Review: ‘Bed Stories’

Comical, sad and outright weird scenes play out in seven different bedrooms in digitally made Russian comedy-drama "Bed Stories." With its one shot per scene regime and to-the-galleries thesping, this sophomore effort by helmer Kirill Serebrennikov doesn't try to disguise its origins as a legit work, written by brothers Oleg and Vladimir Presnyakov.

Comical, sad and outright weird scenes play out in seven different bedrooms in digitally made Russian comedy-drama “Bed Stories.” With its one shot per scene regime and to-the-galleries thesping, this sophomore effort by helmer Kirill Serebrennikov doesn’t try to disguise its origins as a legit work, written by brothers Oleg and Vladimir Presnyakov. Script’s nimble footwork and pic’s doggedly low-tech integrity may seduce further fests and cablers, but unless theatrical distribs stump for transfer costs, the pic will be restricted to ultra-specialized theaters equipped with digital projectors.

Despite pic’s come-hither title, there’s very little sex in it. Opening scene features Iya Savvina as a nagging, bedridden mother who kvetches continually at her son Slava (Alexander Sirin). Other beds featured are in homes where wives cheat on their husbands, a hotel bed where a husband cheats on his wife with another man, and adjacent bunks in an Army barrack where two soldiers have a chat. By the end, it becomes clear the separate stories are much more connected than they seem at first. Natalia Kolyakanova gives a star turn as an aging vamp. Tech credits are cheap but cheerful.

Bed Stories

Postelnye Stseny Russia

Production

A TNT Network, B/W Film Prods. production. (International sales: Intercinema, Moscow.) Produced by Ilya Krzhanovsky, Alexander Dulerain, Dmitry Troitsky. Executive producer, Ilya Malkin. Directed by Kirill Serebrennikov. Screenplay, Oleg Presnyakov, Vladimir Presnyakov.

Crew

Camera (color, DigiBeta), Sergey Astakhov; editor, Alexei Beresnev, Boris Taloverov; music, Oleg Sinkin; costume designer, Elena Baranovskaya. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Visions), Sept. 14, 2005. Running time: 68 MIN.

With

Iya Savvina, Marina Golub, Natalia Kolyakanova, Olga Khokhlova, Alexander Sirin.
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