Tag: Russian


Salyut-7

April 13th, 2018 — 2:31am

Screened at 2018 San Francisco Film Festival

Unknown opening date in USA

***

Salyut-7

We know this movie is based on some real events that happened in the Russian Space Program in the 1980s, but we believe it is mostly from the Russian creative team led by director, Kilim Spenko. It is in Russian with subtitles 

His story shows two Russian cosmonauts( (Lyubov Aksyonova, Ilya Andryukov) who get into dangerous trouble when they go up in space to rescue an unmanned Salyut-7 satellite that is having mechanical problems. There is an explosion, ice, oxygen problems and it is not clear whether even one of them might survive. This is a dramatic space thriller that reminds us of the dangers involved in working at the frontiers of space (2018).

 

 

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama, Foreign

Loveless

February 8th, 2018 — 9:15am

**

Loveless

When a filmmaker decides to make a two-hour and seven minute film in Russian (with the subtitles of course), he has to have a storyline that is going to grab and hold the audience. This movie is a Russian finalist and is nominated for the Best Foreign Film of the Year. It featured Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov and Marina Vasilyeva and was directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev who wrote the screenplay with Oleg Negin. It was a beautifully made movie which examined marriage and how it can fail. It remind us how a destructive marital relationship can devastate a child who may feel that he has no place to go especially when the parents don’t show the caring and love a child deserves.

Early in the movie we see the child become literally lost and the audience is taken on the long search for him. It seems that we experienced every rock that is lifted, every brush that is moved aside and every deserted building, which is explored. We are impressed that there is the mobilization of volunteers to search for the boy We are also led to believe that the parents are desperate to find the lost child, although we really don’t understand the dynamics behind why they should care when we saw how they didn’t really give a hoot about him before he became lost. Of course we understand how guilt can completely takeover in situations like this. But guilt is not love. The title and theme of this movie is “Loveless.” We are following people who had a limited capacity for love for each other and even for their next partners. We get a glimpse of the dynamics of where this might originate in one of the characters. (Would it surprise you to learn it has something to do with the mother?) In situations like this the audience usually will not like or identify with the main characters. So we’re going to need something more than beautiful photography, a skillful sound background and a little suspense. After all, 127 minutes is a good chunk of time. We felt in the end, the film didn’t deliver. (2017)

Comment » | 2 Stars, Drama, Foreign

Exporting Raymond

March 23rd, 2011 — 7:19am

*****

Exporting Raymond sp If you know anything about the Successful TV series  Everybody Loves Raymond , you know that the co-creator writer/producer of this classic comedy show that ran 9 seasons was Phil Rosenthal. So much of the humor of it came from the observations, sensibilities, family experience and sense of humor of this young man. Therefore when SONY pictures and the Russian TV network decided they wanted to make a Russian version of this hit TV series, they decided to invite Phil Rosenthal to come to Russia and advise the writers, directors and producers  how to pull it off. However, SONY also thought it would be a good idea if Rosenthal took a film crew with him to document the entire process. The result is a hilarious, insightful and very fascinating look at Russian television, Russian family life and the Russian sense of humor or lack thereof. It also shows how all of the above in many ways are quite different from it’s American counterpart but yet beneath it all are quite similar. The success of this very funny documentary (how often do you see a funny doc?) is Phil Rosenthal. He is not only the writer/producer/director and star of this masterpiece but it is his sense of humor and timing, which carries this film. He was present at our screening and claimed he had a great deal of luck and just happened to be there filming at the right moment. There were a few spontaneous encounters caught on film with Rosenthal’s parents and it was ELR all over again. The initial attempts to remake some of the original programs in Russian were wildly funny as the show was suffering in its cultural transplantation. The Russian writers, directors and involved in the making of the show were hard to believe but were quite real. There was the  humorless Russian network Director of Comedy. There was a costume designer who believed it was the purpose of a TV comedy to show great trends in fashion even when depicting a typical housewife cleaning her home. In the end Everybody Loves Kostya is now the number one TV show in Russia. This documentary will be released in April and may fall between the cracks but it should definitely not be missed. You will laugh, come away with not only a lighter heart but also with a depth of insight and respect for an incredibly complex process (2011)

Comment » | 5 Stars, Comedy, Documentary

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