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Thread: Reviews and discussions of Russian language films

  1. #21
    Hanna
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    Re: FILM REVIEWS, DISCUSSION (RUSSIAN FILMS)

    Good film SAN - I'd really like to watch it. Perfect way to learn about the country and the language at the same time.

    But without subtitles I will miss too much of the plot... So I must find a version with subtitles.

    It's funny that you don't know whether the film is set in Russia or Ukraine... It's supposed to be two different countries, lol..... Either way is interesting for me though.

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    Re: FILM REVIEWS, DISCUSSION (RUSSIAN FILMS)

    Quote Originally Posted by SAn
    I recently watched the «Сваты» series (Сваты, Сваты-2, Сваты-3). The film is about two Russian (or, may be, Ukrainian?) families, whose children get married and have a small daugter.
    It's about Russian families, of course.
    I've seen a couple of episodes because I like a lot Fedor Dobronravov. Yes, it's not that bad...
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: FILM REVIEWS, DISCUSSION (RUSSIAN FILMS)

    Quote Originally Posted by SAn
    I recently watched the «Сваты» series (Сваты, Сваты-2, Сваты-3). The film is about two Russian (or, may be, Ukrainian?) families, whose children get married...
    It's just "Meet the Fockers" a la Russe. Rather well-made and funny though .
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Re: FILM REVIEWS, DISCUSSION (RUSSIAN FILMS)

    Wow, I've only just noticed this thread.

    I personally think that Russian war films and books are among the gems of world cinema and literature... Not all of them, naturally. "Ballad of a Soldier", "The Dawns Are Quiet Here", "Officers" -- those are the best. I personally love war films. Well, 'love' is probably not a good word because how can you love war? But those are some of the most poignant and heart-rending movies I've ever seen. Soviet war films are indeed not about blood and gore but more about ordinary people -- because it is ordinary people who suffered most in WWII. Though I do think that films that depict the horrible realities of war are needed too, like "Saving Private Ryan."

    "17 moments of Spring" is a great series. I only watched it less than a year ago, last spring, already coloured. First of all, I liked the theme song very much -- "Не думай о секундах свысока". I posted the lyrics and the link to dowload it in the music section a while ago http://masterrussian.net/mforum/view...=9335&start=30. The line "свистят они как пули у виска (мгновения)" (they hiss like bullets at the temple -- moments) is perhaps one of the most evocative and vivid lines I've ever heard in a song.

    The second thing that I remember most of all in this film is the scene where Stirlitz meets his wife, though 'meets' is almost mockery. I thought it was an incredibly poignant and sad moment when they look at each other and that's the only thing they can do. I just imagined how I would feel if after years of not seeing a loved one, like my mum, I finally saw her and couldn't even come and hug her... I know I couldn't bear it, I'd break down.
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    Re: FILM REVIEWS, DISCUSSION (RUSSIAN FILMS)

    Quote Originally Posted by starrysky
    "17 moments of Spring" is a great series. I only watched it less than a year ago, last spring, already coloured. First of all, I liked the theme song very much -- "Не думай о секундах свысока". I posted the lyrics and the link to dowload it in the music section a while ago http://masterrussian.net/mforum/view...=9335&start=30. The line "свистят они как пули у виска (мгновения)" (they hiss like bullets at the temple -- moments) is perhaps one of the most evocative and vivid lines I've ever heard in a song.
    Ahhhh! You know, Lampada keeps telling me to check out that forum; but, with my lack of Russian I stay away from it! Anyway, I updated the BIG Movie list with your link to the theme for "17", thanks for finding it!

    I have mentioned previously how much I enjoyed this series. It was really great for me to watch especially as I was feeling so poorly while watching it. It gave me something to take my mind off things. They just don't seem to make shows like this any longer. I really think it goes all around, directors, writers, actors, sound...everyone... I just don't think they care as much about their craft. They are more concerned about CGI and special effects, their paycheck and so on. I guess that is why when a film like say "Precious" comes along that is low budget and in your face, it makes such an impact.
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    Re: FILM REVIEWS, DISCUSSION (RUSSIAN FILMS)

    Quote Originally Posted by starrysky
    I personally love war films. Well, 'love' is probably not a good word because how can you love war? But those are some of the most poignant and heart-rending movies I've ever seen. Soviet war films are indeed not about blood and gore but more about ordinary people -- because it is ordinary people who suffered most in WWII.
    +1.
    That's what I keep writing all the time, especially in Rockzmom's "big movie thread". Exactly my thoughts. I'm glad you think and feel the same.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Film reviews, discussion (russian films)

    Uh-huh. I am as anti-war as it is possible to be but I don't think we have the right to forget our history... It doesn't mean nursing old grudges, just giving credit where credit is due. And some recent developments in the evaluation of history are very disturbing to see. I understand the resentment that some countries feel that were formerly occupied by the Red Army but to listen to them you'd think they would still prefer to be under the Nazis... Now, this is indeed too upsetting to even think about.

