Film reviews and more

Day: 17 November 2013

Russian Film Festival 2013: ‘Winter Path’ review

★★★☆☆ Despite Putin’s ‘gay propaganda’ law banning the promotion of “non-standard sexual relations”, Liubov Lvova and Sergei Taramaev’s Winter Path (2013) somehow managed to gain a distribution licence from the Ministry of Culture – though its inconspicuous release and limited […]

Russian Film Festival 2013: ‘Shame’ review

★★★★☆ Yusup Razykov’s Shame (Styd, 2013) continues the Uzbekistani director’s sociopolitical critique of Russian society with a maritime tragedy that echoes the contentious Kursk submarine catastrophe, which resulted in the deaths of 118 sailors after Russian authorities purportedly refused Western […]

Russian Film Festival 2013: ‘Pipeline’ review

★★★★☆ Winner of the Best Documentary prize at Karlovy Vary, Vitaly Mansky’s Pipeline (2013) explores the connections between those living along the route of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipeline through the abstractions and inferences of their everyday lives. Built in 1983, the […]

Russian Film Week 2013: Intimate Parts review

★★★☆☆ The debut feature from Natasha Merkulova, Intimate Parts (2013) is an acerbic and comedic exploration of attitudes towards sexuality amongst the intelligentsia of contemporary Russian society. Attempting to debunk the media conceived misconception that Russians don’t have sex, Intimate […]

Russian Film Festival 2013: ‘The Geographer Drank His Globe Away’

★★★☆☆ Winner of the Grand Prix prize at this year’s Kinotavr Film Festival, Aleksandr Veledinskiy’s The Geographer Drank His Globe Away (2013) stars Konstantin Khabenskiy (most familiar to UK audiences for his lead role in Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch) and […]

Russian Film Festival 2013: ‘Bite the Dust’ review

★★★☆☆ The only Russian film to appear at Cannes this year, Taisia Igumentseva’s debut feature Bite the Dust (2013) confounded critics typically more accustomed to the solemn social realism of post-Soviet cinema. However, behind the film’s synthetic veneer of slapstick […]

Russian Film Festival 2013: ‘Betrayal’ review

★★☆☆☆ Themes of distrust, obsession and revenge all combine to somewhat underwhelming effect in Kirill Serebrennikov’s Betrayal (2012), a downbeat and ironically passionless excursion into restrained melodrama. Blending some deft and weighty camerawork with an oblique narrative of bewildering twists […]