Family and friends gather in a decadent house to party. Despite their delusive distinction a raw passion for sex and violence comes to light.
This film was completed by Alexander Sokurov in 1983, but it was banned by Soviet authorities until perestroika in 1987. The film, set during World War I, is inspired by Bernard Shaw's play Heartbreak House. Professional actors (Zamansky, Osipenko, Sokolova and others) were used alongside amateur actors, like in many Sokurov films
Anaesthesia Psychica Dolorosa
"This film was made some time earlier than the official 1987 release date but seems to have been adjudged as potentially debilitating to the ethic of the people by the Soviet panjandrums. Quite why someone living in the glorious Union of Soviet Socialist Republics would make such an oblique, surreal, and decadent film must have undoubtedly proved perplexing to them. The level of aesthetic wallowing in a film adaptation of a work that rails against decadence seems to me to be a comment on George Bernard Shaw, who Sokurov suggests, maybe protests too much! What else is an author other than a professional decadent? Surely a Fabian fabulist must be a very tortured beast.
Shaw actually appears in the movie as a character, both in stock footage, and played by an actor. He's portrayed as a creature as much a creator of the characters in the film. Sokurov was apparently intensely interested in Shaw from a biographical perspective and apparently very knowledgeable on the subject, even visiting Shaw's Corner whilst in England." (from a review by oOgiandujaOo_and_Eddy_Merckx)