Movie Diary 7/17/2018

More from the Odesa Film Festival:

Years of Youth (Oleksii Mishuryn, 1958). The festival is doing a series of Ukrainian musical comedies from the Soviet era, and I really wanted to see at least one of these, time permitting. This was the one. It’s a trip, with gauzy, richly-colored rear-projection stuff and factories that loom in the background like the gleaming skyscrapers of On the Town. The story has echoes of The Major and the Minor, with super-perky Svitlana Zhyvankova, dressed as a boy for a theatrical turn, getting on a train and meeting rail-riding vagabond (but soulful singer) Valerii Rudoi. Both audition for a theatre program in Kiev. Zhyvankova gives the role the energy of a coked-up Debbie Reynolds, and some of the scenes end in syncopated smash cuts that indicate somebody still appreciated Eisenstein.

Tera (Nikon Romanchenko, 2018). A competition film in the category for which I’m on the jury, so no comment here. Debut feature from a young Ukrainian filmmaker.

Woman at War (Benedikt Erlingsson, 2018). A middle-aged woman (bravura performance by Halldora Geirharosdottir) does acts of industrial sabotage in Iceland, but also gets news that she is eligible to adopt a Ukrainian child. A very skillfully made picture that ought to see some success in international release.



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