An extremely strange film. The synopsis above is pretty well accurate, hinting at the film's homo-eroticism. There's no explicitly gay content, but lots of well-built men standing around looking really good as they discuss matters of great import to them but not to this audience member. Ultimately it comes off like a bizarro combination of Andrei Tarkovsky and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Sokurov does it again, painting in a dreamlike St. Petersburg a moving art-piece in which the relationship between the two characters trascends the rules of ordinary love. To me, the homosexual ambiguity conveys power and - yes - sweetness to the emotional palette. And the visual work is stunning.
Unlike Mother & Son I found this film less cinematically compelling and spent more of the film attempting to disect the narrative, and what sort of conclusions I was to make of it. Strange, dream-like but not my favourite from Sokurov.
Interesting film that I feel could be more effective and telling if it was a little less open-ended and a bit more captivating. I wanted to like this film as much as I hear so many others do, but I got bored with it fast, and ended it being slightly confused and not caring enough to look further. However, I respect the undertones of the film,and it is memorable, even though it sometimes could barely hold my attention