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How I Ended This Summer

3.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On a desolate island in the Arctic Circle, two men work at a small meteorological station, taking readings from their radioactive surroundings. Sergei, a gruff professional in his fifties, takes his job very seriously. His new partner, bright eyed college grad Pavel, retreats to his MP3 player and video games to avoid Sergei's imposing presence. One day while Sergei is out, inexperienced Pavel receives terrible news for Sergei from HQ. Intimidated, Pavel can't bring himself to disclose the information. When the truth is finally revealed, the consequences explode against a chilling backdrop of thick fog, sharp rocks, and the merciless Arctic Sea.

Review

Majestic drama... a terrific exploration of human fragility... Popogrebsky is shaping up into one of Russias most talented, distinctive and potentially exportable directors! --Leslie Felperin, Variety

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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis
  • Directors: Alexei Popogrebsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003MTAZCO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,676 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alastair N. Mcleod on November 11, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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. I would say that it is by far the best ever made of its kind, except that in my experience there is nothing else of its kind. Suspense? Indeed! But Hollywood action buffs need not bother. They will be bored to tears. Psychological insight? Extraordinary. But this is not Shakespeare, this is not Bergman, and this is certainly not Woody Allen. Spectacle? Jaw-dropping. But it is the visual composition of banal interiors and starkly empty exteriors that leave one staring open-mouthed. In this film, the symmetry of the wire supports on a radio tower becomes a poem, the ugly yellow curtains inside an Arctic shack an essay. And that is only the beginning. It is possible, and I think necessary, to read this film as an allegorical reach deep into questions about human weakness and its consequences, deep into the relationship between youth and age, between innocence and experience, between duty and pleasure. There are, in addition to all this, forceful questions about modern technologies: video games, and nuclear power, for example. This film took me out of my moral and psychological depth, made me struggle for comprehension and balance. Not many movies, not many books, not many works of art of any kind, can do that.
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Format: DVD
Let me start off by saying that I have become a huge fan of the Film Movement library of foreign and indie movie releases, which Film Movement issues monthly. I have rarely been disappointment by their selection, and wasn't by this one.

"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.
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Format: DVD
This festival hit (Best Actor Award at Berlin Film Festival and Best Film at London Film Festival) from Alexei Popogrebsky, one of the most talented directors in contemporary Russian cinema, follows two men working at the distant and isolated meteorological station in the midst of chillingly beautiful Arctic Circle.

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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
<Werner Herzog voice> "How I Ended This Summer" is the gripping tale of man versus nature, man versus himself, and man versus man all combined into one slow descent into the chaotic abyss that is self-loathing and the madness that is loneliness. With nowhere to hide from everything that frightens him, young Pasha must find a way to make sense of his own existential inadequacy as he faces his own failure as a man, running back and forth in quixotic peregrinage between the insanity of despair and the hopeless futility of self-preservation. He is lost on the Arctic tundra, this Millennial role-playing gamer, forced to play the role of himself, a man trapped in inescapable crisis in this Russian meditation on the human condition that resolves only in the arrival of the bleak winter, covering all manner of sins beneath a blanket of pure white. </Werner Herzog voice>
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By gw on January 1, 2014
Format: DVD
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. The acting was so true-to-life it is hard to imagine the actors playing any other roles. That is the highest compliment......they simply were who they portrayed. The third character in the film......the Arctic itself, a background of pounding waves, the calls of gulls, a grim desolation that reminds you this planet has a geological identity beyond the familiarities of the human.

It's not a film for everybody.......my boyfriend hated it, and Amazon ratings show extremes of love/hate. For me it was difficult to go back to the usual noise, vulgarity and blather of American entertainment after watching this film. I wanted to stay with it for the exemplary sensitivity that I, as an artist, wish for myself. I was left awed, grateful and hope all involved in the making of this film continue to maintain such rare and extraordinary standards of refinement.
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