July Rain

Marlen Khutsiev (I Am Twenty), one of the leading lights of the Soviet New Wave, draws heavily on his French contemporaries for this 1966 feature, a low-key love story about two young Moscow professionals grappling with the idea of marriage. The film gradually exposes the insecurity and emptiness beneath their buoyant confidence, feelings shared by their friends and articulated by smoky jazz and the ballads of Yuri Vizbor, a spokesman for this post-Sputnik generation. Khutsiev's depiction of this new urban gestalt is fascinating, though carried to excess (with long panning shots of city streets) it ultimately overwhelms any story sense. In Russian with subtitles. 103 min.

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