Thursday, 7 October 2010
Dmitry Geller "Greetings from Kislovodsk" (2000)
The arrival of a man and woman at a hazily drawn railway station, together and yet apart, sets the tone for Greetings from Kislovodsk, a film depicting the breakdown of a relationship in an oddly fragmented style. The figures are simply drawn, but with a grace about their movements at once sinuous and affecting. The action (courtship, departures, meanderings) is movingly set against a series of atmospheric photographs from earlier in the 20th century, frozen moments on vacation or with family, speaking of happier moments that give the parting of the pair a universality, emphasised by an effective soundtrack of music and sound effects, of which the sound of the train is predominant. Russian director, Dmitry Geller, uses locations evocatively, the station of arrivals and departures, the subtly lit dance floor, tango music speaking of courtship and romance, the beach with a battery of photographs almost as stage flats projecting images of happy families, a fairground’s carousel heavy with symbolism, life played out in circles, the condensation on the railway window as those photographic images pass by as poignant, discarded billboards. Dmitry’s allusive world of watery colours and shadow is a treat, exploring love's freshness and loss. Thank you, Pavlovich, once again, for your recommendation and fine taste in movies.