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Tag: russia

Film Reviews

Loveless

Thursday, April 26th, 2018 Film Reviews,

“Do you think the world is about to end?” one of the characters in Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless asks a workmate. “Definitely!” comes the reply. It’s as close as this ruthless portrait of contemporary Russian life gets to comedy. Zvyagintsev’s enemies accuse him of taking a “negative” view of Russia, but what are the positives? Thirty […]

Film Reviews

The Death of Stalin

Friday, March 30th, 2018 Film Reviews,

It’s conservatively estimated that 20 million people were murdered during Joseph Stalin’s reign.“So why were they all killed?” asks Simon Sebag Montefiore, in his devastating book, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. Nadezhda Mandelstam, who lost her poet husband, Osip, gave a succinct answer: “for nothing”. Montefiore suggests that under Stalin the supreme offence […]

Film Reviews

Russian Resurrection Film Festival 2017

Friday, October 27th, 2017 Film Reviews,

Why Russian Resurrection Film Festival? Is it a reference to Tolstoy’s famous novel, or to the revival of the Russian film industry in the post-Soviet era? A bit of both, I imagine, as the 14th RRFF is preocuppied with history and the literary classics. This year’s festival features a retrospective of films by Andrei Konchalovsky […]

Film Reviews

Elena

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

Do the Russians make teenage slob films? I had this thought as I was watching Elena, the new production by Andrei Zvyagintsev, while reflecting on the preview I had attended the day before – That’s My Boy. It’s fairly obvious which movie will achieve the biggest box office, but it’s also a depressing thought. That’s […]

Film Reviews

Silent Souls

Saturday, May 19th, 2012 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

Look no further, the sleeper of the year has arrived. Aleksei Fedorchenko’s Silent Souls is a sparse, beautiful film filled with the bare, frozen landscapes of west-central Russia, and rough-hewn characters that hold the viewer spellbound. Cinephiles will recognise the atmosphere of an Andrei Tarkovsky film with its scenes of mesmeric dilapidation, but this is […]