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Vaska Easoff (1995)

Sergeyev; Sidikhin; Kazyanova , Peter Gothar  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sergeyev; Sidikhin; Kazyanova
  • Directors: Peter Gothar
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Hungarian, Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Bunyik Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2007
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000O75GXK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,362 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In this fractured fairy tale for adults, two thieves Vaska and Vanya steal the czar s treasure from the Bank of St. Petersburg by opening the roof with a sardine-can key taken from the nest of a griffin. And, this is only the start of their misadventures: Vaska is temporarily beheaded, the Red Guards are hot on their heels, and copious amounts of Vodka are consumed by all. Set in Russia during the Soviet era, VASKA EASOFF was derived from a mythical story passed among the Communist labor camps. It satirizes life under the Communists with imagination and originality while harking back to classic Russian folktales and literature for a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

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I just happened upon this DVD on Amazon and purchased it for no real reason.

Two thieves, Vaska and Vanka, make a pact to work together and rob the State-run bank of seized Imperial regalia. Zinoviev is the head of the Cheka, absolutely crazy, and hell-bent on catching them. With the help of an elderly ex-thief (who wears 19th century garb, Zinoviev and his aides concoct some crazy ways to trap the duo (and Vaska's love, Lovnya). I can't really give more of the narrative away. It's dream-like and uses the fairy tale genre to tell the story.

The movie is told with a Hungarian voice-over, but has a Russian cast. I am unsure whether it was originally a Russian production that was taken by the Hungarian filmmakers, if it is a co-production (1995 was a bad year for Russian cinema, for those who know the history), or if it is an entirely Hungarian production. The film stock is meant to look grainy, old, and slightly out-of-focus. Many compositions look to be taken directly from old Russian-era montage features and newsreels (black-and-white with red painted flags and stars). It really pays homage to Russian cinema of the 1920s, but with an anti-Bolshevik slant. It is dream-like, even nostalgic.

The film is probably not for the average viewer. The story takes a little time before it takes off. The ending is a little odd, but harkens back to Gogol's 'ghost' stories of lore. An end notice states that the story originated as a tale told during the building of the White Sea Canal by GULag laborers. It is not a jaw-dropping movie (the narrative is a little uneven), but one that someone who studies Russian cinema would find quite interesting.

4 of 5 Amazon stars. Subtitles sometimes have bad grammar issues. I would like to have some of the musical numbers subtitled.
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