6.9/10
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7 user 8 critic

Whispering Pages (1994)

Tikhie stranitsy (original title)
The existential protagonist is a hungry, homeless, socially isolated, and socially alienated young man living on the streets of an anonymous Russian big city in the 19th Century. He's ... See full summary »

Director:

Aleksandr Sokurov
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Aleksandr Cherednik Aleksandr Cherednik
Sergey Barkovskiy Sergey Barkovskiy
Elizaveta Koroleva Elizaveta Koroleva
Galina Nikulina Galina Nikulina
Olga Onishchenko Olga Onishchenko
S. Toropov S. Toropov
S. Shurygin S. Shurygin
V. Maslachkov V. Maslachkov
Valeri Kozinets Valeri Kozinets
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Storyline

The existential protagonist is a hungry, homeless, socially isolated, and socially alienated young man living on the streets of an anonymous Russian big city in the 19th Century. He's looking for answers about himself and the things that he sees around him, but he's coming up short. Very innovative cinematography that alternates between B&W and full color through the course of the film in a way that accents the dramatic action. Sometimes, a B&W scene will even become full color in just one spot on the screen, a unique alternative to a close up shot. Written by Joe Kulik-jkulik919@gmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Russia | Germany

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

8 October 1994 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Whispering Pages See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The motifs in the story are loosely adapted from Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment. See more »

Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Music and Paintings
Composed by Otmar Nussio
Conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (as G. Rozhdestvensky)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sokurov's dream impasto of Dostoevsky
22 May 1999 | by matt-201See all my reviews

Set in a vaguely Venetian but patently Slavic underworld that's all cloud-covered, water-lapping texture--tilting, overcast, sibilant--Alexander Sokurov's 1993 feature seems to chart the topography of a world in which scenes from "Crime and Punishment" play out, dreamily and arbitrarily, in the midst of a vast field of debauchery and decay. A man and woman who seem to be Raskolnikov and Sonya are erratically glimpsed in scenes that recall the original; but Sokurov's attention will wander to long-held shots of the nameless city's soot- and dew-covered buildings, or a postcard of a nineteenth-century artist's fantastical vision of an urban megalopolis--sustained for minutes on end. And in the background always is Sokurov's trademark--a soundtrack of the very acutest sensitivity, a Breughel-like canvas of sound so dense and so just-out-of-reach, it becomes a world you spend the entire running time grasping toward.

Sokurov lacks his mentor Tarkovsky's dramatic sense (not that the master had much to begin with). But I think he exceeds him in aural and visual poetry. Sokurov's work with distorted, seemingly handmade lenses, which give his films a pebbled, mottled, leaning-away-and-falling-toward look, have no analog in the rest of cinema, or photography either for that matter. The pace of Sokurov--glacial right up to the line of "narcotic"--may drive some to distraction (as it did when I saw WHISPERING PAGES in Los Angeles). Depending on your mood and blood sugar, it may also, in this phantom, menacing world, be just what the doctor ordered.


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