Thursday, 31 March 2011

Gennadi Shpalikov: Long and Happy Life - Долгая счастливая жизнь (1966)

Director:Gennadi Shpalikov
Writer:Gennadi Shpalikov
Stars:Inna Gulaya, Kirill Lavrov,Pavel Luspekayev

The only film Gennadi Shpalikov both wrote and directed.
Grand-prix at Festival in Bergamo, 1966.

A master of curiously stylized dialogue, Shpalikov was in high demand as a screenwriter even before graduating from the State School of Cinematography. H.H. ter Balkt calls him "a soulmate of Bergman," the title most film scholars are too quick to bestow on Tarkovsky- and the poetic, meditative Life does have its similarities to Wild Strawberries, Russia's favorite Bergman film. A pack of guitar-wielding hikers board the bus back to the city; a stranger falls hard for one of the passengers, the very young and very married Lena. "I want happiness that lasts. I won't settle for less" is the film's insistently reiterated motif. Shpalikov didn't: suffusing the title with terrible ironies, he killed himself in 1974, and this remains his sole writing-directing credit. ...

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