Director: Ilya Khrjanovsky
Year Released: 2005
Three wanderers from different backgrounds (a piano tuner, a prostitute and a meat salesman) have a chance meeting in a bar, share a couple of drinks, lie about their real professions and go off to face their respective fates. The first forty-five minutes are downright stunning, and Khrjanovsky turns the extended bar scene into a tense moment - the way the characters reinvent themselves on the fly is amazing - only for the picture to turn shaky (visually, with invasive camera work) and muddled, focusing most of its attention on the prostitute's narrative and the various old, disgusting women she rooms with after the death of a friend (or at least that's what I think happens ... the picture's not big on explanations). The scenes of the old peasant women gorging on a dead pig, getting drunk and showing their breasts to each other don't amount to much of anything, and the other two narratives are consequently underdeveloped and end abruptly (and tragically). As a rule I don't mind pictures that forego logic for poetry, but this is literally, figuratively and spiritually sloppy. The winners at the end of the day: the dogs.