Monday, August 24, 2009


Печки-лавочки / Happy-Go-Lucky / [Matkatoverit] / [Reskamrater]. SU 1972. PC: Gorky Film Studios. D+SC: Vasili Shukshin. DP: Anatoli Sabolotski - b&w - Sovscope 2,35:1. AD: Pjotr Pashkevitsh. M: Pavel Tshekalov. ED: Natalya Loginova. CAST: Vasili Shukshin (Ivan Rastorgujev), Lidija Fedosejeva (Njura, his wife), Georgi Burkov (Viktor, a thief posing as a railway engineer), Vsevolod Sanajev (Sergei Fjodorovitsh, professor of folklore), Stanislav Ljubshin (his son), Zinovi Gerot (the arrogant professor), Vadim Zahartshenko (the business traveller). 100 min. Print: Gosfilmofond, e-subtitles in Finnish by Pentti Stranius operated by Tuulia Lehtonen. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki 23 Aug 2009. - A brilliant print. - Shukshin's quirky masterpiece revisited. - This is the strangest of his films, his most self-reflective, both revelling in the lore of the Altai Krai, and parodying it. - The camera style is quite different than in the first three films which were shot by Valeri Ginzburg in a sober, profound style. Now, it's more New Wave and cinéma-vérité (but not Kino Pravda!), hand-held camera for the first time in a Shukshin film, self-conscious 360 grade pans, the camera may waver at times. - The film is launched with familiar scenes of partying and singing in the Altai Krai. The best part of the film is the account of the trip by train to Moscow. There are three juicy episodes with travelling companions: an arrogant businessman, the sympathetic thief, and finally the professor of folklore. - Shukshin himself portrays the hillbilly from the countryside with a great sense of humour. He is an incorrigible storyteller, who is not above making a good story better with his imagination. - The people from the country for the first time in the city. "The rhythm is different here". - The final episode is in Odessa. Ivan has neglected to register his wife to the sanatorium. On the beach of Odessa Vanja and Anja are not in their element. - The final, half-parodistic, half-loving pans in the immense landscapes of the Altai. The final image is a self-reflective wink by Shukshin the actor-director directly to us. - There was applause at the end of the film (a rare phenomenon) in the packed cinema.

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