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The Postman's White Nights

Andrey Konchalovskiy
Belye nochi pochtalona Alekseya Tryapitsyna
Russia 2014 / 90’

Lake Kenozero is located in the Arkhangelsk district of northern Russia. There is a small settlement on its shores whose only contact with the outside world is provided by the eponymous postman, Aleksey. His job is certainly not easy, but then no one in the area has it easy. During his trips by motorboat from house to house, he establishes an especially close relationship with a woman named Irina-who he has had a crush on since their school days-and her young son, Timur. Will they get a chance to overcome their loneliness? The director used amateur actors from among the region's inhabitants for most of the roles in The Postman's White Nights. This made it possible to make the film feel as realistic as possible-in the spirit of Flaherty's films. Aleksandr Simonov's moody cinematography (who worked in the past with Aleksey Balabanov) pushes the film in the direction of a poetic ballad. Balanced between a documentary and a fictional feature, The Postman's White Nights brought Konchalovskiy a Silver Bear for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival in 2014.

Adam Kruk

awards

Venice IFF 2014 - Silver Lion (Best Director), Green Drop Award; Las Palmas FF 2015 - Best Film

Andrey Konchalovskiy

Andrey Konchalovskiy is a Russian director, screenwriter, and producer. A would-be pianist, he spent his youth practicing his scales at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory, though that was back in the 1960s. Like his brother, Nikita Mikhalkov, he decided to become a filmmaker instead. During his studies in Mikhail Romm's studio at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, he met Andrei Tarkovsky, and would later work as a screenwriter on his films The Steamroller and the Violin (1960), Ivan's Childhood (1962), and Andrei Rublev (1966). He made his directorial debut with The First Teacher (1965), an adaptation of a novel by Chinghiz Aitmatov. This marked the beginning of his long flirtation with the Russian classics: he also adapted works by Turgenev (Home of the Gentry) and Chekhov (Uncle Vanya). After making the epic Siberiade (1978), which was very well received in Cannes, he decided to stay in the West, where he worked with Max von Sydow, Glenn Close, Nastassja Kinski, Whoopie Goldberg, and Sylvester Stallone. He returned to Russia in the early 1990s, and the films that he has made there, which are deeply embedded in the local context, have brought him recognition at festivals in Berlin (The Inner Circle), Cannes (Assia and the Hen with the Golden Eggs), and Venice (House of FoolsThe Postman's White Nights).

Selected filmography

1966 Historia Asi Klaczinej, która kochała, ale za mąż nie wyszła / Istoriya Asi Klyachinoy, kotoraya lyubila, da ne vyshla zamuzh / The Story of Asya Klyachina, Who Loved, But Did Not Marry

1974 Romanca o zakochanych / Romans o vlyublyonnykh / A Lover's Romance

1978 Syberiada / Sibiriada / Siberiade

1985 Uciekający pociąg / Runaway Train

1989 Tango i Cash / Tango & Cash

1994 Kurka Riaba / Kurochka Ryaba / Ryaba My Chicken

2002 Dom wariatów / Dom durakov / House of Fools

2014 Białe noce listonosza Aleksieja Triapicyna / Belye nochi pochtalona Alekseya Tryapitsyna / The Postman's White Nights

Cast & Crew

director Andrey Konchalovskiy
screenplay Andrey Konchalovskiy, Elena Kiseleva
cinematography Aleksandr Simonov
editing Sergey Taraskin
music Eduard Artemev
cast Aleksey Tryapitsyn, Irina Ermolova, Timur Bondarenko, Viktor Kolobkov
producer Olesya Gidrat, Andrey Konchalovskiy, Evgeniy Stepanov
production Production Center of Andrei Konchalovsky
sales Antipode Films
language Russian
colouration colour