Tuesday, 10 March 2009

2-ASSA-2 (2АССА2) -Trailer

Director: Sergei Solov’ev
Scriptwriter: Sergei Solov’ev
Cinematography: Iurii Klimenko
Art Director: Sergei Ivanov
Sound: Pavel Ivushkin
Editing: Rinat Khalilullin
Music: Sergei Shnurov
Cast: Tat’iana Drubich, Sergei Makovetskii, Iurii Bashmet, Aleksandr Bashirov, Anna Solov’eva, Olesia Sudzilovskaia, Sergei Shnurov, Ekaterina Volkova
Producer: Sergei Solov’ev
Production company: Cinema-Line

Sergei Solov’ev: 2-ASSA-2 (2009)reviewed by Lilya Kaganovsky © 2009

Sergei Solov’ev’s 2-ASSA-2 opens and closes with sequences taken from his original classic cult film ASSA (1987). In the opening shots, we once again see the singer Viktor Tsoy of the rock group Kino take the stage to perform his famous “We Wait for Change” [My zhdem peremen]. The camera pushes in on Tsoy’s face and suddenly there’s a background shift—and now we see Tsoy performing at a rock concert at the Zelenyi Theater and millions of Kino fans holding up lit matches. The year, we are reminded, is 1987; the place, Moscow, USSR. The power of this scene, when we first saw it in the late eighties as the closing moments of ASSA, lay in part with the performer and performance, with a new attention to youth culture, and also to the possibility of change. Though many of the film’s characters did not survive to the end, the film nevertheless offered the viewer a glimmer of hope, a kind of renewal for a nation poised on the edge of an abyss.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Aleksei Balabanov: War - Война (2002)

Directed by Aleksei Balabanov
Produced by Sergei Selyanov
Written by Aleksei Balabanov
Starring Ian Kelly
Aleksei Chadov
Music by Vyacheslav Butusov
Cinematography Sergei Astakhov
Editing by Marina Lipartiya
Distributed by Intercinema Art Agency
Release date(s) March 14, 2002
Running time 120 minutes
Country Russia
Language Russian

War (Война) is a 2002 Russian film by Aleksei Balabanov about the realities of the Second Chechen War starring Aleksei Chadov and Ian Kelly.

Cult Russian director Balabanov's Voina is likely to have a parallel existence—revered as a tribute to the late actor Sergei Bodrov Jr and despised as a piece of nationalist, warmongering propaganda. Andrew James Horton unravels the film in Kinoeye:

That Aleksei Balabanov's latest film Voina (War, 2002) will have good festival mileage is almost a foregone conclusion. After all, his previous films have all been festival hits, despite questions about the director's increasing nationalism, the film is partially in English, which will aid international exposure, and Voina is a tribute to its one of its supporting actors, the late Sergei Bodrov Jr, who died in an avalanche in the Caucusus on 20 September 2002 at the age of 31.

Barely a month after Bodrov's death, though, and the subject of Balabanov's film, the war in Chechnya, has been thrown into the international limelight by the dramatic hostage-taking drama at a Moscow theatre orchestrated by Chechens demanding an end to the war. With the controversial end to the siege, which ended in nearly 130 hostages being killed by the gas used by special forces to immobilise the captors, many commentators outside of Russia, and a rather smaller number within, have questioned Vladimir Putin's strong-man tactics in dealing with the republic and called for more dialogue to take place. Putin, then, will in some respects welcome Balabanov's film, as it is a plea for uncompromising milatarism in dealing with the Chechen people. ...

Aleksey Chadow won a prize as best actor at Montréal World Film Festival in 2002.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Eldar Riazanov: The Garage - ГАРАЖ (1979)

Garage (1979)

Director: Eldar Ryazanov
Writers: Emil Braginskiy, Eldar Ryazanov
Stars: Liya Akhedzhakova, Iya Savvina, Svetlana Nemolyaeva

Garage (1979)

The members of a Soviet cooperative have pooled their money to have a badly needed parking garage built. But it turns out that the garage will have four fewer spaces than planned. In brutal Soviet style, the four least-well connected members are evicted from the cooperative in a mock vote, losing their entire investment. But one member, Malayeva, does the unthinkable. As if taking on the entire corrupt Soviet system, she quixotically locks down the meeting room and throws away the key. Chaos reigns through the night until the privileged are forced to negotiate for the first time in their lives. >>>