Highly explosive, yet perfectly balanced.Rotterdam Film Festival
Renata Litvinova, Georgiy Deliev, Alla Demidova, Nina Ruslanova,
Swindlers and eccentric faded aristocrats populate the crumbling Odessa of Kira Muratova’s berserk 2004 satire on Russia’s old and nouveau riche, a screwball 1930s comedy filmed through an almost assaultive theatrical style. A piano tuner/con artist with a big-dreaming platinum blonde girlfriend thinks he’s found his final marks in two elderly society dames, but first he’ll have to deal with fellow scammers, miscellaneous madmen, random musicians, street beggars, and a lapdog with a continuously terrible haircut. Muratova’s disorienting sound and vocal mixes heighten The Tuner to dizzying, Gogolian extremes; the cumulative effect is, as the Village Voice memorably described, “like being trapped in an elevator with a psychotic.”
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