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Bad film, good film December 16, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

I’m beginning to think of cinema in the same way I think of museums, i.e. that, basically, even if what you see within its walls is shit, the occasion is still a nice one. For some, offence may be taken, of course, at what they see, but I’m not majorly the offendable type, so unless what you see is so spectacularly bad that you’re actually appalled, going to the cinema (or a museum) normally makes for a nice day out.

Yesterday, I decided to establish my trend of going-to-the-cinema-alone’s status as an instant tradition by dashing once more to my local russophile cinema to see You I Love, a Russian film trying very hard to be trendy. No idea why the strange word order in the title is necessary; it’s the bog-standard formulation in the Russian original. But anyway, even though the film’s not great – about a modern-day love triangle – it was still lovely to be treated to the luxury of film being fed onto spool for my (and others’!) benefit, beer in hand, alone with my thoughts. Heaven.

Now the one thing about the film which did get me excited was not the gayness – I know the film is probably daring for Russia, but I find it hard to believe that the film’s leading lady – a trendy, rich, successful, beautiful newsreader in Moscow – would really be shocked by gaiety in 2004 – but the ethnicity of one of the leading protagonists, to which no open reference is made in the film. I had guessed he might be from Tuva, but the couple of reviews I’ve read since yesterday say he came from Kalmykia. The Economist called Kalmykia the oddest spot on the globe back in 1997. Kalmyks are Buddhists, descended from the Mongols, but have been in Europe – between Astrakhan and the Caucasus – for hundreds of years and are Europe’s only Buddhist-majority people.

So you see what a night out at the cinema can get you thinking about? Even a crap(pish) film, and I’ve seen plenty of those, makes you think. That can only be a good thing.



1. Blonde at Heart - September 7, 2006

The only Russian film I ever watched was the one about the museum (or palace?) in St. Petersburg, which is 90 minutes’ shot and is some sort of a tour in the museum (or palace?) and the museum’s history. Really nice.

2. BiB - September 7, 2006

I ‘studied’ Russian/Soviet cinema at university. There are some wonderful films. I especially enjoyed some of the really early, even silent, ones. There’s a wonderful creative side to the myterious Russian soul.

I expect the film you saw was about the Hermitage. Yes, an amazing place.

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