×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cardiogram

Minimalist, sensitive but uninvolving, "Cardiogram" is a whisper of a film whose subtlety will be heard in only a few specialized fests and children's events before it dies away. It is far too sober to have much appeal for youngsters, however. Directed by Darezhan Omirbaev (who won a Silver Leopard at Locarno for his feature bow, "Kairat"), this Kazakh entry looked dwarfed in competition at Venice, where it passed for a dignified but minor work.

With:
Zhasulan ... Ahasulan Asauov Saul ... Saul Toktybaeva Gulnara ... Gulnara Dusmatova Serik ...Serik Zhubandykov Baurzhan ... Baurzhan Ishpanov Iljas ... Iljas Kalymbetov

Minimalist, sensitive but uninvolving, “Cardiogram” is a whisper of a film whose subtlety will be heard in only a few specialized fests and children’s events before it dies away. It is far too sober to have much appeal for youngsters, however. Directed by Darezhan Omirbaev (who won a Silver Leopard at Locarno for his feature bow, “Kairat”), this Kazakh entry looked dwarfed in competition at Venice, where it passed for a dignified but minor work.

Zhasulan (Ahasulan Asauov), a 12-year-old boy from the lonely steppes, is sent to a mountain children’s clinic to be treated for a heart problem. There he encounters the outside world for the first time — boys his own age, girls in the first bloom of sexuality, cruelty and desire. Zhasulan develops a crush on a young nurse who is kind to him, and skulks around the clinic spying on her, preferably through a peephole in the women’s shower. He discovers she is going out with a doctor. One day he runs away by hiding in a truck delivering movies to clinics.

Omirbaev puts precious little flesh on the bare bones of Zhasulan’s story, which unfolds in the clinic’s sterile confines. The nonpro child actors seem deliberately chosen to undercut what little drama there is, their blank, expressionless faces making it necessary to guess what they are thinking and feeling, thereby limiting audience involvement.

Soundtrack is carefully stripped down to a few significant sounds, but in general, silence predominates, because Zhasulan, who can’t speak Russian, is excluded from the city boys’ conversations.

Boris Troshev’s square, B&W images carry out Omirbaev’s minimalist intent on a visual level, being as simple and shadowless as possible.

Cardiogram

(KAZAKH)

Production: A Kazakhfilm Studio production. Directed, written by Darezhan Omirbaev.

Crew: Camera (B&W), Boris Troshev; editor, Rima Baljakova; art direction, V. Aryskyn; costumes, Gaziza Corshieva. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (competing), Sept. 6, 1995. Running time: 79 MIN.

With: Zhasulan ... Ahasulan Asauov Saul ... Saul Toktybaeva Gulnara ... Gulnara Dusmatova Serik ...Serik Zhubandykov Baurzhan ... Baurzhan Ishpanov Iljas ... Iljas Kalymbetov

More Film

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    Chiwetel Ejiofor Adds Authenticity to Directorial Debut by Shooting in Malawi

    When actor Chiwetel Ejiofor optioned the rights for the 2009 best-seller “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” penning the screenplay for a feature directorial debut that world-premieres in Sundance and then appears in the Berlin Film Festival before being released globally by Netflix this spring, colleagues floated the idea of shooting the Malawi-set film in tried-and-tested [...]

  • ally billboard a star is born

    Oscar Campaign Spending Reaches New Heights in Competitive Season

    The escalating cost of awards campaigning may reach an all-time high this season as heavyweights such as “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” battle for Oscar gold. The quest for an Academy Award has always been expensive, but Netflix’s hunger to nab its first best picture win, coupled with the presence of legitimate studio contenders [...]

  • The Wizard of Oz

    'The Wizard of Oz' to Return to Theaters for 80th Anniversary

    “The Wizard of Oz” is returning to theaters this weekend for a special limited engagement marking the 80th anniversary of the film’s Hollywood premiere. Fathom Events, TCM, and Warner Bros. are re-releasing the beloved family film in select theaters across the country beginning on Sunday, Jan. 27, with additional dates on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Wednesday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content