Russian Language Hall of Fame

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Weird is relative.
I'm going to watch all of these even though I'm not in this HOF.

On that note, does anyone have a link for My Friend Ivan Lapshin? That's the one I couldn't find.



Is there any idea of a deadline for this @jiraffejustin? I have been quite busy and I need to organize my watches!
Sorry I took so long to get back to you on this, I am figuring that October 11th or 16th should be the deadline unless I get all the votes sooner. You might have to do some cramming to meet that, I hope that's okay.



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
The Cranes are Flying (1957)

This looked gorgeous, like a masterclass in photography, and that's perhaps the thing I loved the most about it.
I also liked the soundtrack and the script is quite solid though I was thinking the story would take a different path.

The acting is a bit stiff, especially from the lead couple, even if Veronica is absolutely stunning!

Overall, there are some pretty impressive moments. The one when she's running to suicide, or the moment she's probably raped by Mark, are truly amazing but I didn't feel any weight in the final 15 minutes as I thought I would, even if I can't point to what went wrong.

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I'm going to watch all of these even though I'm not in this HOF.

On that note, does anyone have a link for My Friend Ivan Lapshin? That's the one I couldn't find.
@CosmicRunaway sent me a link, maybe she can help you?



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Planeta Bur (1962)

Things that impressed me about this: it was shot 7 years before man went to the moon for the first time, during the Cold War and the Space Race, so you can detect some dream to take Mother Russia to explore other worlds.

I liked some shots, and the overall look of the film didn't bother me, even if I admit it's not exactly a nice film to look at.

It had potential and I spent the entire film waiting for something to happen but I got disappointed. It ends being really boring. I checked the running time more often than in a 3 hour Tarkovsky film. The acting is also pretty bad!

I realize this must have been hard to shoot in a low budget, and I'm still glad to have watched it for historical reasons. But it's not what I'd call a good movie.

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Leviathan



I don't have a whole lot to say about this film other than I found it to be dull. Don't get me wrong, I like the premise and the plot of the film, I just don't like the execution and a lot of the dialogue felt like a lull in time. It very easily could have chopped off about 45 minutes of film time and still sent the same message and story. The performances were ok but no noticeable standouts for me. The highlight of the film was certainly the cinematography. There were a ton of beautiful shots, especially the ones with the mountains near the end. Overall, rather than call it a bad film, I'll just call it one that didn't connect with me.




Solaris



I don't have enough intelligent words to say about how mesmerizing this film was. It was like an upgraded version of 2001 for me. And I do like 2001, although I don't love it. The characters, particularly Kelvin and Hari are interesting and make you care for what happens to them. Of course it also helps that Tarkovsky builds a fantastic world on this space station. Shot for shot I'm just in awe that this film was made in 1972. I think he makes you want to come back to the film by drawing you into this world that you almost feel like you are aboard yourself. In particular, the last half hour of the film is among the greatest endings to a film perhaps ever. I know this is a really weak review but I feel I would need another viewing or two to speak to the greatness of this film.






Solaris (1972)This was a very emotionally moving watch for me. That's why it's one of my favorites. Tarkovsky in the first part of the film..on Earth, sets up the somber & reflective mood that Kris Kelvin feels about his own life. The cinematography and narrative in the first part of the film gives the viewer this feeling of withdrawn seclusion. The setting is beautiful in it's contemplative mist covered isolation, which reflects Kris' inner turmoil. We don't know at this point what his turmoil is, or why he burns his past when he throws his personal letters into the fire. Tarkovsky knows how to set the mood.

In the second act on the space station, Tarkovsky wisely goes for the human story and not a sci fi tech story. We don't need an expose on how the space station works, instead we're immersed in the mystery of Solaris and the key to the mystery is the ghost that haunts Kris. When Hari appears she's both illuminating and pitiful. She reflects the guilt that Kris feels over the loss of the real Hari. And yet she's helpless and alone, not even knowing her ownself. Tarkovsky shows us her bare feet, then in the next scene in a soft voice she ask Kris, 'where are my shoes'...She looks for them in Kris' backpack but that's futile and he can only watch her suffer as she slowly learns the truth about herself and the fate of the real Hari. Through that understanding, Solaris with it's mysterious ocean understands what love and humanity is.
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Updated the post with the reviews and added it to my first post in the thread, in case anyone is looking for it.

Edit: Sorry if you get a second mention for that JJ haha, i just copy and pasted the whole thing.



Thanks, Camo. I have a calculus exam tomorrow, studying for that has been kicking my ass. I'll be able to write some stuff about a few of the films I've seen not posted about after I finish up that exam.



Stalker (1979) by Andrei Tarkovsky


What if the world ceased to have faith?


From the moment they head towards the Zone, Professor and Writer, are guided by the Stalker to 'the room' of truth, where their deepest desire will be realized. The truth is that not always what we want in words, out and loud, are the ones we really want. The subconscious is a black abyss full of selfish thoughts.

The camera that sculpts time makes us observers of this journey of self-knowledge in the silent and mysterious zone; What is the zone? How did the zone settle into our world? These are answers that the viewer must seek along with the characters, we are his accomplices.

There is an atmosphere that revolves around nature in Stalker, nature is almost a fourth character. Our subconscious is our greatest enemy, Writings says at some point: My conscience wants vegetarianism to win over the world. And my subconscious is yearning for a piece of juicy meat. But what do I want? - They are constant pieces to which we are preached by ourselves.

Writer also said that he believes that the Zone is the product of a super civilization without any God - The evolution of man lies in the absense of God! For the Stalker, faith is what moves the world, which is why it takes people there in the first place. When he realizes that they have no faith, he breaks down, weeps, despairs, "I will never take anyone else there." While some have lost faith in God, others have lost faith in humanity.
Stalker is a film about faith, about how the world is without it and how the world is with it.


★★★★★
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