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Infinitas
(Beskonechnost)

Screening on Film
Directed by Marlen Khutsiev.
With Anna Tchernakova, Marina Khazova, Aleksei Zelenov.
Russia, 1992, 35mm, black & white, 206 min.
Russian with English subtitles.
Print source: Gosfilmofund

Infinitas is one of those pictures in which the logic of the tale reproduces the flow of consciousness. What we see could be a dream, the memories of a dead man who examines his life in order to leave it behind forever, or the conscious work of a man who re-examines his own trajectory: these are movements of the spirit, detached from any schedule or calendar. Except for the amusing opening scene, in which Vladimir sells practically all his possessions and abandons the city to take a train and go back to his native land, the rest of the tale is filled with masterfully presented crossing memories, which are staged in such a way that they have gravitas enough to anchor the film’s hazy plot.

It must also be mentioned that a version of a twenty-year-old Vladimir appears in the frame every now and then as a shadow of himself that goes in and out without following a predictable pattern. Either together or “separated,” they visit many places, they go to parties and to the doctor, they see the marching Russian Army. The end of their trip is, undoubtedly, one of the most glorious moments in the history of cinema. However, until now we have only talked about the poetics of its narrative; it would also be necessary to devote a whole different analysis to the general aural concept and the delicate score, which plays a spiritual function rather than dramatic one. After this, is it necessary to say Infinitas is a masterpiece? – Roger Koza

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Marlen Khutsiev, Unsung Master of the Modern Cinema

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