Thursday, September 15, 2011
In SILENT SOULS Aleksei Fedorchenko makes wondrous use of the four elements
SILENT SOULS from Siberian-born filmmaker Aleksei Fedorchenko, shown below, works in nearly any way and as almost any thing you'd care to call it: art film, mystery, anthropology, poetry, or oddest of all, a kind of accidental (or maybe not) feminist tale. A small, 74-minute jewel of art -- visual and verbal -- the film tracks the very strange road trip made by a couple of modern male mem-bers of the culture of Merja (which, according to the press materials for this film, is "an ancient Finno-Ugric tribe from Lake Nero, a picturesque region in West Central Russia"). OK: I'll go with that.
Igor Sergeev), below with birds, who fills us in on his own life and history, as well as that of his best friend Miron (Yuriy Tsurilo, shown two photos down), as the film moves along. We also get a heady dose of Merja cultural habits, sometimes quite specific and strange.
Denis Osokin)-- that this feminist theme never unbalances the movie. Silent Souls is a work of art that is utterly accessible, intelligent, riveting and simply gorgeous in its quiet, un-showy way.
Shadow Distribution, after making waves at the Venice, Toronto and New York Film Festivals, opens theatrically in New York at the Angelika Film Center tomorrow, Friday, September 16, and in Los Angeles area on September 30 at Laemmle's Music Hall 3 and Town Center 5 cinemas. Further playdates, I would hope, will come, for this is clearly one of the year's best films.