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The story of a woman who does not know what she wants and a blind judo champion: what problems are dealt with in the Koroche festival films

Date: April 17, 2024 Time: 10:00:28

“Asphalt is warm in summer” – a film about a woman who does not know what she wants in the latest Russian cinema

Photo: still from the film.

In Kaliningrad, the festival of short films and debut films “Koroche” continues. We are talking about competitive feature films shot by women.

“Asphalt is hot in summer”

“The asphalt is hot in summer” is a film about a woman who does not know what she wants in the latest Russian cinema. In this case, the woman is 17 years old, her name is Dasha, she grew up in a provincial town somewhere in northwestern Russia. After graduating from school, she lies to her father that she is going to enter the faculty of regional studies at the Murmansk Institute, she takes a train, but it goes not to Murmansk, but to St. Petersburg. There she lives a mother who abandoned her when she was a child. And she wants Dasha… well, we already said that she has trouble formulating her wishes; or she dreams of holding her mother to her heart, or sending her to a known address.

The only value Dasha has is her virginity, and she runs with it like a handwritten sack. At first she almost lost after graduation (this puts her in a state of hysterics), then she decides to sell for a lot of money (but at the last second she escapes the clutches of a lecherous forty-something), then she almost gives herself to a handsome young Petersburger ( but still not delivered), then… To be honest, in the second half of the film, following his adventures on this front becomes a bit exhausting.

The title of the film for the director Irina Bas clearly seems poetic (but not to me – the picture could be called “Fresh Air in Spring” or “White Hares in Winter”, and then somehow decipher it in dialogues). The image begins with the caption “June 2021”, which, like the caption, explains nothing and leads nowhere; with exactly the same success it could be June 2017 or 2023. At times when strong emotions take over the characters, they start smashing expensive devices like laptops and phones (which doesn’t stop them from talking on these phones in the meantime). next table). But all of this is nonsense compared to the fatal question that hangs at the end: why were we told the story of a young woman unable to decide whether she should eat a fish or ride an elevator? However, you can pick up the answer: so that the audience admires Maria Matsel, a beautiful young actress and singer in every way, as well as her partner Victoria Isakova (who, however, will not have to be very proud of her role in this film).


A completely different “women’s cinema” – “Kretsul” Alexandra Likhacheva. Nothing vague, indefinite, out of focus, “I don’t think, I feel”, “I can’t tell you what my film is about”, etc. – which, alas, the pictures of VGIK graduates are full of, is not in “Kretsula”. This tape makes you think of Larisa Shepitko or Katherine Bigelow, perhaps the toughest directors in the world. Almost all the characters in the film are men, and Likhacheva understands the logic of friendship between boys surprisingly well.

The hero of his film is the Moldovan judoka Oleg Cretul, the title champion, who was in a terrible car accident and was blinded: he had to remove one eye, the other could not be seen due to damage to the optic nerve. Surprisingly, blindness did not prevent him from returning to sports and becoming the champion of the Paralympics. At the same time, he was coached by his best friend, who did not turn around, but did not relax at the sight of his tormented partner.

There are many outstanding scenes in “Kretsula”; in one of the best, Oleg (Nikita Volkov) rummages through kitchen shelves and drawers looking for a knife to cut himself. The word “knife” is not pronounced, in general there is not a single hint of what he is looking for, but you understand everything from the despair in which the hero resides. (Remember that Volkov plays this without using his eyes, one of the most powerful acting tools; the hero doesn’t cast piercing glances at the camera, because he simply has nothing to do with it.) A thoroughly Hollywood story, told without an ounce of Hollywood tears and snot, elicits genuine admiration for Kretsul and his friend; people accomplished a real feat, and, it seems, they themselves did not fully understand it.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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