This one is a fascinating experiment, w/ a more explicitly conceptual underpinning conceit than is even typical of Loznitsa. Results in what for me is supremely compelling viewing both in the anthropological sense and the sensorial one. Very clearly appears to reference Akerman's FROM THE EAST, but approaches the subject matter w/ a sequence of roving pans, thus also invoking Snow's LA RÉGION CENTRALE. Fascinating.
Prior to people is landscape. And if we're part of it, it's as its mobile components, migrating with the day. Loznitsa's camera knows this: Trees, buildings, humans, crowds; it pans just the same. Only the bus offers (temporary) escape from this beast's grim rhythm - & is filmed accordingly. (And my own rich city? We just have more "buses") Loznista's usual brilliant sound, image, use of the medium... Thx, Mubi.
This combines the two kinds of boring that Loznitsa mastered in his other films; the shots of faces, applied in The Train Station, and the shots of people in landscapes, used in The Settlement. He also introduces a new technuiqe in this film; the moving image. He circles round and round and finds regular people in rural Russia.
A splendidly enigmatic piece where the inhabitants of a village provide the wintry landscape of the title. An interminable sequence of pans across chapkas and cold-reddened faces, overlaid with random snatches of conversation. The film plays a shrewd trick, offering the illusion of omniscience to the viewer while simultaneously keeping them at a distance. A film about the very limits of knowing.
How amazing is the power of the persistent gaze of Loznitsa's camera ! The hynoptic panoramic shots, steady and insistent, gradually build up a kind of physical sensation ! We feel the cold, the frustration, the fatigue of the people waiting for the bus. Then when the bus arrives, the struggle and then the final surrender.
Not Sergei's masterpiece but somewhere near. However a very sophisticated approach to make sense of the mundane. The poetry hidden in the ordinary everyday forgettable landscape of any small town. Lack of resources and amenities but not lack of humanness. Hovering like an invisible eye, Sergei's camera silently lets the landscape and its people tell their own story.