Following up on his shaded character study of Adolf Hitler in Moloch, acclaimed filmmaker Alexander Sokurov directs this companion piece — the second in a planned trilogy — based on the waning days of the life of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Set in 1923 in the newly created U.S.S.R., state founder Lenin (Leonid Mozgovoy) — though he is never mentioned by name — is convalescing from a stroke at age 51 in his dacha. Surrounded by watchful guards, a live-in doctor, his wife, and his sister, this formerly titanic figure lives as a virtual prisoner after the deterioration of his health. Unable to make contact with the outside world — newspapers are forcibly removed and the phone lines cut — Lenin spends much of his time puttering around in the garden or eating with his loyal wife. One day, Stalin (Sergei Razhuk) pays him a visit, even though Lenin isn’t quite sure who the future tyrant is. He presents the sick man a walking stick, mentioning that he wanted it to be engraved but Trotsky vetoed the idea. After the visit, Lenin becomes upset that he is living in luxury while his countrymen are starving. This film was screened in competition at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide Continue reading
A wife finds her life transformed after a torrid affair in this story of murder. Katia is a rather dull young woman who types manuscripts for Irina, her husband’s mother and successful writer of romance novels. Katia’s husband is a real momma’s boy. They go to Irina’s summer house to work. There Katia encounters the intense and sexy Serguei who creates passionate longings with in her. Overcome she and Serguei engage in vigorous love-making upon a windowsill where Irina sees them. Irina has a weak heart. Quiet Katia, having rediscovered the joys of sex, changes and becomes more assertive and flighty. Serguei quickly loses interest in her. Strange and deadly things begin happening at the summer house which calls the attention of a judge who is extremely familiar with Irina’s writing. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi Continue reading
This is a 2003 award-winning film about a group of old women living in an forgotten village somewhere in an endless sea of forest. They are living in poverty in these run-down wooden houses — yet they still have their spirit. One of the things that makes this movie unusual is that these old women are not caricatures per se and were played by non-professionals. They are all 3-dimensional characters of various sorts. This is so different from the usual portrayal of old women in film, where they are so often flat characters. Apparently, from the reviews posted by Russians, this is a fairly unusual modern Russian film. Honest yet uplifting (sort of) story about people who’s stories are not usually told. This film shows the negative side of the changes since the break-up and privatization of the Soviet Union. The poverty of these women is a direct result of this as they are pensioners and pensioners have not faired well. Corruption, government mismanagement, inflation, etc. Thus, the movie highlights others who have been hurt by the changes since 1991 also. Continue reading
It’s just another normal Saturday in Ukraine but Valery Kabysh, a young party official, sees panic on the faces of those in charge of the Chernobyl power station where a reactor tower has exploded. As he tries to rally together the woman he loves and his friends he finds all his attempts to get out of town are thwarted by the roots that have attached each and everyone of them to the place they live and work. All the while deadly plumes of radioactive smoke are silently rising up into the atmosphere. Continue reading
Origin of idea
Ivan the Idiot is one of the most popular personas found in Russian folklore. His story serves as the basic fable of “Ivan the Idiot”: Ivan as hero saves a sleeping beauty from the clutches of evil. However, in this rendition, “Ivan the Idiot” is told in a slightly different style than usual; it’s a cybercomic.
“Ivan the Idiot” embraces a variety of themes and influences. From classical Russian folklore to the cosmogony of Daniel Andreev, one of the most esoteric philosophers of the 20th century, there are traces of “Rambo: First Blood,” Goddard, Sterling and Gibson (the fathers of cyberpunk), popular Russian cartoons of the 1970s, and Russian parallel cinema of the 1990s. The Marx Brothers and Kuleshova also receive a nod in this new Russian avant-garde comedy. Continue reading
The film depicts the instincts and schemes of Faust, and the world that gives rise to his ideas.The film is the final part in a series of films where Alexander Sokurov explores the corrupting effects of power. The previous installments are three biographical dramas: about Adolf Hitler in Moloch from 1999, Vladimir Lenin in Taurus from 2001, and the Japanese emperor Hirohito in The Sun from 2005. Continue reading
Present days. A man and his companion go on a journey to cremate the dead body of the former beloved wife, on a riverbank in the area where they spent their honeymoon.
7 November 2010 | by Roman Pokrovskij
Started as typical Iranian movie, then forget to gain the momentum and after express straying finished as typical Scandinavian movie. It seems like an attempt to create the film about instinct tribe in the instinct or spoofed film-making tradition. But I think I can explain it’s festival popularity. Since those talks about sex are still considered as ambiguous and vulgar, “Sex in the city” have no perspective as festival movie, but when you have filmed the tribe that have such age-old tradition, and this tradition is also packed into sacramental funeral ritual, you get an highest level indulgence and also you can redistribute this indulgence between all those highbrowed festival critics. I want that the story would be continued and the Russian “central region” get such get deep developed mythology. More better then hobbit village in the NZ. Continue reading