Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cinema Cycle - Nine Days Of One Year

(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


DATE: 12/02/2014

FORMAT: Streaming (Hulu+)

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 49 minutes



SYNOPSIS: Three Scientists, two men and a woman, attempt to make a theoretical atomic breakthrough, as one of the scientists deals with a potential lethal dose of radiation.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: We all have two goals in life.  One goal is to understand the mysteries of the universe and the other goal is to understand the mystery of ourselves.  It comes down to what we owe to mankind as the caretakers of society and what we owe to each other and the relationships that we forge.

PROS AND CONS: This was a first in several respects.  It is the first addition to the ‘streaming’ category on Cinema Cycle and also the first ‘modern’ Russian film that I have reviewed.  

I found this film very engrossing on several levels.  It showcases the soviet cinema system that was active between 1960 and 1980, when few if any of these films were ever shown in the west.  Thanks to the Criterion collection they are now available on Hulu+.  

Two things stand out about about this film.  The dialog...it is all about the dialog.  This is acting without the spaceships, explosions, car chase, etc.  The film is intimate and interpersonal.  Second is the cinematography, which is reminiscent of early Italian film making such as Fellini, DeSica and Pasolini.  Each shot is framed and portrait like and are almost surreal and dreamlike in their starkness.

Finally, I found the personalities and interaction between the characters fascinating.  This is a love story between the three main players, but the love is not sexual as much as it is searching for what is right and wrong, both in their relationships and with the world in general.  It gives an interesting view into the mindset of the Russian people at the time the film was made, or at least the Soviet Government’s view of how they wanted us to think Russians thought.  

To read an overview of this project, check out the initial post for this series.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

The summary of the project and a glimpse of what is coming up next can be found on my public LaserDisc spreadsheet.