Dead-Mountaineers-Hotel-Lobby-Card-Main.jpg

Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel

How well do the filmmakers use the location, cinematography, and music to create a tone for this film? Does the film make sense once the secrets are revealed? How well does this film work as social commentary of life under the Soviet rule in the 70s? Tune in to this week’s show to get answers to these questions and more!

Episode Hosts: ,

Subscribe to The Next Reel in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you find your favorite podcasts!

Support The Next Reel Family of Film Podcasts • Learn More or Subscribe Now: One-Reeler $1/mo or Two-Reeler $5/mo

“I saw... me. And I strangled... me.”

Science fiction stories often work well as a shell in which authors and filmmakers can provide social commentary without it being obvious. In the case of Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel, based on the book by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky who also wrote the screenplay, the film uses a detective story that ends up involving aliens and androids as a way to look at the closed-off nature of life under the Soviet regime. Is it a perfect film? No, but it’s a fascinating one. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our Soviet Science Fiction series with Grigori Kromanov’s 1979 film Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel.

We talk about the nature of the story and why it works well as both science fiction and social commentary. We look at the setting of the film and why the cold, oppressive mountains with the brilliant moog synth score work so well to set the tone. We chat about the surreal qualities of the film and how sometimes, it’s these elements that contribute to a confusing story, affecting our understanding and enjoyment of the film. We look at the authors/screenwriters and director, talking about what they brought to the table. we discuss the dark and cold cinematography by Jüri Sillart and why it’s so effective. And we look into Estonian folklore and how it may have influenced certain elements in the film.

It’s a fascinating film and one well worth checking out. We have a great time chatting about it so give it a watch – it’s streaming for free on YouTube – then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

Join the conversation with movie lovers from around the world on The Next Reel’s Discord channel!

Film Sundries

Learn more about supporting The Next Reel Film Podcast through your own membership — visit TruStory FM.

A show about movies and how they connect.

When the movie ends, our conversation begins.
We love movies. We've been talking about them, one movie a week, since 2011. It's a lot of movies, that's true, but we're passionate about origins and performance, directors and actors, themes and genres, and so much more. So join the community and let's hear about your favorite movies, too.