Little Shop of Horrors, Russian Style
By Oleg Liakhovich The Moscow News
On the heels of the XXVI Moscow International Film Festival came an event even more pompous and widely publicized – the premiere of a movie meant to spark a revival of Russia’s popular cinema while giving Hollywood a battle royale on its own terms
Night Watch (Nochnoy Dozor in original Russian) depicts the on-going struggle between the magical forces of good and evil in present-day Moscow. The movie was eagerly awaited by fans and became an object of an intense advertising campaign in all media. Its US $3mln budget – an incredible sum for a local movie – and plentiful special effects, also a novelty for Russian cinema with its established traditions of inexpensive quality dramas and solid adaptations of literary classics, were to make Night Watch Russia’s equivalent of an American summer blockbuster. The producers actually went as far as officially calling it “the first Russian blockbuster” long before it had the chance to appear on screen. Even Russia’s own Oscar winner and self-styled national sage director Nikita Mikhalkov, while admitting that the film “wasn’t his thing”, said that it was “cool” and called it Russia’s “answer to Quentin Tarantino”. Serious praise indeed – after all, only a dirty mind would suspect Mikhalkov of still being sore at old Quentin for “stealing” his Palme d’Or in Cannes back in 1994.
Lightsaber, Anyone? Continue reading
Plot / Synopsis
Feliks Falk’s latest movie “Joanna” is a story set in the time of World War II. The main heroine’s husband had been sent to an Oflag. One day Joanna encounters a little Jewish girl in a church. Despite the risk, she decides to take care of her.
“Joanna” is an example of a true story as it reflects the behaviour of thousands of the Righteous Among the Nations.
Feliks movie has enchanted the audience of 35. Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.
Tadeusz Sobolewski, a film critic, gave the movie a very positive review.
From Amazon.com -
The real drama happens behind the curtain in this fascinating and rare look at four high-profile Broadway musicals (Wicked, Taboo, Caroline, Or Change, and Avenue Q) and their fearless journey to the Tony Awards®. Including a star-studded cast, this entertaining film takes viewers on an unprecedented behind-the-scenes view of the creative process that captures all the heartbreak and hilarity of trying make it big in Show Business!
The playful but intense and vastly informative Show Business: The Road to Broadway is a documentary about four musicals that were contenders for top Tony Awards prizes in the 2004 Broadway season. Following the parallel action between the quartet–”Wicked,” “Avenue Q,” “Taboo,” and “Caroline, or Change”–from concept through casting, rewrites, rehearsals, opening nights and the relative box-office fortunes of each, the film dazzles a viewer by seeming to be everywhere at once. Along the way, one encounters cascades of neuroses and anxieties from the creative community involved in these shows, but there is also tremendous insight shared by the various playwrights, composers, lyricists, producers, directors, and stars who get these productions up and running. There’s sundry drama, too, especially concerning the brief run of “Taboo,” the financially disastrous musical about Boy George that was largely bankrolled by Rosie O’Donnell and ran into a variety of problems. Excellent fly-on-the-wall moments include a dinner sequence involving a handful of well-known theatre critics, whose tastes vary and who often champion shows no one else seems to like. Everything leads to highlights from the 2004 Tony Awards show, which was full of surprises. A final sequence in which one catches up with the many talents involved says everything about how success and failure is often a mere roll of the cosmic dice.
Linton Semage’s drama Pickpocket stars a man who supports himself and his family by lifting wallets and handbags. Troubled by the ethics of his profession, he contemplates finding a more reputable line of work. During this moral quandary, he steals from a man who might be having an affair with his daughter. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide
There is seven of them, aged 23 to 60: a man, women, mothers, girls, they come from different backgrounds.
All speak openly, quite frankly, with courage.
Each one of them shares his story, his emotions and memories.
Each story is unique, but universal in its way. Everyone tells the silences,
the feeling of guilt of the victim, the lack of points of reference, the cowardice of the whole family, the tragic role of the mother, the denial, the feeling of being alone in the world.
The film shows the mechanisms of incest and that one can not understand it
without considering the whole family.
The documentary also wants to transmit a message of hope with these men and women who were able to rebuild themselves.
Their stories offer a helping hand to those who, like them once, suffocate under a blanket of silence.
“David Bordwell” wrote:
Warnings about gay sadomasochism to the contrary, this doesn’t offer much you can’t see in Warhol or Waters. What it does provide is three shots. The first, nearly 45 minutes long, provides virtually a one-act play about a motel tryst between a businessman and his teenage lover. The second shot shifts us to an anonymous sexual encounter that is admittedly fairly off-putting, but handled with the mix of casual framing and off-kilter suspense we find in, again, Warhol. The very last shot is very brief and puts the other two into a new context. Continue reading
Synopsis: One Monday morning Katya, Vika and Zhanna learn that there will be a school disco, their first disco, on the coming Saturday night. The girls feverishly start preparing for the event, which rapidly becomes the most important moment ever in their universe, and looks like the ideal way to escape their daily lives…