The New York Film Festival
Click below for TONY's take on every title in this year's lineup.
Mon Sep 20 2010
Watch enough movies made in the former Soviet Union and you'll acquire a taste for poetic, bitter resignation—it runs through the veins of the filmmakers like chilled vodka. Aleksei Fedorchenko's deep drama might be called a road movie, but that doesn't do justice to its real destination: a landscape of memory. A quiet photographer and his brusque employer head out for the rural provinces with a corpse in the backseat, the latter man's wife. After her sudden (and presumably natural) death, ancient rituals of mourning are observed, including the vividly named process of "smoke": engaging in chats about the deceased's unforgettable qualities. The wintry plains stretch out in the windshield as the pair of loners reckon with pain and mortality.—Joshua Rothkopf