Okay, so I watched it for several reasons. One, it looked interesting and had labels such as, “experimental” and “best documentary film of all time”. Two, I love attending silent movie screenings which is why I brought my best friend with me.
I really thought it was going to be a film as enthralling as other experimental films I’ve seen but nooooooooo. This was just Russia. And its people. And its trains. And its men. And everything in a day of the life of Russia.
It was weirder than Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels.
I at least believed some notions made by myself about how communists were to make an appearance and bitch at people’s faces. No….no. It wasn’t at all political or religious, thank God. There was this part, however, where this girl is aiming her rifle in a sort of carnival shooting range at a Nazi type of target. I chuckled, I must say. A great deal of silly Russian women were in this and I don’t know why, but I love it. They even played around each other in the beach as they were splattered with mud!
The pianist (who did so so well at music accompaniment and actually made my feet dance) introduced the film and talked of how this was one of those great cinematic achievements. Ooh, I thought. He said this wasn’t avant-garde because that genre itself has “nothing”, or so I remember him saying. So, in my head I was already loving it. It is different. And I like different.
It soon began…..and small credits were in Russian…..and Russia……was just……so Russia. A sequence of trains or streetcars lasted for ten fucking hours, I think. I could just as easily walk down the street and film the passerby vehicles!
I couldn’t even concentrate on one thing…..It was so very random. You saw a girl dressing herself for the morning and then you saw a man opening his shop…..So my thoughts were on overdrive. I thought about my usual pretty things as I watched a Russian vehicle drive by or a woman smile.
Pretty soon I was begging for it to be over already. I couldn’t understand why people would think this is some sort of masterpiece. My eyes were visually fatigued from seeing so much…..Life.
But then it started to have its humorous and adorable moments and my mood improved. I giggled. There was graphic footage of how a woman birthed a child and, oh, did I almost hurl as I drank my orange soda. But still, this was fucking different. I had never seen a silent film featuring a short scene of a baby coming out of a vagina with a black & white umbilical cord.
Then people were in the beach. Girls were just lying on the sand or just splashing themselves in the water. I think I saw a lesbian couple at some point. This was Russia? After being notorious for their oppressive laws??? Okay.
And did the special effects amaze me. I kept thinking that maybe one day I should make a film just like this one….set in Helsinki…..and I smiled.
This was fucking weird, as I had expected. It was boring me to tears…..but I respected the director’s attempt for standing out from the crowd.
Maybe if it had been as continuously silly, I would have loved it. Maybe the director could’ve gone easy on the excessive footage of trains and cars and people just doing anything. But this was Life then…and it is how still is….and I must not complain.
I don’t know if I liked this film at all. I kept zoning out. I’m not a film critic but this was as effective in making me tired as my sleeping pills do.
It wasn’t total disaster though. It was a yawn fest for me…and for others….as I saw some poor man checking his phone every ten minutes and others just looking around the room. I feel the pain. I sure admired the unpredictable footage of just anything, such as women playing basketball or just filming an impressed audience.
I would watch this again; don’t get me wrong. Only not at night…..Maybe I need to take a second look at it. I have a feeling that I sort of like it but thought it was boring as hell.
Yes, this film even reminded me of this odd Nickelodeon cartoon named The Mighty B!. It just brought the theme song to mind.
Maybe I liked the film a tad much….but I’m not going to worship it because it’s inexplicably regarded as a “masterpiece”…I like movies….but some people need to open their eyes.