Dec 062007

Tonight we started watching Vodka Lemon. I’ll definitely have to watch it twice to figure out how all the scenes tie together.

I had somehow not thought of Armenia as a cold, wintry place, but there are lots of good scenes of cold and snow. The characters are obviously living in very poorly heated houses. The concept is understood in a way that southern Californian filmmakers would never quite get.

So far not much Russian has been spoken, which is not making this one nearly as good for language-learning as was Mimino. I presume most of what I’m hearing is Armenian, but I understand not a bit of that.

I just now read on Wikipedia that there is supposed to be French in it. Well, the opening credits are in French, but if any has been spoken, I missed it. Wikipedia says the movie was forty-one French words short of enough to qualify it as French cinema; therefore the producing company went bankrupt.

Regardless of the language issues, this one is doing fine in the winter/cold department. I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of winter/cold temperature scenes in movies. One movie that was a huge disappointment in that regard was Krasnaya Palatka (The Red Tent). It isn’t a complete failure, but there are some scenes that are completely, off-puttingly unrealistic. Somebody who is naked and freezing to death is not going to do it the way it’s shown there. And there are other scenes at the end that come from glaciers calving, not the Arctic ice pack where the movie is supposed to take place. It was a poor editing decision to insert that stuff. The Russians usually do a good job on these things. Maybe that one would have been OK if Russians had been left to do the whole thing.