    Anyway, since most films and books that are worthy of the name 'art' are usually concerned with ordinary people and how they get caught up in historical events and the impact that war has on them, they can be appreciated for themselves. For example, I liked very much "La mort est mon metier"/"Death Is My Trade" by Robert Merle which is a 1952 French fictionalized biography of Rudolf Hoess, commandant of the concentration camp Auschwitz. It describes his childhood and shows how such people became what they became. I suppose the "Reader" with Kate Winslet is a bit similar in this respect but I haven't seen it yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    They just don't seem to make shows like this any longer. I really think it goes all around, directors, writers, actors, sound...everyone... I just don't think they care as much about their craft. They are more concerned about CGI and special effects, their paycheck and so on. I guess that is why when a film like say "Precious" comes along that is low budget and in your face, it makes such an impact.
    Yes... Whenever I hear the word 'CGI' used too much with regard to a film, I immediately feel like not watching it. For this reason I skipped "Nightwatch" -- the commercials seemed to go on and on about how great its special effects were and it's just not what I care about in a film... For the same reason I am reluctant to watch "Avatar" though I have read only rave reviews. It's quite different when CGI is incroporated seamlessly into the film, like Gollum in LOTR and the special effects in "Titanic." Though Gollum used to bug me a little at the beginning as well. Maybe I'm just too conservative.

    Well, guys, you have absolutely convinced me to watch "Kukushka." Not that I didn't want to, I just never got round to watching it but now I think I'm gonna get the dvd.
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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    Re: Film reviews, discussion (russian films)

    If you like Russian war movies check out Аты-баты, шли солдаты. It's excellent. They don't make movies like this the US - war movies there are all about shooting and killing, very boring.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  9. #29
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    Re: Film reviews, discussion (russian films)

    Also check ДМБ - very fuuny
    someday.....

  10. #30
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    Re: Film reviews, discussion (russian films)

    I just finished the Брат movies (Brat and Брат 2.) I thought Brat was excellent, I loved the look of the movie and I thought the script was concise and well written, no fluff. It was a simple movie but there was depth to the characters and somehow a familiar story (gangsters) seemed renewed.
    Brat 2 I found sort of silly and childish.
    The lead says "it's not money that is power but having justice on your side." Throughout the movie he kills about 30 people, none of whom had anything to do with his hockey friend getting ripped off (the basis of his "crusade for justice.") He then flies home first class with a prostitute. Some people thought it was an attack on America but I never felt that. It moves along and keeps you interested but it doesn't compare to the original.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  11. #31
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    Brat 2 I found sort of silly and childish.
    I watched it quite recently, and I agree.

    But there were some funny scenes though! I thought the scene when the Russian people were sitting at a campfire and eating polluted shrimps was very funny and symbolic, in an ironic sort of way. Also, his brother is hilarious when he falls in love with the US.

    I agree that there was way too much crazy killing. But why did you have a problem with the prostitute? It was just a woman who had fallen on hard time, who was "saved" by Daniila. I thought it was a good thing.

    But this is an exaggerated picture of Russia, isn't it? None of the people are very sympathetic apart from arguably Daniila. It also portrays some very grubby areas and environments. If that is a true representation of the business world in Russia then I want nothing to do with that.

    I agree that the first film was a LOT better than the second film.

  12. #32
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    Re:

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    If that is a true representation of the business world in Russia then I want nothing to do with that.
    Things have changed a bit since then. The 1990s are notorious for their lawlessness.

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    If you like Russian war movies check out Аты-баты, шли солдаты. It's excellent. They don't make movies like this the US - war movies there are all about shooting and killing, very boring.
    Mhmhmh... I've seen this film recently... To be quite honest, I thought it was a bit boring, despite the fact that it had Leonid Bykov and Vladimir Konkin (Sharapov from "The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed) in the leading roles and Boris Vasilyev for a scriptwriter... Maybe I just wasn't in the mood, I dunno. It just seemed that the whole film was talk-talk-talk. But the final 5 minutes were very tragic.

