With Cannes 2014 only six weeks away , I thought I'd put together a list. I didn't realise how ridiculously…
A routine run for a truck driver turns into a nightmare he can’t escape in this psychological drama from filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa. Georgy (Viktor Nemets) is driving a load of freight into Russia when, after an unpleasant encounter with the police at a border crossing, he finds himself giving a lift to a strange old man (Vladimir Golovin) with disturbing stories about this younger days in the Army. After next picking up a young woman (Olga Shuvalova) who works as a prostitute and is wary of the territory, Georgy finds himself lost, and despite asking some homeless men for help, he’s less sure than he was before of how to make his way back where he belongs. As brutal images of violence and alienation cross the screen, Georgy’s odyssey becomes darker and more desperate until it reaches an unexpected conclusion.
I was a little mixed on this movie.
I got confused by the appearance shift of the main character around the mid-way point and lost confidence that I understood exactly what was going on.
Some of the scenes started too early and ran too long. It's like if you have a scene of a guy walking down a hallway. In a tightly-paced movie, the scene starts with the guy in the hallway, we see him take a couple steps, and we're on to the next scene. In this movie, we see the hallway for a few moments, then hear the guy approaching, then see him walk the length of it. After he's gone, we hear him trail off, there's silence…
Part of my 30 Films from Around the World in the month of May Challenge
Country #8 - Ukraine
My Joy is a dreary and ambiguous journey that allows the viewer to try and piece together the fragments of information we receive. The film forgoes traditional narrative and rather presents with various moments throughout time; traveling between past and present, all which add up to an almost sinister ending.
Though I was completely engaged throughout; the nihilistic film left me feeling rather depressed at the end.
It's like a punch in the stomach.
A modern socio-political allegory where weariness overtakes contemplation, and whose immersive, palpable textures become absorbing through their sheer, visceral disgust. Loznitsa’s canvas is at times static and sparse, while dank and squalid in others; in both cases, his screenplay is darkly comic and biting. Indeed, in probing the state of the former Eastern bloc, actions speak not so much louder than words as they simply say it all. In modern Russia, shit steps on you - My Joy shows that Stalin’s collectivised utopia is worth roughly that.
Wow - this is a gut punch of a look at modern Russia filtered thru a demented Kafka world view. It will stay with you for months. Sergei Loznitsa is one to watch.
First half worked for me althought it was never amazing but the second half is just painful and I didn't get it at all. The themes seem obvious after reading reviews but the film never makes them interesting.
It's certainly a revealing glimpse, but this film is too loose in terms of structure. One wonders what Robert Altman or even Hou Hsaio-Hsien would think upon seeing this.
My joy, my foot! It was actually the classic miserable day full of annoying circumstances, one after the other, for our main character the ukrainian truck driver Georgy. In the meanwhile, I was admiring the long shots of the director and what he put in them in terms of people doing things in the background or sinc-ing their movements to join in in the foreground, and I was going to get absorbed by the second half of the movie, when suddenly an abrupt flashback made everything so confused that I was wondering whether the director could have cared about Georgy anymore. Indeed further on, the spectator is required to pay good attention to realize he is back at the centre…
watched for my contemporary russia class.
this film's narrative eluded me. it appears to be placing the blame for modern-day ukraine's depicted moral bankruptcy and overall cultural nihilism at the feet of soviet bureaucracy. the modern-day government corruption and inefficiency are clear successors to the soviety cruelty depicted in the flashback sequences. it even goes so far as to suggest a russia overran by nazi germany would be preferable. but the half-anthology half-narrative format of the film is confusing beyond belief.
that said, the cinematographic skill on display here is incredible. long, busy shots populate the film, and its frequent decontextualization via close zooms and cameras that tailgate the characters is breathtaking.
perhaps worth another watch so i can figure out what exactly went on in the last half of the film.
A slow moving, rigorously shot, beautifully composed, descent into hell and history.
A bleak and highly episodic journey through the Russian countryside that gets all the small details of that world right while also engaging in pointed surrealism and exaggeration in order to remark upon the nation's past and present.
The world of the film, and the characters inhabiting it, reminded me of the travails of Gogol's protagonists and of the critiques of Soviet society made by Andrei Sinyavsky-of a system that through its inadequacies and dehumanizing tendencies, inadvertently created an atmosphere of selfish criminality, born of necessity and survival instinct. It's a beautifully shot film even amid the ugliness on the screen, although the darkness of the film's content does eventually lead to a certain predictability.
Unfortunately, the Netflix streaming version…
La constante de esta película ucraniana es la supervivencia, en todos niveles y a toda costa.
Un camionero decide evitar algunos obstáculos con su camión en donde transporta harina (según nos damos cuenta ya muy transcurrida la historia), pero al hacerlo, ingresa a una especie de sucesos encadenados que se ¿encadenan? mediante un par de flashbacks que de entrada, parecen inconexos... o no?
Termina por confundir en ocasiones, aunque el director ruso Loznitsa explora y muestra con detenimiento los sitios a los que el chofer del camión accede, casi en tono documental.
La secuencia inicial que incluye un cadáver y un foso a punto de ser llenado de cemento sirve sólo para eso: abrir la película con una metáfora de crítica social simbólica.
Caí en esta película luego de haber visto hace un año "En la niebla", de la cual se reconocen varias influencias.
Ciertamente, Loznitsa no deja impávido a quien se enfrente a su cine.
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