In the old days it was called hypochrondria, or black melancholia. Now, apparently, it’s termed the Asthenic Syndrome. Whatever it is, Nikolai, a teacher of epicly indifferent pupils, has got it, and it’s not much fun. Worse yet, quite a few other people, even an entire society, seem to be afflicted with the same problem writ extremely large. —IMDb
A fierecely independent filmmaker, Muratova’s career started during Kruschev’s thaw and is still going strong in the Putin era— with several tumultuous decades in between. After studying philosophy at Moscow State University, Muratova attended VGIK and graduated in 1959. She then began a long relationship with Odessa Film Studio that continues to this day. Her early masterpieces, Brief Encounters and A Long Goodbye, were influenced by the experimental trends of sixties cinema. Her novel approach to narrative— and to the Russian pastoral in particular—combined with a bleak, ambiguous, and deeply personal outlook, led to censorship by the Soviet authorities; A Long Goodbye didn’t receive an official release until glasnost in 1987. Outside of an occasional writing and acting opportunity, Muratova’s film career suffered a similar fate. But with glasnost and certainly in the decade since, she’s reclaimed her status as one of the great directors of her generation, and her recent films have… read more
a guy with gorbachev's portrait on his cap is searching for misha (mihail gorbachev) to announce him that kolia (nicolae ceausescu) has been killed. a school headmaster is called vissarion iossifovitch, because he wants to build a man totally opposed to the one that the historical iossif vissarionovitch had commanded. during the eighties, the russian alcoholic prohibition forced many to use thick shoeshine and slices
of bread to absorb and consume the alcohol from the shoe polish. the soaked up bread, used as a sponge, was eaten after removing the thick layer of sooty grease`that stayed on top, thus providing an ephemeral dose of alcohol to the addicted. the names of sokurov, german, muratova appear in the film. well, my point is that the asthenic syndrome is like that degreased slice of bread, that keeps all the powerful essence of an amazing masterpiece, but gives up the grease, chernuha, that khrustalyov, my car makes so much use of (not that i dislike its employment in german's film).