    My favourite film with Leonid Bykov is "В бой идут одни старики"/"Only Old Men Are Going to Battle", which I mentioned in another thread. That one I highly recommend. It's mentioned among the most famous Soviet-time films in the wiki here and it's got a lot of famous war-time songs, "Смуглянка" (smuglianka = swarthy-skinned woman, смуглый -- swarthy) among them, which plays at the very beginning of the movie. And there are English and Russian subs for this film.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTQFx...x=0&playnext=1

    Как-то летом на рассвете
    Заглянул в соседний сад.
    Там смуглянка-молдаванка
    Собирала виноград.
    Я краснею, я бледнею,
    Захотелось вдруг сказать:
    Станем над рекою
    Зорьки летние встречать!

    Припев:
    Раскудрявый клен зеленый, лист резной,
    Я влюбленный и смущенный пред тобой.
    Клен зеленый, да клен кудрявый,
    Да раскудрявый, резной!

    А смуглянка-молдаванка
    Отвечала парню в лад:
    - Партизанский, молдаванский
    Собираем мы отряд.
    Нынче рано партизаны
    Дом покинули родной.
    Ждет тебя дорога
    К партизанам в лес густой.
    Припев.

    И смуглянка-молдаванка
    По тропинке в лес ушла.
    В том обиду я увидел,
    Что с собой не позвала.
    О смуглянке-молдаванке
    Часто думал по ночам...
    Вскоре вновь смуглянку
    Я в отряде повстречал.

    Припев:
    Раскудрявый клен зеленый, лист резной,
    - Здравствуй, парень, забубенный, мой родной,-
    Клен зеленый, да клен кудрявый,
    Да раскудрявый, резной!











    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

  13. #33
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    Re: Film reviews, discussion (russian films)

    I saw "Белое солнце пустыни" (White Desert Sun;" eng subs available) recently.
    I thought it was a quirky but entertaining movie. It sort of rides that edge between humor and seriousness so you're not exactly sure how to take the movie. It's basically a Western (cowboys and indians) set in Russia. The cinematography is gorgeous. Well worth a watch.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  14. #34
    Hanna
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    Re: Film reviews, discussion (russian films)


    Recently I watched the Russian film "Вор" (Thief) from 1997.


    I had read somewhere (here I think) that this film was good, and I was interested in watching something from the 1990s.

    I was fully expecting a gangster film or something similar, but was surprised to find that the film was mostly about a little boy and his mother!



    Excellent film, but for completely different reasons than I had expected.

    The film takes place in the early 1950s and follows a little boy whose single, attractive mother hooks up with an individual who first appears to be a very handsome captain in the Soviet army.

    He becomes the lover of the boys' mother, and a step father, of sorts to the boy. You just "know" it's too good to be true, lol....

    So gradually it emerges that the war hero in fact has another profession on the side, and that besides being very charming, sexy and attractive, he is also quite ruthless, egoistic and faithless....



    Due to circumstances which I won't reveal (so as not to spoil the excellent plot) the family splits up.... Later in life, the son encounters his "stepfather" again....

    As an adult, the man (who was a boy in the 1950s) can be seen commanding some kind of military/commando unit in an area that looks straight out of hell (Chechnya in the 1990s??) He reminisces about how he ended up in that line of work and about human nature in general.

    The film is "dark" but has some very sweet, tender and touching moments. It's also an interesting insight into life in 1950s Russia as it possibly "really" was (I wouldn't know.. )

    RECOMMENDED!!!


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    Re: Film reviews, discussion (russian films)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna

    Recently I watched the Russian film "Вор" (Thief) from 1997.


    I had read somewhere (here I think) that this film was good, and I was interested in watching something from the 1990s.
    You are correct, what a good memory you have! It is buried deep in last July on the really BIG thread and there are links to the film there if anyone wants them. We had mixed thoughts about the film. I was very impressed with the acting by the young boy in the film.
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  16. #36
    Hanna
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    re: Reviews and discussions of Russian language films

    Oh now I again have to look through that mega-long thread to find the info about this film to find out what other people thought!
    I think I remembered the film from compiling that spreadsheet that I made last autumn.

    So people didn't like that film, huh?
    I thought it was very good.

