Dreaming of Space (Alexei Uchitel, Russia, 2005)

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Dreaming of Space (Alexei Uchitel, Russia, 2005)

Postby MikLosk » Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:27 am

There are several really great directors in modern Russia that are unfortunately unknown in the rest of the world, e.g. Alexei German (his "Khrustalyov, My Car!" is in my opinion flawless masterpiece and the best film of 1990's), Vadim Abdrashitov (his "Parade of Planets" can be compared with Tarkovsky's "Mirror", its mystical power is incredible!). Among them is Aleksei Uchitel. His marvellous film "His wife's diary" about great Russian writer Ivan Bunin is arguably the most underappreciated movie of the last decade.

Uchitel's last film "Dreaming of Space" ("Kosmos kak predchuvstvie") is the winner of Grand Prix of XXVII Moscow Film Festival. Hope this victory will help Uchitel to be more widely known among foreign audience. But I have to accept that this movie is far not so perfect as his fantastic first feature film.

It tells about that period when the Soviet Union have just launched first satellite of the Earth, wonderful period when almost all Soviet people believed that Communism will come tomorrow and everybody hoped that all his dreams will fulfill soon. And the film itself is about dreaming, that marvellous condition of human spirit when everything is possible.

The story tells about naive young guy Victor living in a small town in the USSR in 1957. He meets another fellow who's dreaming of leaving the USSR. He tells Victor that he's one of candidates to be a first cosmonaut, and Victor believes him...
The story itself is indeed interesting and I don't want to spoil more. Screenplay's written by Alexandr Mindadze - a great man who wrote screenplays for all Abdrashitov's movies. And this one is good too.

But is the whole film excellent? No, it has its flaws. First of all, I think long takes are not in place here. Moreover, the whole athmosphere of the movie is too cold: I couldn't compassionate with heroes. Besides, there are some problems with editing (very strangely!) that makes the story somewhat sophisticated. So, the film is not perfect, but without a doubt worth seeing because Uchitel has its own interesting style that (I do believe) should be known all over the world.

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