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How I Ended This Summer [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis, Igor Chernevich
  • Directors: Aleksei Popogrebsky
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Russian
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: New Wave
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Sept. 2011
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0051ZHA7K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,526 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A polar station on a desolate island in the Arctic Ocean. Sergei, a seasoned meteorologist, and Pavel, a recent college graduate, are spending months in complete isolation on the once strategic research base. Pavel receives an important radio message and is still trying to find the right moment to tell Sergei, when fear, lies and suspicions start poisoning the atmosphere.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Sept. 2011
Format: DVD
This film comes with a pretty good CV. It won the Silver Bear at last year's Berlin film festival and has received mostly positive reviews. Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian thought it "a gripping and superbly acted Russian drama". The one real discordant note came from Mark Monahan of the Telegraph who against the flow thought it was "two hours of your life you'll never get back". Pretty strong words that I feel are a bit harsh. I will stand firmly alongside Bradshaw's honest assessment! This relatively modest film only uses two actors throughout, but given the extraordinary levels of their performances this is all you need for a thoroughly engrossing film.

The film is set in a remote Arctic research station in the Russian Arctic, where two scientists who happen to be, no pun intended, polar opposites, work together in islolation collecting data. The older man is a staunch product of the old Soviet system, whilst the younger is most definitely of the new era. The older man played with impressive authority by ex theatre director Sergei Puskapelis, is the dependable old school type, whilst the young man who is some sort of college placement, suffers from the irresponsibility that occasionally afflicts youth. He is played by Grigory Dobrygin, fresh out of theatre school. This young man is seen filling his spare time with less practical matters like computer games. Their situation changes dramatically when the young man fails to deliver a vitally important message to the older one. Suddenly the relationship begins to break down catastrophically. We head to an ending that surprises.

This film was made at a remote polar station in Chukotka district in Russia's very far north easterly extremity, nine hours time difference from Moscow. It was an inspired choice of location.
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Format: DVD
The most stunning feature of How I Ended This Summer is its
Arctic setting, the glorious wilderness presenting a grand, yet harsh spectacle every bit as sparse as the film's dialogue. It's a two-hander between Grigoriy Dobrygin's callow youth and the seasoned meteorologist played by Sergey Puskepalis. Writer/director Aleksey Popogrebskiy does an excellent job of conveying the pair's isolation and the monotony of their existence, and there is a convincing tension created by the gap in their ages and experience, although Dobrygin's young adult antics, which highlight the disparity, are a bit 'on-the-nose'. These strands form a solid tripod for the conflict that follows, however it's the catalyst for that conflict that introduces a wobble which, for some, might topple the whole construct, one decision that some viewers might struggle to reconcile with previous events or any kind of sensible human instinct. At this juncture it seems that nothing more complicated than a moral compass is needed to keep their mission on track, but its lack, along with the absence of an actual compass later on, causes no end of ructions. Despite common sense saying that their difficulties could have been avoided by a straightforward conversation, the end result is a convincing escalation and a compelling third act. If you can accept the single, arguably inexplicable (and certainly unexplained) failure to communicate, How I Ended This Summer is a highly satisfying watch and, either way, these three are ones to look out for in the future.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is hauntingly beautiful with superb acting and amazing cinematography. There are only two actors until the very end, but it is never boring, nor does one get the feeling that there ought to be more people involved. This is intelligent Russian cinema at its best, as far removed from Hollywood feel-good fantasy as you can get. Grigory Dobrygin was a young unknown actor until he starred in this film. He has incredible maturity and it is no surprise that he was snapped up to star in the film adaptation of John Le Carre's novel A Most Wanted Man. I hope he doesn't sell out to Hollywood because Russia is very good at producing actors of this calibre and they deserve to keep him, but I hope we will see more of him in Russian and other European films.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD
Aleksey Popogrebskiy's 2010 tale of two Russian meteorologists stationed on a desolate island in the Arctic Ocean has a great deal of initial promise, and whilst it delivers a rather slow, but always interesting and certainly well-acted, drama it does not quite live up to expectations. Both Sergei Puskepalis as the senior scientist and, particularly, Grigoriy Dobrygin as the underling Pavel deliver solid acting performances, conveying very effectively their mutual sense of isolation and boredom.

The plot, such as it is, centres on Pavel's failure to pass on to Sergei an important message concerning the safety of Sergei's family, and the gradual build-up of tension and distrust between the two characters as Pavel continues to delay making the communication. There follows a series of pursuit sequences as Pavel realises Sergei's likely reaction once the message is received. The film's cinematography, focusing on the remote station in the middle of the arctic wilderness, is superb and serves to reinforce the sense of despair of the main characters.

Despite rather overstaying its welcome at over two hours duration, the film should be recognised as a worthy (and rather original) attempt to cover what is essentially an uncinematic set of events. I was, however, surprised to see that the film won the Best Film award at the 2010 London Film Festival, since (even out of the small selection of films that I saw) I would have rated other films more highly, for example Daniele Luchetti's La Nostra Vita and Peter Mullan's NEDS.
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