films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


I'm a big fan of anthologies, and this project sounded very promising on paper. Seventy renowned directors give their vision on the future of cinema. With just one minute per short, there isn't much time to make a point, but it's disheartening to see how few of them even managed to stick to the topic.

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The saddest part was that many of the short didn't even deal with the future, but openly referred to or praised the medium's past. There's also a lot of doom and gloom, with some very basic visions of people not caring enough about arthouse cinema, or playing movies on their phones. Your typical old-man-yelling-at-cloud stuff.

There is only a small selection of directors who seem to have understood the brief, and they struggle to make the most of their limited runtime. What remains is a complete mess, with most shorts looking like they were made on people's afternoon off, and hardly anything that stands out. A disappointment.

Trial on the Road

Proverka na Dorogakh
1986 / 96m - Soviet Union
Trial on the Road poster

Russian films are always a bit of a gamble. They tend to be rather grim and downtrodden by design, and while that's not always a bad thing, it's certainly not a guarantee for success either. Trial on the Road is a dreary war drama that firmly landed in the second category for me, meaning that the trial part of the title was certainly apt enough.

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Lazarev is a former Red Army sergeant who values his life more than his allies. When the Germans capture him he joins their side, but when he finally ends up into the hands of partisans he is eager enough to fight against the Nazis. Not all the partisans are immediately willing to trust Lazarev though.

The stark black-and-white cinematography could've elevated the barren and snow-covered landscapes, but in the end, it just turns it into a dulled, dire setting. The performances are terrible and overstated, the plot is equally uninviting, and whatever intrigue there is never felt in any way engaging. It's a pretty short film, but to me t it felt like it would never end. Had a horrible time with this one.