Compartment No.6 [To Murmansk] // Thomas Stolperer


You know why people live longer than most animals? It comes from the fact that animals live based on their instincts and don’t make mistakes. But we humans create reason and botch everything all the time. Half our life goes to screwing up, another part to recognizing our idiotic actions and the rest to trying to fix what’s fixable. We need all our life’s years just for that circus.

Cause I encountered what I’ve feared. And what I’ve dreaded happened to me, Vadim Nikolajevitš.

the man and the girl from the Book not the Film,

the Book, and the Film, the man older the girl young, and the man young the girl young, late soviet russia, and early post soviet russia, she carried, used a 90s personal video camera (90s personal video cameras what an annoying idiotic phase of personal camera development. As I’m hopeless now drowning in crushed under consumption, existing for consumable things that people live on by creating them so I need them to live – I would never make them and wouldn’t even need them if they weren’t created for me to need — now as I’m existing in apps and gadgets and usage models and commands and appliances and comforts that are really no comfort, I remember old heavy 90s cameras and VCR players and realize, assert that those were even worse than current suffocation under consumerisms and gadgets, than current extinguishing of a personality, of personalities, under consumerism articles, under gadgets, under articles heavy and light complex and simple, drowning and suffocating and watching my flat existence slide along, although there are more consumerism articles now and more types of articles now, and the articles and their types have multiplied exploded exponentially bc of technology, and the inundating now is more crushing, more suffocating to natural instinct life than the 90s inundation and it makes me more miserable now bc there are fewer existence alternatives to defraying misery or lame existence with miserable unsatisfying consumption now than in the 90s or so it seems, or seemed —  even still, I’m glad I don’t have to use, learn to use VCR players anymore, don’t have to use big camera recorders from the 90s anymore, those were shit annoying, shit unintuitive, bulk, dumb.  Well I know, that makes me a consumer, a consumer seeking benefit from the progress of consumer items nonessential consumer functions gadgets programs functions. Everything is flat, consumerism makes every direction flat and the same direction)

Sharing a berth, No 6. The Film, and the Book, moscow—>murmansk, and moscow—>mongolia,

the Book the guy’s violent misery in past and edgy potentially violent belligerent misery confusion fear innocence in present–> friendship some sort of acceptance self-reconciliation;

the Film the guy’s mild confusion innocence cluelessness misery mistrust, past more intuited –> friendship, self-reconciliation sort of happiness, smiles I love u even ;

the Book the girl’s glimpses bits of misery in the past –> friendship acceptance self-reconciliation ;

the Film the girl’s vague confusion over past, of self –> self-reconciliation even happiness ;

or something along those lines

Book and Film, gradual mutual trust, and for the Film add: Heartwarming (HW) – (HW SEEMS like it would be a liability of a comment to a filmmaker, to a film, like it belongs to a category of formulaic traits or practices of filmworld that make you annoyed and want to avoid it, practices like movie trailers where they say a few words short phrases or very short clauses separated by notable breaks or Ands while music, serious tense or craving pining is moving from light low to loud behind the voice, and then abrupt switch in music tempo mood, buoyant animated and the voice too and without the pauses and Ands, with longer clauses, exciting action driven playful –  Or, practices ploys like music montages used by a film to time-lapse a phase that the plot can’t accommodate, in an interesting way except it’s never interesting aside from that its total parody bait [A-Team time lapse music montages are an exception, they’re like parody versions of the music with time lapse activities montages, they used it in every episode, they used the same music for it in every episode, they made their own music for the activity time lapse montages that they use in every episode, montages of rigging combining mechanical devices for unorthodox use, repurposed, tools mechanical expertise and natural resourcefulness of commando unit members for hannibal’s plan, a central theme of the show so that the montages shouldn’t have had to be repeated every episode but they were, an insistent cartoon-exposition-level customized manneristized activity-time-lapse montage routine, deserving cult status, the rigging montage bits along with 3 or 4 other factors of the show, also spelled out clear and simpleminded as cartoon exposition, should have made A-Team the tv show into cult, it’s not clear to me why A-Team the tv show didn’t reach cult status of the grade of Road House the movie] – those belong to a category I wouldn’t bother trying to define of features of a film that it seems like HW should belong to, the formulaic music and voice patterns in trailers and the time lapse montages of plot set to music, HW SEEMS like it should be in that category, partially bc it gets used so much in those foolish trailers, also in reviews its way overused, so it seems like it should be in that category but it’s not, HW can be the best feature in a great film and be a background feature that tones everything else and can make a worse film a pretty good film, not necessarily but when not that’s bc it isn’t really HW, the filmmaker or actors failed at HW, or the reviewer was wrong that its HW and its really not, or the filmmakers lied or misjudged their own film as HW – in any case although HW isn’t necessary in a film it feels good without necessarily ruining a work and it’s not the liability it might seem to be).  The Book, a partial release for the 2 people at the end, emotional release and a release from the claustrophobia of the berth and the cramped train with surly staff, and trust, and a sort of friendship ;  happy, no ; HW, no; the Film, the same and add HW, and even some happiness, for the 2 characters, and the short visit to booze with the old woman “better than a mom” was very HW

The story is about 2 ppl stuck with each other in a train berth, that’s half the story the other half is late soviet russia in the Book, post-soviet russia in the Film. If you didn’t know about the Book you’re not missing anything in the Film, you aren’t aware there’s anything to miss. But if you read the Book in the Film you are missing the trans siberian railway, many excursions during stops across late soviet central russia in cities and country, and mongolia (replaced by Murmansk and surrounding area in the Film, outstanding location shots there), missed stars constellations green red orange sunrises sunsets black blue nights mountains depths backwaters streams rivers, towns built in 1 night, regional centers villages miserable kolkhozes, nevas, string-bogs, moraine boreal forest areas, spruce, pine, and stone pine forests, birch alder forests, taiga, icy taiga, snow expanses snow drifts villages buried under snow expanse waste dilapidation hope hopelessness pride pettiness hard memories violent memories perseverance lot acceptance better times now than then bleakness as a pride ; kirov omsk tomsk novosibirsk krasnoyarsk irkutsk ulan-ude ulaanbaatar mongolian mountain yurt villages

It would’ve blown the budget of an indy? film to location shoot all that, blown the marketable length of any film to shoot all that, a foreign filmmaker wouldn’t get access permission to shoot in all those locations, a russian filmmaker probably wouldn’t get permission to shoot in all those locations

First see the film, truncated but it’s still on location and beautiful, karjalaa piirakkaa pontikkaa venäjänmaa, and the 2 characters and their performers are so likeable.

Then read the book, and imagine that whole thing was filmed on location. The Film’s tone-down, mitigation, Heartwarming-ing of the Book characters’ misery, combined with the late soviet russian ungraspable miserable beautiful expanse that’s set out in the Book. 


Thomas Stolperer is void deep in the Finnish language and has a great blog that doesn’t work anymore. In another life he was an artist who had exhibitions in NYC, Seoul and various other places.

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