Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cinema Cycle - Ivan's Childhood

(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


DATE VIEWED: 04/17/2015

FORMAT: Streaming (Hulu Plus)

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 35 minutes



SYNOPSIS: The life of a soviet orphan on the eastern front during WWII and his interactions with the Soviet troops before a major offensive.   

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: When civilization is stripped away and you live in fear and chaos the ending cannot be good.  This is a depressing film, but gorgeous to watch in it’s cinematography and story line.

PROS AND CONS: The trove of early Soviet film (1960s) that is available on Hulu is a real treasure.  This is a prime example. Be forewarned that this is a depressing film.  There is a lot of Soviet cinema that falls in this genre, but the storyline and visual impact of the film more than makes up for the bleak outlook of the film.

The plot line and arc of this film is a bit vague and hard to follow.  It shows the interactions of the characters (the boy Ivan and his soviet soldier counterparts) and a rather linear story that ends in tragedy.  However, as the viewer, you are never quite sure where the story is leading and what sweeps you along are the stunning black and white visuals.

There are numerous scenes in this film that I wish I could have frozen and hung on a wall as a piece of art.  They were that breathtaking.  Scenes of stark realism and beauty that you would not expect in wartime.  The visual of the soldier kissing a woman while holding her over an open trench was extremely moving spoke to the viewer on several levels.  There was many scenes such as this throughout the entire film.

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