Showing posts with label russia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label russia. Show all posts

9 March 2015

Blu-ray Review - Leviathan (2014)

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Artificial Eye
Rating: 15
Andrey Zvyagintsev
Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Aleksey Serebryakov
Release: 9th March 2015
Buy: Leviathan [Blu-ray]

Leviathan is the film Vladimir Putin and his cronies don’t want you to see. It was however funded partly by money from the Russian ministry of culture, and it’s leader Vladimir Medinsky has admitted openly he dislikes the film. He claims it’s not a real depiction of Russian life and the director is more interested in “fame, red carpets and statuettes".

There are numerous reasons why the Russian government would have disdain for the film. First and foremost it depicts the Russian government as corrupt beyond repair in a Kafkaesque comedy of corruption. One of the biggest criticisms of the film by Medinsky is that the Russian coastal villagers are depicted as “swearing vodka-swigging humans” and given the story of the government stealing the home of the main character Koyla (Aleksey Serebryakov), it’s certainly believable he might be a bit “sweary” and might be drinking more than his fair share of Russia’s biggest export.

The themes of the film are as heavyweight as you might expect from the Russians, they are not known for their lightweight entertainment after all. The title of course comes from the Bible, and is the name of a giant sea monster in the Old Testament, obviously in this context the monster is the oppressive government. It’s also a loose retelling of the book of Job which some cineastes might know also inspired the Coen Brothers A Serious Man.

Andrey Zvyagintsev has made one of the most relentlessly bleak films to come out in a long time. However, despite the bleakness is also has an extremely dark sense of humour, the circumstances as so bleak it becomes absurd in the way Franz Kafka is very funny. Mikhail Krichman shot the film and some of the imagery is truly haunting, Zvyagintsev claims Krichman learned his craft from reading American Cinematographer. Aleksei Serebryakov as the lead Koyla gives one of the most heartbreaking performances in years, despite being at times rather unsympathetic. The arc he goes though is a perfect blend of biblical doom with aspects of the struggle Josef K goes through in The Trial.

It might not be a lightweight watch, and it’s a lengthy one at 2 hours and 20 minutes, but it’s a feat of work that should be seen. It’s an important film that depicts the issues that face the normal people of Russia under the tyrant that is Vladimir Putin. It has an ambition that is extremely rare in world cinema today, alongside a willing to tackle some deep questions. It should certainly be congratulated for that.

Ian Schultz

5 October 2013

Break Loose (Vosmerka) - TIFF 2013 review

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Release Date:
7,8,13th September 2013(TIFF)
Aleksey Uchitel
Vilma Kutaviciute, Aleksey Mantsygin, Alexander Novyn

Russia circa 1999 (perhaps even now?) looks like a dangerous place, a place where men are men and looking at someone the wrong way can result in carnage. At least in Aleksey Uchital’s Break Loose,  a high-testosterone tragedy that documents the concepts of family, poverty, and cyclical violence around a Russian Ghetto at the turn of the millennium.

The first and most prominent thing about Uchital’s delve into the grungy atmosphere of Russian casuals is the inherent violence of that circle. Violence is rife and actually egged on in both the professional and non-professional lives of this band of brothers. With a keen sense of the injustice of fighting, Uchital professes at first what could be a romancing, but is ultimately a condemning of Clockwork Orange gang violence. Fighting here receives a sort of make-over, becoming as fierce, deadly, and frankly distressing as it really is through the raw and honest quality to both the choreography of the fight sequences and the shadowy grit of Alexander Demyanenko and Yuri Klimenko’s cinematography. This edgy understanding of colour and camera movement relays the alleys of ghetto life in turgid shadows and switches to circus lights for the garish ensemble of a tacky nightclub. This nightclub play a prominent part as the setting for the gangster, thug, femme fatale love triangle that threatens to rip the young thugs’ hopes.

The film manages not only to drag you into being audience to the uncomfortable overt masculinity of its characters, but also to a kind of cultural cross section of Russian life at a certain time. The revolt of working class being contained and policed by working class men is surely one of the tragic strains of the film alongside the foul solvency of arguably degenerate businessmen. So, from a point of view, there’s an interesting communist dialogue at work here.

