Midnight, Moscow. Three strangers gather at a seedy bar. Each of them has their own strange story to tell. As the trio gets acquainted it becomes unclear whose story is true and whose is false. Soon the stories fall away and the film turns into the most surreal, haunting story of them all.
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Casually deranged and as Russian as Russian cinema gets, 4 is nonetheless absolutely its own thing. Director Khrzhanovsky (any relation to Sigizmund?) has clearly read his Bakhtin. His debut is a propulsive, carnivalesque tautology of threes and fours full of convulsive drunken chronotopes. Pretty much a must see.
Russia's answer to Amores Perros? The whole x number of strangers with no apparent connection coincidentally being connected gets a little dull after the first couple of films. Felt a particular section could have been edited somewhat.
Three people walked into a bar. Not a joke, but what a yarn! Old women in a village mourn the death of a young woman, their livelihood depended on her. It involved chewing bread into wet spongy paste, with their teethless gums, that she would use to make dolls. Was she one of the discarded clonal twin? (An indescribable film clearly - let's watch it as we anticipate the director's epic human experiment "Dau").
something I agreed with: "Trouble is that everything represents something else, but no one is sure what. Metaphor and Bunuelian bedlam are supposed to somehow make a statement about modern Russia, but what? Film is too introverted, subjective; the surreal becomes pointless, like a private nightmare, cryptic and obscure", yet I kinda loved the trouble and the very ending with its own '4' (as in a certain wall broken)
A very mysterious, strange, and hypnotic movie. It was very engaging and interesting at first, and by the second half, it grew increasingly harder to watch. To listen to. The constant wailing of the crones made me about to go insane. the whole atmosphere was claustrophobic .But that's why it's so interesting, and ended up being quite good. It also had many layers, like the dogs vs. Machines.Definitely worth watching.