen, and shows little of the actual battles. Just the story from the perspective of Russia. Yes there's a love story amongst it all but at it's heart it's an anti war film that will live long in the memory.



'The Return'


Beautiful film about loss / coming of age / connections with parents. It's a very mysterious film, as we never really get to know much about the father's intentions. But as with all Zvaginstyev films, the journey is amazing and the cinematography is stunning. I think it's got something to say about how, as a child, you regard your father or your mother, how you compare them, how much (if at all) you strive to be like them. It's like Tarkovsky directing 'The 400 Blows' in an alternate reality.

Excellent film. Incidentally, the film is tinged with ironic tragedy, as the actor who plays the older brother was killed in a swimming pool accident a couple of months after the film was shot.



We're currently two weeks into this HoF and, so far, @jiraffejustin, @Takoma11, and @Utraviolence haven't submitted a review yet. Of course, there's no rush or anything. Just letting you guys know.