    My criticism would be that it was trying to do too much in one single film though; Romance, Human portrayal, historical and philosophical musings.... Sometimes for films it's better if they stick with one or two main themes.

    But nevertheless it was
    not boring
    not predictable
    not cliche-ish
    not factually or historically incorrect

    It had a
    Good plot
    Decent actors
    Interesting subject matter

    This, to me. is the formula for a good film.

    ===============================================

    Edit:
    Oh rockzmom it was you that didn't like it!
    Didn't you feel drawn into the situation of the single mother; getting hooked up with this handsome yet dangerous man... I really empathised with her.

    And I agree with Olya that the environment seemed well portrayed although I wouldn't know much of that era, in Russia.

    I kept thinking that the man seriously reminded me of a guy that I certainly wish I'd never met who was British army officer but not a gentleman....

    I'm with the jury on this one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The Thief (Russian: Вор, Vor) is a 1997 Russian drama film written and directed by Pavel Chukhrai. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and won the Nika Award for Best Picture and Best Directing. Also winner of the International Youth Jury's prize, the President of the Italian Senate's Gold Medal, and the UNICEF Award at the 1997 Venice Film Festival.

  17. #37
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    re: Reviews and discussions of Russian language films

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna

    Edit:
    Oh rockzmom it was you that didn't like it!
    Didn't you feel drawn into the situation of the single mother; getting hooked up with this handsome yet dangerous man... I really empathised with her.

    And I agree with Olya that the environment seemed well portrayed although I wouldn't know much of that era, in Russia.

    I kept thinking that the man seriously reminded me of a guy that I certainly wish I'd never met who was British army officer but not a gentleman....

    I'm with the jury on this one!
    Wait one minute now... don't throw me under the bus just yet... it wasn't just me... Coffeecup and Basil were not fans of it either!

    You had just joined the forum at the time, but when I watched it, I was actually in the hospital (or as I was calling it my "vacation" as I was there for 10 days and it was July; however, it was anything BUT a vacation!!!) and it was the only movie I watched as I did not feel up to watching anything! So, that might have something to do with my thoughts about the film. As I recall, I was looking forward to watching this one and I think all the hype about it might have also clouded my judgement.

    That being said, the film just fell flat for me. I remember the young boy's performance was amazingly good. But I also recall thinking that after having seen sooooo many other really very good Russian films and then seeing this one, it was sort of a let down. Especially after I had no idea how wonderful the Russian films were. I was like a kid in a candy store tasting all these new flavors and seeing all these new vibrant colors for the first time and then, then, tasting one that was just so-so and was a dull dusty color so to speak.
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  18. #38
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    re: Reviews and discussions of Russian language films

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Wait one minute now... don't throw me under the bus just yet... it wasn't just me... Coffeecup and Basil were not fans of it either!
    Yes. I'm the one who don't like this movie. I can't say that the movie is bad. It is clear that the director, photographer and actors worked very hard and did their best. But the idea and the plot doesn't touch me, even more it is repulsing. It so repulsing that I've never seen the entire movie. I always switched it off after the beginning.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    re: Reviews and discussions of Russian language films

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna
    So people didn't like that film, huh?
    I thought it was very good.
    I'm not sure, but it could be me who recommended this film. I really liked it, and I believe that it was one of the best movies of the 1990s. Yes, it was mainstream, so to speak, but the acting was great, the plot was good, and they made an amazing job of recreating the details of the era. I did not like the end (it did not ring true in my opinion), but the film is still very, very good.

  20. #40
    Hanna
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    re: Reviews and discussions of Russian language films

    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCup
    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Wait one minute now... don't throw me under the bus just yet... it wasn't just me... Coffeecup and Basil were not fans of it either!
    Yes. I'm the one who don't like this movie.
    (...)
    It so repulsing that I've never seen the entire movie. I always switched it off after the beginning.
    Haha rockzmom, never heard that bus expression.
    Ok you are off the hook, especially since you were ill at the time.

    I am not surprised the guys didn't like it; I think it's more of a womens' film. The thing that interested me was that she stayed with the man despite all...

    @CoffeeCup
    What precisely was it that you found repulsive? I didn't see anything that particularly put me off?

    The silly thing was that I wanted to watch a film about the 1990s in Russia -- but this is about the 1950s, just MADE in the 1990s.
    Russia in the 1990s did not seem like an uplifting place from the outside. It seemed pretty grim to be honest. I wanted to see a realistic film from that decade, to understand what it was like.

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