Today sees the launch of the London Film Festival, followed shortly afterward by the launch of the London Russian Film Festival. This guest post by John Riley gives details of the Russian films that Londoners can look forward to over the next few weeks:
With the London Film Festival (13-28 October) immediately followed by the Russian Film Festival (29 Oct – 7 November), Metropolitan Russocinephiliacs are well catered for in the next few weeks. Please go to http://www.bfi.uk//lff for LFF details of venues, times etc, and to http://academia-rossica.org/en/film/russian-film-festival/4th-russian-film-festival for the RFF.
A quick run down for the films in the LFF is as follows:
Silent Souls (Ovsyanki)
A mystic requiem that combines a funeral journey, a forgotten culture, and an evolving relationship.
The Light Thief (Svet-Ake)
In the remote south of Kyrgyzstan, a popular and kindly electrician helps his impoverished rural community access the electricity they can’t afford to the annoyance of an opportunistic politician.
A young truck driver returns to his hometown in search of a bride, in an unusual and award-winning take on life in provincial Russia.
How I Ended This Summer (Kak ya provyol etim letom)
A taut psychological drama set against a striking polar landscape from the director of Koktebel
My Joy (Schastye moe)
Winner of the Best Direction award at Sochi, this debut feature by acclaimed documentarist Sergei Loznitsa provides an arresting and powerful account of a journey through contemporary Russia.
Book of Masters (Kniga masterov)
Disney’s Russian production comes complete with a fairytale princess, a magic stone and some sinister dark riders.
Man With a Movie Camera (Chelovek s kinoapparatom)
A new restoration of Vertov’s classic documentary
Pudana: Last of the Line (Sukunsa viimeinen)
Neka is a Nenets, an indigenous people from the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia. In the 1980s she is taken from her home and placed in a Russian boarding school where she is forced to change her name and speak a foreign tongue.
Also, films not from Russia but with a Russian theme include:
An award-winning Belgian film, based on actual events and vividly depicting the life of an illegal Russian immigrant who is held in a detention centre.
Portrait of the Fighter as a Young Man (Potretul luptatorului la tinerete)
Constantin Popescu follows his new wave portmanteau film Tales from the Golden Age with an epic about the Soviet invasion of Romania in 1944.
The Temptation of St Tony (Püha Tõnu kiusamine)
A densely referential Estonian-Swedish-Finnish film about a middle manager’s mid-life crisis.
Short films include:
A Russian mother and daughter try inconspicuously to travel on a bus filled with Georgian evacuees while under fire from Russian forces.
In the third film of her ‘inverted perspective’ trilogy, Inger Lise Hansen turns her camera on north-west Russia, creating monumental and uncanny vistas from barren wastelands.
Experimental film. As if suspended in limbo, or perhaps deep in rehearsal, five performers exchange glances, gestures and utter strange sounds.
The One Who Was Different
Animation. A moon girl’s eyes reflect either falling stars, snow or childhood dreams that didn’t come true.
A programme of short children’s animated films includes the following three titles:
Latvian children’s film. It’s a wonderful day for making wishes and going on a magical journey.
Masha and the Bear: How They Met
Short children’s film. Is the bear up to a visit from Masha?
Short children’s film from Latvia. A family of city-dwelling pigs arrive in the countryside and threaten to disrupt the way of life that little boar and friends have become used to.
Finally, the Raindance Festival at the Apollo West End has a couple of Russian films
6 October at 3.45pm
Vidrimasgor, or The Story of My Space (Vidrimasgor, ili istoriya moyego kosmosa)
The residents of a St Petersburg communal flat look outside to see that something has changed…
10 October 11.30am
One Foot on the Ground.
Short film. A promising young Moldovan basketball player comes to terms with the break up of the Soviet Union
Society for Co-operation in Russian & Soviet Studies
320 Brixton Road London SW9 6AB
Tel: 020 7274 2282
Fax: 020 7274 3230