Jul 212007

We watched part of Railway Station for Two again tonight. It’s my 3rd or 4th time. My major excuse is that it’s a good one for learning the language, which it is indeed. But I continue to be amazed. That had to have been a subversive film in pre-Gorbachev Russia. It would be a subversive film even in the U.S., at least in the vicinity of our major universities, for its portrayal of the values of private property and free markets.

I only hope that Madame Hillary’s prison camps will be as gentle as the Siberian gulag shown in that film.

And I continue to enjoy that Russian actors know how to act like they’re really cold when it’s supposed to be cold out, though it may have helped that the Siberian winter segments were filmed on site in winter. Hollywood has no clue how to portray winter realistically, but these people do. One thing not even the Russians can do is show how emaciated a person looks when deprived of food. This one has a charming way of making the point, though, in passing.

Too bad Netflix has very few of Eldar Ryazanov’s films. This one makes me want to see more. But I just now moved “The Irony of Fate, or ‘Enjoy your bath'” to the top of my Netflix queue. (Well, not quite the top. I’ve promised to get “Sophie Scholl: Die letzten Tage” next, and I’m looking forward to another viewing of that one, too.)