Director: Kira Muratova
Cast: Sergey Bekhterev, Nina Ruslanova, Natalya Buzko
Russia, Ukraine, 2002, 120’, black & white
Russian with Turkish subtitles
Based on two works by Chekhov, the play Tatiana Repina and the short story Difficult People, Chekhov's Motifs is a fascinating diptych, two parts that share characters but on the surface little else. The film begins as a young man returns to his small village to borrow money, a request that sets off a bitter confrontation between him and his father. The long-suffering wife (and mother) can do little but look on. Kira Muratova powerfully captures the emotional rawness of this generational confrontation, exposing a wide array of issues and prejudices. After the son runs out of the house, he walks into a wedding service taking place in the local Orthodox Church. The groom is an overweight opera singer, and the bride and her family are grotesque examples of Russia's nouveaux riches. Yet the point here is less satire perhaps than Muratova's meticulous rendition of the entire ceremony, refusing the spectator a comfortable distance from which to judge these characters by bringing us into the world of the film itself.
I remembered a game as I was waiting in the passenger lounge for the ferry to arrive just a few minutes ago. A game we used to play at home when I was young, in my country that is very far away from here, a relic from the distant past; I don’t even remember how we used to play it. The kind of game that makes me feel a thousand times lonelier than I already am among the crowd waiting to get on the ferry.
Between 1963 and 1966 Andy Warhol worked at making film portraits of all sorts of characters linked to New York art circles. Famous people and anonymous people were filmed by Andy Warhol’s 16 mm camera, for almost four minutes, without any instructions other than ‘to get in front of the camera’.
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