Ilyich’s Gate Screen 4 articles

Ilyich’s Gate

1962

Ilyich’s Gate Poster
  • Arguably the most seminal Soviet film of the 60s, Ilyich's Gate is an encyclopedia of life in Moscow during the era: a meticulous inventory of hopes, illusions and disappointments... The most memorable scene ever filmed by Khutsiev is the autobiographical finale—the meeting with the dead father killed in combat. Having lost his father in 1937 to Stalinist purges, Khutsiev would continually return to this search for the lost father, a motif that spoke to both generations orphaned by war.

  • The defining note of the film is an itchy restlessness evident in both performance and inventive, unfettered camerawork—it was shot at least with the full cooperation of the government, and the unbounded use of Moscow as a stage is thrilling.

  • If history and politics are not what excite you (or if you are simply weary of them this third weekend of October), then Ilyich's Gate has plenty of other pleasures to offer a viewer: gorgeous cityscapes of bustling Moscow, a lovely little romance, a stirring chiaroscuro dream sequence. Oh, and a young Andrei Tarkovsky, in the role of a minor character, getting slapped across the face at a party.

  • Despite being a film about a disaffected generation of fatherless men dealing with the after-effects of a devastating war, it brims with youthful energy, as if on the threshold of something new.

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