Palata Nº6 (2009)

“Palata Nº6” (2009)

IMDb

the middle section

Film and Life. Ficcion and Documentary. Here’s two pairs of concepts which could, if we’d like, be placed on opposite corners of the labeling maps. For that same reason, these are concepts which intersect, come close to being confused and considered the same. Each of these two pairs holds inside it the magic of a magnetic repulsion/attraction. Maybe that’s why so much has been said and written and filmed as to what film borrows from life (and how life can be affected by films). Also how thin is the difference between wanting to document something and creating a story that is already in the creators eye.

Shakhnazarov seems to be a dislocated guy. Someone born within the values of the great soviet school, but who lost that context early in his career. Today he makes disembodied soviet films. And also he doesn’t really represent any of the two major soviet contributions to cinema (leaded by Eisenstein and Tarkovsky, respectively). For this, i don’t think i’ll ever watch one of his films that does more than merely amuse me in how clever were the intentions behind it.

In this case, what he wanted to do was not novel, but it’s not very well done either. He starts the film presenting us with a series of interviews to real ill people from a real mental institution. Than he delivers a fiction, with fiction characters modelled after the real ill people, and acted in the same physical place, the hospital. This is actually a very clever idea. The interviews place us in the world of the mental cases, so we need no more establishing of the world of the film. So, we get fully inside the film and that’s something rarely done in such a clear effective way. The problem is that nothing else is worth your time. there is a very literature driven approach to the dialog writing, and that kills the film, which is also not carried well enough by the performances. Dialogs or acting are the things that can carry such a film. Non exists with quality here.

The closing scene is as clever as the initial one. Real patients meet fictitious ones, and they dance, with mixed pairs. Documented reality merges with fictionalized reality. The entry, and this last sequence almost redeem the lack of anything else in the film.

My opinion: 2/5

This comment on IMDb

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