House with a Turret  {Dom s bashenkoy}

House with a Turret
Dom s bashenkoy

Russia, 2012, 80 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Historical/Period, War
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Russian English Sub-Titles

A richly textured, elegantly shot piece of old-school humanist art cinema, House with a Turret builds the first half of its World War II-era narrative around the movements of a resourceful 8-year-old boy (Dmitriy Kobetskoy) who must navigate an inhospitable and unknown urban space as his mother lies dying in an impoverished Soviet hospital. As the boy trudges across the hamlet’s muddy winter roads and searches for a place to sit in its teeming train station, the camera remains resolutely at his eye level, adopting his visual perspective as he engages assertively with an antagonistic adult world.

An admirably matter-of-fact resolution to the Ukrainian film’s medical melodrama comes in the film’s second half, in the station and on a passenger locomotive, where the boy finds himself among a needy, scheming group Soviet “citizens.” Here, House with a Turret digresses with greater frequency from the film’s child hero, turning its attention instead to an inebriated soldier, for example, or to the passing, crow-filled country landscapes lyrically captured in the film’s exquisite black-and-white cinematography.

Director Eva Neymann brings a formal intelligence to her adaptation of Solaris screenwriter Fridrikh Gorenshtein’s lone published novel, intimately crafting a world in both image and sound that brings the spectator into close emotional contact with the film’s young protagonist. In what would prove her final film performance, stunning Pola X and I Can’t Sleep lead Yekaterina Golubeva co-stars as the boy’s critically ill mother.

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DIRECTOR: Eva Neyman
Producer: Aleksander Tkachenko
Editor: Pavel Zalesov
Screenwriter: Eva Neymann
Cinematographer: Rimvydas Leipus
Principal Cast: Vitalina Bibliv, Albert Filozov, Yekaterina Golubeva, Dmitriy Kobetskoy, Mariya Politseymako

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