(director/writer: Aleksandr Sokurov; screenwriter: Yuri Arabov; cinematographer: Aleksandr Burov; editor: Leda Semenova; music: Gustav Mahler/Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; cast: Leonid Mozgovoy (Anton Chekhov), Pyotr Aleksandrov (Guard); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Yuri Torokhov; Cinema Guild (PAL form); 1992-Russia-in Russian with English subtitles-in B/W)

“An oddball experimental plotless dream/fantasy art film.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An oddball experimental plotless dream/fantasy art film, shot in b/w and directed by the acclaimed Russian filmmaker Aleksandr Sokurov (“Alexandra”/”The Sun”/”Father and Son”). The slow moving visual film is set inside the isolated Chekhov Museum, where a young guard (Pyotr Aleksandrov) and an old man (Leonis Mozgovo) who may or may not be the ghost of the famed writer Anton Chekhov pass the night in obscure conversation in the replica white dacha where The Uncle Vanya playwright of the 19th century lived in Yalta in his last years to escape the Russian cold that bothered his TB. It should be noted that the museum is run-down, as public funds for its upkeep have been cut-off. Which points a finger at modern-day Russia for abandoning its rich history in art and culture for more worldly and military ventures.