starring Vladimir Garin, Ivan Dobronravov, Konstantin Lavronenko, Natalya Vdovina
screenplay by Vladimir Moiseyenko & Aleksandr Novototsky
directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev
SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER... AND SPRING
starring Yeong-su Oh, Ki-duk Kim, Young-min Kim, Jae-kyeong Seo
written and directed by Ki-duk Kim
by Walter Chaw Andrei Tarkovsky by way of Terrence Malick, Andrei Zvyagintsev's shockingly assured debut The Return (Vozvrashcheniye) approaches the primitive through the sublime, finding the first testament of human existence in the bland, devouring indifference of the natural and providing the moribund Russian film industry its first real voice in a generation. While it's impeccably acted and scripted with a respect for the spaces before, after, and between, what astounds about the picture is Zvyagintsev's patient, painterly eye, which fills the void in world cinema left by Takeshi Kitano since the first half of Brother and offers a voice of simple, audacious purity that fashions of the cinema something like a cold blue rapier. The Return is as good a film debut (and in almost the same way) as Malick's Badlands: an intimate character study and an archetypical road trip that fashions a crystalline portrait of a very specific time and place that, nonetheless, shines a light on the landmarks of a collective interior. Zvyagintsev talks about boys needing their father and couches it in terms poetic and mesmerizing.