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Old 05-10-2022, 06:31 PM
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TrueFaith77 TrueFaith77 is offline
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31.Firebird (Peter Rebane); grade: B

“There is a thin line between bravery and carelessness.” That’s how a character describes flying fighter jets in the Soviet-era set Firebird. This warning also applies to two soldiers’ gay love story. Their daring gets heightened by a society of surveillance (wires, spies, anonymous reports) and flashes hot in tame love scenes. The movie is best when glorying over the actors. Blond, impossibly defined, birdlike Tom Prior (Sergey) and lean, handsome, square-jawed Oleg Zagorodnii (Roman) connect over their artistic interests as photographers and, then, when Roman introduces Sergey to ballet. Director Rebane makes their chemistry palpable whether focusing on their shoulders and clavicles or when heightening their bold sexual adventures with stolen kisses hiding in the forest or when jet engines signify orgasm. Totalitarian suppression and military accoutrement give their desire the frisson of doomed liberation absent from domesticated consumer-capitalist homosexuality. Oleg uses his camera—and acting as an athletic Hamlet—to capture fleeting moments (the birth of a flirtatious smile). Rebane similarly captures an actor’s expression of grief and gratitude. Firebird achieves surprising emotion by providing psychological (individual) background to Sergey and jettisoning the victimization catalogued in Brokeback Mountain.
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