MOSCOW – A previously unseen film by Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky has been discovered hidden between the frames of his 1972 masterpiece Solaris.

Mark Cousins (no relation to the humorless Irish critic Mark Cousins) spoke excitedly about the discovery. 

It seems that the film час пик is set in Moscow and involves a mismatched pair of policeman one of them from the far reaches of Eastern Russia while the other one is a fast talking ex-KGB agent. It is a marked departure for Tarkovsky whose career is cluttered with long-winded masterpieces, with car chases, fight scenes involving martial arts and a fast talking wit that is not usually associated with the director of Ivan’s Childhood.

The film was discovered during a restoration of Solaris for its Blu-Ray release when technicians were astounded to see different images every alternate frame. 

It’s odd that we should see one film and not the other all these years, because there are exactly the same number of frames per film, but everyone saw Solaris and no one saw час пик.

An additional effect of the discovery has been the fact that now Solaris – with the frames of the parasite film removed – moves along at a far smarter clip, now clocking in at only 93 minutes, as opposed to its original theatrical run time of 167 minutes. Film historians are now carefully checking Stalker and Andrei Rublev for other films and Cousins points out that it might also be the case that within the version of час пик there might even lie another hidden film ‘like a Matroyshka Doll’.

The new film час пик (Rush Hour) will be shown at a special BFI season this Summer entitled ‘Look How Clever We Are!’

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