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How I Ended This Summer [DVD]

Grigory Dobrygin , Sergei Puskepalis , Aleksei Popogrebsky    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis, Igor Chernevich
  • Directors: Aleksei Popogrebsky
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Russian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: New Wave
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Sep 2011
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0051ZHA5C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,315 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Effort 2 Dec 2011
By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Arctic, Up Close and Personal. 21 Sep 2011
By Bob Salter TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Lunch in A Cold Climate 29 Jun 2014
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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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Salted trout, anyone? 10 Oct 2011
Format:Blu-ray
This film seems to have polarised (no pun intended) opinion; on one hand lavish critical acclaim and on the other slating reviews with one broadsheet national newspaper stating that you shouldn't waste two hours of your life on it. So, I approached with a degree of trepidation.
Good points - beautifully shot. Sorry - that's just one good point.
Bad points - too long. Poor characterisation. Despite two hours and just two characters we fail to learn about either in any depth. As a result, their actions are totally inexplicable. And because we fail to learn anything about the characters, the viewer ends up with little sympathy for either and their outcomes.
The Blu-ray itself - cracking picture that compliments the photography superbly. Extras consist of an interview with the Director at the BFI. Can't comment on that as after two hours I'd lost the will. Would have loved to have seen a 'making of' documentary given the location, but no sign ...
The story has so much potential - cabin-fever, wild animals, cliff-hanging predicaments, a human element. Could have made a fast-paced 1hr 40mins. Maybe the Director was trying to avoid that - because it is so tried and tested. Maybe he was trying to achieve a 'look'. Well, yes he has. It is pleasing to the eye. But we end up learning more about salted trout. I kid you not. Shame.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense psychological film. For those who appreciate serious art...
This film is by Popogrebsky, russian art house director of younger generation. It won a prize at Berlin Film Festival. Watch it I if you prepared to slow pace development. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Artist
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Visual
I had this on dvd and loved it. I recently bought a new television and blu ray player, and knew that I had to re-buy this, in fact this is the first blu-ray I wanted to buy and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Albiebrown
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
I had read positive reviews and decided to order it. My expectations were well met. The mood, the solitary artic scenes, the run down buildings together with the superb... Read more
Published 12 months ago by digitaldigest
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Arctic colours but less enthusiastic about the storyline
Having visited the Russian Arctic I can confirm that this film gives an extremely life-like view of the harsh climate, the quite wonderful light and the run down buildings the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by John Chandler
4.0 out of 5 stars Of Men and Mice
This is what it's all about. Pavel is an example of a modern generation living in the world of computer games, emoticons instead of real emotions, incapable to feel real feelings,... Read more
Published on 26 May 2012 by Trionon
2.0 out of 5 stars approach with caution
Well acted but ultimately frustrating...my main problem was with the younger scientist - an unbielievably stupid and pathetic character, at first you think the older guy is going... Read more
Published on 26 May 2012 by J.D.Salinger
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping and well told
A Russian film with English subtitles might not seem like the most attractive viewing prospect, but putting any concerns aside, this is a compelling drama about two men working in... Read more
Published on 11 May 2012 by Donald M. Macdonald
4.0 out of 5 stars From adventure to paranoia
How I Ended This Summer, a Russian movie from 2010, exists in a world of its own. Two men, alone for months, track weather data at an isolated Russian research station at the edge... Read more
Published on 2 Nov 2011 by C. O. DeRiemer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but...
I liked this film. The storyline was alright. I thought the acting was very good. And I liked the cinematography. However, I felt that it was far too long. Read more
Published on 25 Sep 2011 by buckminsterfullerene
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