Cinematograph is one of the wonders of the modern world. In 1895 the Lumiere brothers gave the world's first real cinema show in Paris to an audience of thirty-three spectators. The first film they showed was "The Arrival of a train at a Station". Moving pictures seemed so real that the audience was frightened to death by the train rushing at them from the screen. Not long ago millions of people used to visit cinema each week. Cinema houses were often packed full and one could see people queuing up in front of the box offices. Now with the price of tickets far from reasonable the growth of video production and the flood thrillers empty of serious content the cinema's rapidly losing its popularity. Cinematograph is truly an art of our time. It's as complicated and multi-facet as the twentieth century itself. Everyone can find something to his liking in the broad variety of its genres. Those who seek pure entertainment and rest to the mind prefer musical comedies, detective films, thrillers, horror films and westerns. Other people consider that movies should be rather a thought provoking and earnest art than all fun. Personally I am for entertaining both the heart and mind at the same time. Lately I've seen a feature film that was a hit with the public. I, myself, can praise it unreservedly. It was an Eldar Ryazanov film "The Promised Heavens" released by the Mosfilm studio. If my memory doesn't fail me, Ryazanov also wrote the script. The action takes place in Moscow of our days. Such famous actors and actresses as Basilashvily, Kartzev, Pashutin, Gaft are co-starring in the film. Their characters are bums and beggars, people of different biographies but of the same tragic fate. It's hard to judge who is to blame for their present poverty and despair. But it's obvious that the former painter, now a beggar, as well as the ex-convict and the ex-politician and the former cook for some party boss have preserved more humanity than all those, respectable citizens on whom they now depend. They are deprived of everything and in the end even their slums in the city dump are being taken away from them. Tanks are used against harmless paupers and no wonder that they may only hope for the help from the space. I've enjoyed every minute of this film. I couldn't help laughing and crying following the development of the action. I think the acting was superb which is quite natural with such a cast: I believe there's no one like Eldar Ryazanov in revealing the inner world of a humble person. That's the reason why I do admire his films.



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