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How I Ended This Summer
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Tarkovsky at the polar sea! --Berliner Zeitung
4/4 stars! Rich in resonance, the story can be read partly as a brutal coming-of-age story or as a King Lear-type epic of madness and the elements. But the film also works as a nail-biting yarn, a tale of extraordinary endurance! --Jonathan Romney, Screen International
Top Customer Reviews
Sergei (Sergei Puskepalis, star of Popogrebsky's earlier film "Simple Things") is an experienced professional, grim as the Arctic mountains around him, but thoroughly dedicated to his work. Younger meteorologist Pavel (Grigory Dobrygin) joins him at the station for a few months, equipped with video games, MP3 player and IT skills. Sergei is domineering and tough, treating Pavel more like a military in training, than a colleague.
One day in Sergei's absence Pavel receives dreadful news from the base station that would change the course of their lives and put to the test the very essence of humanity.
A truthful, clever deconstruction of human's behavior, consciousness and kindness versus weakness and cowardice.
The DVD comes with a terrific short film from Bosnia, First Day of Peace, a heart-breaking expose of the absurd, senseless horror of war.
"How I Ended This Summer" (130 min.; originally released in 2010) is an excellent psychological drama, Russian style. The story's premise seems simple enought. Two men, Sergei in a senior and Pavel in a junior position, work at an isolated meteorological station on an Arctic island. While Sergei is on an unauthorized fishing trip, Pavel is informed that Sergei's family has been in an accident. Pavel is supposed to tell this to Sergei, but he does not. Things evolve from there, and I'm not going say much more about the story, but hang on to your seat for the last hour or so of the movie, just fantastic. Aside of the story line, major kudos for the photography of this film, which is just outstanding, bringing the isolation of the Artic beautifully. Completely aside, some of the movie's tone and texture reminded me of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 movie "The Shining".
In all, I loved this movie, and it attests to the great movies that come out of Russia on occasion. I will immediately add that this movie isn't for everyone. The first hour of the movie moves at snail's pace, MILES away from your standard Hollywood mainstream fare. If that doesn't scare you away, by all means, check this movie out, you won't be disappointed.
Ah, Russia. Land of vodka, cold weather, dour poets, cold weather, beautiful women who turn into withered peasants seemingly overnight an very freaking cold weather. You ever wonder why they sold Alaska to us? Because who needed even more cold land?
This latest release from Film Movement takes place on a remote island in the far North Eastern part of Russia. The island is home to a small weather monitoring station maned long-term by Sergei and short-term by Pasha. Sergei is a man in his fifties who seems to be made of rock and Pasha looks like your basic graduate student living on the tundra to accumulate life experience. That they are not a great match is something of a given.
One day Sergei receives word his wife and young son are flying to a nearby area to meet him. He's cheerful after this news and decides to go out fishing for a day. While he's gone, Pasha receives unhappy news that comes as no surprise to anyone who has seen a movie before. This news would be devastating to Sergei, so Pasha tries to hide it, first out of an effort to spare the man's feelings, and then out of simple fear. Needless to say, he's not able to keep this news secret forever and soon things take an unpleasant turn...
This was a very good movie. I've not seen much Russian cinema, basically only this and Russian Ark, but I really liked it. The director did a very good job of showing the coldness, isolation and uncertainty on an island where at any minute you can be eaten by a polar bear or freeze or starve.
I do feel that the director could have trimmed 10 - 15 minutes of shots from the film and tightened it up considerably.Read more ›
Sergei Gulybin (played by Sergei Puskepalis) is big, silent and experienced. He's served at this station before. He has a wife and child he rarely sees. He's in his late forties or early fifties and has little respect or patience for Pavel Danilov (Grigory Dobrygin), just out of college. Here's old Russia, stolid, doing a job without questioning its worth, aware of all the others who spend their lives doing the same job because once the job had value. And new Russia, a bit sloppy, bored, uneasy with old Russia, not quite knowing where he stands.
Into this world of unremitting drabness and cold, where all communication with the outside world is by static-filled two way radio. Pavel receives a message to deliver to Sergei, who has left the station to fish for arctic trout. The message involves Sergei's wife and child, and Pavel cannot bring himself to deliver it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Slow, slow, slow, and then slower. Great photography, but filmed very slowly. You could miss 45 minutes and really not miss a thing.Published 8 days ago by P. Kelly
Best movie I've seen in ten years. But not a movie for popcorn and people chitchatting.Published 12 days ago by vildegrul
This movie was ok, but to slow paced and a lot of repetition. I didn't find it very thrilling or dramatic.Published 20 days ago by Angela
Gorgeous film. The sensitivity of the acting, the realism of story and the bleak beauty of the Arctic challenged me to recalibrate to levels of subtlety and nuance. Read morePublished on January 1, 2014 by gw
And so simple you wonder how Hollywood never came up with it. This is a way to build suspense without manipulating any characters and a way to have their emotional reactions... Read morePublished on August 28, 2013 by mr. contrarian
There was very little plot or character development in this movie. It leaned too heavily on the nature setting to push the story along.Published on December 28, 2012 by Ross
In my praise for this film, I can not apologize for hyperbole or hedge my endorsement with modesties. It is one of the best films I have ever seen. Read morePublished on November 11, 2012 by Alastair N. Mcleod
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