The second film in the “Diary of St. Petersburg” documentary cycle is dedicated to the outstanding Soviet filmmaker Grigory Kosintsev, whose professional life was entirely devoted to the Lenfilm Studios. His flat is no...展开t far from the Studios in Vasiliev Brothers Street and in it now lives the late film-maker's widow. It is deserted, almost a museum, and comes across as a shelter for memories. This emptiness is full of memories, and the intensive looking at and listening to this emptiness reveals a respect and gratitude for the life of another man, a life of constant creative activity, and for the photographs, books and the acclaimed films that have been left behind. The special manner of Sokurov's looking and listening is dictated by such memories.
These memories are not so much those of the woman now living in the apartment. Rather, it our reminiscences, we the spectators of Kosintsev, that are made real by Sokurov's camera. Although he has left this life, Grigory Kosintsev, the director of the films of the Maxim Trilogy, adaptations of Hamlet and King Lear, the latter a classic of the Soviet cinema, still occupies his place as before. It is a place reserved for him alone, both in the history of cinema and in his apartment. His presence remains.