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Target (Alexander Zeldovich, 2011)

October 12, 2012

Alexander Zeldovich, one of the least prolific directors around, and at the same time one of the most ignored,  returns eleven years after Moscow with another masterpiece. Mishen mixes existentialist sci-fi in the vein of Tarkovskij’s Stalker with psychological drama, but functions also as a political and social commentary on today’s (or tomorrow?) society, and closely resembles the atmosphere of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. With a delightful retro futuristic set design, excellent actors and a perfect soundtrack, the movie captures the viewer despite its 158 minutes lenght. As usual, Zeldovich wrote the screenplay with acclaimed writer Vladimir Sorokin, who also worked on Moscow and Ilya Khrzhanovskiy‘s 4. And it’s not a coincidence that cinematographer Ivan Dykhovichnij worked on all of the three films mentioned before, with his versatile style that plays with all kinds of color tones. Mishen is much more accessible than Moscow in terms of plot and comprehensibility, but maintains a personal style, featuring recurring themes and images from the director’s previous works, and is yet another confirmation of Zeldovich’s talent, one of the unrecognized masters of our time.

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