The Suburban Train

The Suburban Train


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Adopting an observational stance similar to Man With A Movie Camera – although without the nods to the camera itself – Maciej Cuske’s film is documentary in its purest form.

Her camera rides the suburban train of the film’s title, observing the Russian commuters in all their glory. All life is here, from the young to the old. It quickly becomes apparent that, in addition to carrying people from a to be, the train is also a marketplace and a concert hall, as traders sell their wares and musicians – from the traditional to jazz – strike up in the hopes of raising a smile and some cash.

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There are, of course, limitations to this technique, since this sort of pure observation in one setting can only hold the attention for so long. .That said as a sample of guerrilla film-making it is accomplished, in that the passengers seem completely unaware that their stories are being documented. It is the unguarded nature of the footage that makes this simple film, based on equally simple idea, quite compelling.

Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2007
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Examination of faces on a Russian commuter train.

Director: Maciej Cuske

Year: 2005

Runtime: 18 minutes

Country: Poland

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If you like this, try:

Man With A Movie Camera