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The Best of Times

Svetlana Proskurina
Luchshee vremya goda
Russia 2008 / 93’

With Russian dramatist Ivan Vyrypayev as scriptwriter, Svetlana Proskurina has opted for a story with a seemingly minimalist narrative and a broad universal scope - a plot rooted in ancient dramatic tradition and based on a deep understanding of the human psyche.

Mikhail Evlanov plays an ordinary man who finds himself drawn into an extraordinary love triangle - in which the two women, Valentina and Katya, progress through life, carrying the burden of their passion for him and their seeming hatred towards each other. After the man's death they become inseparable, bonded by a shared dark secret.
Proskurina here ventures into the 'territory of love' - the only territory where one can still breathe freely. She is interested in the spiritual aspect of love, rather than its physical manifestations. The female characters, depicted at the age of 20, 40 and 60 are played by different actresses, whilst the man - Valentin - remains unchanged and almost untouched by time. This subdued drama, though austere in style, delivers a challenging philosophical message.

MB, Rotterdam IFF 2008

Svetlana Proskurina was born in 1948, in Russia. She graduated in 1976 from the Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinema. At Lenfilm, Proskurina worked as an assistant to film director Ilya Averbakh. After completing a course on screenplay writing and directing in Moscow she made her film début in 1982 with the short film Parents' Day. Her feature film Accidental Waltz won the Golden Leopard at Locarno in 1990. With Alexander Sokurov she worked on the scenario of Russian Ark. Her feature film Remote Access (2004) won a number of prizes.

Filmography:

1981 Roditelskii den' / Parents' Day (kr.m. / short)

1986 Detskaya ploschadka / Playground

1989 Sluchaynyi vals / Accidental Waltz

1992 Otrazhenie v zerkale / Reflection in the Mirror

2003 Ostrova. Alexander Sokurov / Islands. Alexander Sokurov (dok. kr.m. / short doc.)

2004 Udalyonnyi dostup / Remote Access

2007 Luchshee vremya goda / The Best of Times