Films From Russia

From its explosive beginning, Ilya Khrzhanovsky's 4 will satisfy those with an eye for the imaginative and an ear for the industrial. This unique and enigmatic Tiger Award-winning debut is based on a story by controversial author Vladimir Sorokin, who co-wrote the screenplay with Khrzhanovsky. The film employs an evocative and original visual language to convey a confounding vision of contemporary... Read more
"A Russian man regularly travels through the towns and villages of Japan. He observes and listens to the conversations of ordinary Japanese people, looks at the cities, reads about the history of the country. Every time he goes back to Russia his thoughts are dominated by what he has seen. He has to break free of the dreams of Japan. But they are not figments of his imagination. The Russian travel... Read more
"A bracingly fast-paced, broad-brush allegorical satire of 1990s Russia as a near-lawless dystopia of greedy immorality." - Hollywood Reporter ... Once a Soviet war hero, 'The Major' now spends his days quietly in a St. Petersburg boiler room, shovelling coal and working on his novel. But coal isn't the only thing stoking the flames of his furnace - a local hitman stops by regularly to drop off th... Read more
Adam's Rib is a jewel of a film whose charm sneaks up on you. Soon you find yourself wanting to spend hours and hours in the com­pany of the people that the director exposes with such delicate and refined touches. Soviet cinema is not known for its intimate human insights, yet Krichtofovitch has returned to a vein mined with such success by the great Rus­sian novelists, and has told a story with u... Read more
"An inventive, heart-rending reflection on idealism gone awry … a visual feast." – Hollywood Reporter ... January 1934, and a group of hopeful young intellectuals have travelled from Moscow to the far reaches of the Siberian tundra to bring the tribes that live there into the glorious family of the Soviet revolution. Initially greeted with bemusement, it's not long until the troupe's starry-eyed f... Read more
In winter the Arctic fishing settlement of Shoina is blanketed by polar night; in summer, endless windstorms cover the settlement in sand. This film is a metaphysical reflection about Russia: the role of the state, endless hardships, the freedom longed for by millions of Russians and their lingering, paradoxical reluctance to be free. The people of Shoina, and its eerie land and seascapes, are fil... Read more
"In its lawlessness and chaos, the Russia of 1984 was every bit as grotesque as anything dreamed up in the realms of modernist fiction." - Screen Daily ... Set on the eve of Perestroika, Cargo 200 reveals a society contaminated by violence, where rape and kidnapping are rife and men drink themselves into vodka stupors. A lunatic police captain takes the law into his own hands, kidnapping the daugh... Read more
Family relations intermingle with ethnic tensions in this stunning, disturbing debut from the young Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov. ... Set in the late 1990s, in a Jewish enclave within a mostly-Muslim region of the Caucasus, Closeness centres on Ilana (Darya Zhovner), a free-spirited, tomboyish young woman who works in her father’s garage. But her family is rocked when her younger brother Dav... Read more
... ... There are no food queues in Cloud Heaven; no demonstrations against a tyrannical despot, nor even the slightest hint of a 'people-power' coup. The Russia of Cloud Heaven is far more mundane and hum-drum than that, Ifs a desolate suburb on the outskirts of Moscow on a drab, despondent Sunday There's nowhere to go, nothing to do, the only topic of conversa­tion, if one could be bothered, is ... Read more
Reviews some of the work of the Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov, whose experiments with conditioned reflexes paved the way to a better understanding of human and animal behaviour. Demonstrates difference between instinct and reflex condition. ... Read more
A young man who is born to happiness is foiled when his over-zealous parents buy him a contrabass (double bass). Will he ever escape its oppressive influence and know happiness once again? From the director of Poste Restante (MIFF 2001). ... Read more
“Why does the wind blow? To cover our tracks, so no-one knows we're still alive.” This second instalment in the epic, special-effects-congested, Russian trilogy sees writer-director Timur Bekmambetov of the award-winning Night Watch return in full force with an ancient battle between light and dark. Battling to hold together an age-old truce that balances the forces of good and evil, Anton (from t... Read more
"More arthouse than grindhouse... spiced with a mordant sense of humor." - Twitch ... Filmmaker Pavel Ruminov's first feature ushers in a new age in contemporary Russian horror films. His constantly moving camera prowls a dank and barren Moscow, the perfect backdrop for this spooky-as-hell ghost story.Three young women, murdered by their mother, return from the dead to take revenge. Anyone who com... Read more
Filmed in a single take, Alexander Sokurov's remarkable [Russian Ark] captured the imaginations of film-goers everywhere. This narrator of Russian culture and spirit takes us back to St Petersburg in his beautiful and aurally inspired[ Diary of St Petersburg - Mozart . Requiem]. "The first night of a performance of Mozart's Requiem staged by Alexander Sokurov, with the Rossica Choir from St Peters... Read more
Real life characters make up the cast of Dolce. They include celebrated Japanese author Toshio Shimao, who died in 1986, his widow and their daughter. The film serves as a framework to underline deep insights into the family's history. The main narrative line is comprised of the lyrical monologues of the heroine. Miho Shimao (the writer's wife), who lives with her handicapped daughter, avoiding st... Read more
"A wise and impeccably controlled drama that finds Russian helmer Andrey Zvyagintsev in outstanding form." - Variety ... Elena dotes on her selfish, wealthy husband Vladimir and lives a lonely life surrounded by luxury in a sterile, ultra-modern penthouse. But when the aging Vladimir informs Elena that he is altering his will to leave his money to his spoiled, boozy daughter from a previous marria... Read more
“Good doesn't exist, but evil does.” ... Goethe's version of the Faust legend gets a dense and idiosyncratic reinterpretation at the hands of Russian master Aleksander Sokurov (Russian Ark) ... Soaked in an intoxicating cascade of imagery reminiscent of the Dutch masters, the story of one man's bargain with the devil has been described by the director as “a reading of what remains between the line... Read more
A study of the natural beauty and rich textures of the Earth's surface seen from space. Accompanied by the music of Gennadiy Gladkov. ... Read more
A pastoral fantasy of a world which never existed, but remains an ideal in many people's hopes. ... Read more
A short burst of hilarity. The three little pigs have an unexpected guest one cold winter night. A colourfully energetic animation. ... Read more
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