The entire cast are fantastic, each successfully adding to a painting of Russian life caught in the throes of a daunting cycle: violent people lead violent lives. This is perhaps the message of a feature doomed from its very beginning to end in tragedy. The further the film’s hero strives against his destiny, the deeper he sinks into its unrelenting grip. His hopes of running away with Vilma Kutavichute’s femme fatale are constantly in the shadow of her gangster boyfriend, his friends hold him to a life of tradition and family whilst his job tells him to stay in line. All of these forces mount to breath-taking finale which sees revenge and love clash.

A stunning fast-paced and brutal tragedy set against the backdrop of the Russian millennium. Break Loose is a stirring exploration of the limits of control and what people will do to escape them.


Scott Clark

11 November 2012

Outskirts DVD Review

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Outskirts is a early Soviet film which is post-Potemkin and was made in 1933. It was directed by noted Soviet director Boris Barnet who has another film By The Bluest of the Seas that is also getting reissued by Mr. Bongo films.

The film tells the story of this Russian town and it’s inhabitants in the 1910s on the cusp of World War 1. The film has a very loose collection of episodes. The most affective scene is the very harrowing war scenes which Kubrick must have studied for his masterpiece Paths of Glory. The least successful aspects of the film are it’s structure which all over the place. It also anticipates some of Samuel Fuller’s war films in uncompromising work at warfare. It’s all about the mirror of the conflict on war on the homefront and frontlines. This is very effectively done near the end which innovative editing of the soldiers and fast cuts back and forth to a bunch of workers making shoes.

The film is noted for it’s use of sound which at times are horribly done, the sound effects are used in a humours matter and really distracts from the images on screen. The film would be much greater if it was done a lot more seriously because the film’s subject matter is so serious. It’s also not done in the way something like Life is Beautiful, which has a pitch perfect juxtaposition of tragedy and comedy.

The film has some brilliant cinematography, which is always expected with Soviet cinema. The scenes of the trenchs are amazing and some amazing landscape photography as well. Despite some previously mention moments the editing is very poor which is sad cause the film could really use some more focus and strange because after all modern film editing owes everything to the Soviets.

Overall it’s really interesting piece of early Soviet cinema but I think it would have been a much greater had it been Silent; you don’t hear that one everyday.

Ian Schultz


Rating: U
UK Release Date: 12 November 2012
Directed ByBoris Barnet
CastAleksandr ChistyakovSergei Komarov , Yelena Kuzmina
Buy Outskirts: DVD

20 December 2010

Watch HITLER KAPUT, A Russian Comedy which has Jean Claude Van Damme in it (apparently!)

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source TWITCH
In the traditional words of Monty Python..."Now For Something Completely Different!" Well it is if your the mussels From Brussels Jean Claude Van Damme. If you thought JVD's career had already slipped down into shitcreek wellits becomeing a real silly laughing matter now as he's been casted into Russian slapstick comedy(in 3d) Ржевский против Наполеона (HILTER KAPUT)!
Formerly called Napoleon Kaput Van Damme is to play a French Soldier under Napoleon's command but there isnt a still or a clip yet to prove he's actually in it apart from a clip from MTV Russia (sorry english subs) annoucing he will be in it.
Either Jean Claude Van Damme has plenty money to waste or hes in a dire desperation needing the cash this is total rank and any hope of reconciling his career will go out the window even if he does appear in Expendables 2. There's more chance of Mel Gibson winning forgiveness than JVD making a decent movie ever again after this!!!

Trailer and MTV Russian clip after the break....

26 November 2010

Walk The Solid Ground Again in Russian PA Short RED DOG

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RED DOG from Los de Lito Films on Vimeo.

source QuietEarth
Everyday I check for new exciting trailers and news to share with you guys, one thing i really like to dig out is shorts and on todays search I found this one RED DOG. The short movie is from Russia and is set in a post apocalyptic earth where people survive underwater (not as sub-mariner, though that might have cool though!). The film is set only a few years into the future and for years humans have adapted to life underwater until 2 men decided to go onland but its been so long would the barren land welcome the human race back?

