Posts Tagged ‘Renoir’

Short stories/Рассказы Renoir 20 October

October 21, 2012

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Tense scene with wedding planner

In this film an author goes to his publishers–in the manner of French films, the publishers have incredibly plush offices and glamorous staff–with a collection of short stories, but they want a nice solid novel.  Then various of the staff start reading through the rejected manuscript and found themselves featuring in the stories.

The first of the episodes, about an engaged couple having their whole lives dictated by a wedding planner so as to be modern and leave nothing to chance was both very funny and extremely boring.  I think the reason for this–and it applied to the other episodes as well–was that the story was really a thesis or lecturette or even joke that did a particular idea to death.

The second episode displayed corruption steadily making its ways upwards (and becoming more expensive) while the fourth portrayed a relationship between a middle-aged man and an uninformed young woman, showing at some length how this was not a good idea.  But this had a line which absolutely cracked me up when she turned to face him in response to questions about what it meant to be Russian and said The Russian Federation is a democratic country with a market economy.

The third episode was some echt Russian nonsense I didn’t appreciate about Pushkin and paranormal powers.

Anyway, the film was loudly applauded by a happy audience at the end.

 

House with a turret/Дом с башенкой, Renoir 17 October

October 21, 2012

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A woman with a microphone appeared to say on behalf of the director (who she just referred to as The Director) that she was glad to see us all there for something completely unlike the other 250 WWII films we had all seen.  This one was about life and relationships and what it was to be human.  The director had been obsessed by Fridrikh Gorenshtein for a long time; first of all he had allowed her to make a short film based on his work, and only then to move on to something more large-scale.  The director had found a producer who owned the largest TV channel in Ukraine and he had made this feature film for 2 million Euro.

Director Eva Neyman

The film dealt with a boy and his mother returning from evacuation by train during WWII.  The mother is sick with typhus, they leave the train and she is taken to hospital.  He battles to find the hospital and send a telegram, surrounded by unheeding adults.  She dies.  Maybe he is going to make friends with the little girl from the housed with the turret by the station.  He rejoins the train with an inadequate substitute family; a couple of rough types are determined he is going to reach his destination.

So the characteristic (and unfortunately autobiographical) Fridrikh Gorenshtein themes, and whether you like the film depends on whether you buy into them.  I do, of course…