Quick-Thoughts: Larisa Shepitko’s Wings (1966)

“What is a synonym for the word initiative?”

“Beginning.”

Post-war veteran middle-age crisis in a bottle. Maybe by the numbers and foreseeable thematically when it comes to this type of tale, but effective nonetheless in regards to its symbolic contributions. Larisa Shepitko’s visual storytelling is rightfully yet gloomily sentimental for our main character’s past, replicating their confused and wandering state of identity and sense of future that seems to be triggered by how the new world treats the new, and almost invisible, her. Attempt after attempt to appear relevant never feels like enough when they aren’t seen by an audience you once connected with more from another time.

Wings would also make a solid double billing with either McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) or Kurosawa’s Ikiru (1952) in the “I’m getting old, oh s**t” genre.

Verdict: B-

“Wings” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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