We’ve selected five of our favourite love stories on Klassiki for this weekend.
From Russian romantic comedies to Central Asian coming-of-age biopics, there’s certainly something for everyone to fall in love with.
The Most Charming and Attractive – Gerald Bezhanov
We are thrilled to screen The Most Charming and Attractive this Tuesday for our pick of the week! A chance meeting lands Nadia, a lively and unpretentious young woman, in a programme to catch a man. In a film that subverts the Hollywood ‘glow up’ trope, Nadia is not an instant princess, like Mia Thermopolis. Instead, the film is hilariously realistic, Nadia’s bemusement to the quintessentially Soviet kitsch of the 1980s all add charming authenticity. Following the advice of Suizanna, a sociologist and her childhood friend, Nadia finds herself flung comedically into a world of ill-fitting glamour as part of a journey to self-acceptance. A funny and empowering film to watch this Valentine’s Day.
The Heron and the Crane – Yuri Norstein
A wonderfully whimsical tale of amorous indecision and self-destruction from the undisputed master of animation. Yuri Norstein’s sprightly ten-minute animation details a “will they won’t they” romance between a dashing heron and a vaudeville crane. Ultimately in this tale, hope is not a thing with feathers, but pride certainly is…
Selkinchek – Aktan Abdykalykov
This director’s debut is a tender testament to the transformative experience of first love. A deeply personal work, Abdykalykov draws on his own childhood in a small Kyrgyz village to paint a resonant picture of passion. The word ‘selkinchek’ means ‘swing’ in Kyrgz; Mirlan spends his days pushing Ainura, the object of his affections, on this childish symbol of joy. Then, the visit of a sailor and a shell shatters Mirlan’s dreams. For the first time, he is forced to endure the sweeping highs and lows of love. Shot in nostalgic black and white, and rife with symbolism, this delicate classic deftly explores the unbridled pain and passion of first love.