For her first feature after graduating from the All-Russian State Institute for Cinematography (VGIK), Larisa Shepitko trained her lens on the fascinating Russian character actress Maya Bulgakova, who gives a marvelous performance as a once heroic Russian fighter pilot now living a quiet, disappointingly ordinary life as a school principal. Subtly portraying one woman’s desperation with elegant, spare camera work and casual, fluid storytelling, Shepitko, with Wings, announced herself as an important new voice in Soviet cinema. —The Criterion Collection
After studying in the workshop of Dovchenko and Romm, Shepitko graduated from VGIK in 1963. After an impressive diploma work (Heat) she directed Wings, a complex character study that eschewed cliche to depict the emotional gap that develops between a proud, professional woman and her estranged daughter. Though praised by critics, Wings received only a limited release by Soviet authorities. Her next project was a short film for the omnibus Beginning of an Unknown Era called “Homeland of Electricity”. Produced by Mosfilm’s ill-fated Experimental Studio, it was shelved by censors and wasn’t released until after Shepitko’s death. The high point of her career came with Ascent, which won the Golden Bear at Venice in 1977. After dying in a tragic accident in 1979, her final project, Farewell, was completed by her husband, Elem Klimov, using her script. —Seagull Films
remainded me very much of Iris Gusners The Dove on the Roof. And of course, when it comes to generations and intelectuality, of The Sopranos.