Tuesday, 13 July
JULY RAIN 1967 * (Июльский дождь) * Directed by Marlen Khutsiev * 107 minutes * In Russian with English subtitles
With a wild free-form approach to filmmaking that is absolutely exhilarating, this is a prime example of Soviet cinema during the brief time of artistic freedom in the late 60s. Filmed at the very end of the Soviet new wave, it explores this sense of liberation, but also the darkness of its impending end. The style of the film is beautifully inventive, but the characters are more introverted and the tone is melancholic. Many critics have compared this particular movie with the work of Antonioni, and the sweeping b&w wide-screen cinematography is ravishing. July Rain is, above all, a beautiful snapshot of Soviet life in the late 60s made by Marlen Khutsiev (I Am Twenty).
Lena, who is in her late twenties, is slowly discovering that her fiancé Volodya is a sham - he is too ambitious and only interested in his career. This disillusionment makes her take a decision to change the course of her life, and that opportunity comes one day when a man lends her his coat in the July rain. It's a chance encounter that leads to a series of intimate telephone conversations with this stranger. This is the story of Lena's life, but it is also the story of Russia itself, and the choice it would have to make about its future.
The movie is intentionally fragmented, capturing the city of Moscow as the Soviet Union is in transition. The imagery is sublime - beautiful tracking shots through the streets of the city, set to radio music, Classical and Jazz... catching Russia at a special time, just before the crackdown of 68, when the country went into descent.
From a recent review from the screening in Bologna at Il Cinema Ritrovato: "At every festival, there always seems to be one film that you stumble into by chance—with little expectation or pretense—that just blows you away. For us, it was the Russian film Lyulskiy Dozhd (July Rain, 1966), directed by Marlen Khutsiev".
Doors open at 20:30, film starts 21:00 * Visitors limited to 16
Date & Time:
- 3-5 €