23 August 2010

Second Trailer From Sergei Bodrov's YAKUZA'S GIRL (Doch yakudzy)

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Source Twitch
A second trailer for Sergei Bodrov's YAKUZA GIRL (Doch Yakudzy) has another trailer which looks alot more polished than trailer one but it's just as impressive as the debut trailer, simply because it has Japanese action director/star Tak Sakaguchi in it!!!

8 August 2010

Ukrainian Mayhem in YAKUZA'S GIRL(Doch Yakudzy).

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source TWITCH
We do like our oddball movies at Cinehouse HQ and Yakuza's Girl (Doch yakudzy) is certainly one of them. This movie is an combine Ukrainian/Japanese made movie which  pairs the director of Mongol Sergey Bodrov with the Mutant Girls Squad director/actor Tak Sakaguchi.

The movie can only be described as a gangster/yakuza comedy where the daughter of a yakuza goes missing and for some weird reason she ends up in Ukraine (possibly Russia)!!!

I dont really know much more than that, so check out the trailer after the break...

26 June 2010

10-10-10 The World will become a dark place, Trailer for DARK WORLD 3D

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source Twitch
3D Seems to be everywhere personally I dont see the fantastic experience's we keep hearing about, maybe I've just chosen the worst movies to sample the '3-d' experience or I just the film studio's ploy to rip us all off more especially when the standard ticket is very pricey, I'm not paying £10 plus £3 for the glasses, anyway thats off my chest! Below is the first full trailer for Russian 3D Fantasy DARKWORLD.

The movie will be the first 3D Russian movie with real actors in it which sees a group of students awake some ancient magical being whilst on a antropoligist exepidition. Confused dot com here folks there also something about a meteorite shield as well and I know I had a dig at 3d as im not yet conviced after 5 3d made movies but watching this trailer I think we can it does look better if it's in 3d instead of 2d (reality).
have a gander let me know what you think....

4 June 2010

Second Trailer for Russian Anime EXAELLA

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source QuietEarth
Away back late January I posted the first trailer for the Russian Anime EXAELLA an amazing looking animation which even the masters of anime would be proud of. Thanks to Quietearth below you can now enjoy the second trailer which you can watch after the break....

25 February 2010

trailer for Russian Artic Drama Kak ya provyol etim letom (How I Ended This Summer)

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source TwitchFilm

Below is an trailer for the Russian movie Kak ya provyol etim letom  (How I Ended This Summer).

The movie is directed by Aleksei Popogrebsky and was one of the many premieres shown at the Berlin Film Festival this year and because of that the trailer below has English Subtitles.
The movie is about A polar station on a desolate island in the Arctic Ocean. Sergei, a seasoned meteorologist, and Pavel, a recent college graduate, are spending months in complete isolation on the once strategic research base. Pavel receives an important radio message and is still trying to find the right moment to tell Sergei, when fear, lies and suspicions start poisoning the atmosphere.

This is movie is on the borderline of nearly been a thriller due to its edginess but what ever you grade it does look good. I dont have any information on when the movie will be out in Russia or even if it'll get any play outside Russia either. 

16 January 2010

JOLLY FELLOWS in frocks: Trailer for Russian movie Veselchaki

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source Twitchfilm
They used to say for many years countries like Russia despite saying they where a very "opened" state, peoples from minorities as well religious and sexuality would have never have happened. Roll on to 21 st century the Russian movie industry has now really opened up covering areas never even dreamed been filmed until now; Prostitution, hippies, drug addicts, skinheads and now homosexuality.

Below is the trailer for Veselchaki (Весельчаки) or in English Jolly Fellows. The movie covers the difficulties of been gay in Russia, it is an comedy but does have a big drama element to it as well. It covers the emotions and killling of one of the "girls" (the main characters are all drag queens as well) by homophobes.
Still a long way to go but a big thumbs up from Cinehouse to Russian movie industry its time to move on and enjoy life and of course movies!!!

15 November 2009

Teaser Trailer for (Кандагар) Kanadahar

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Russia these days seems to be making a name for itself with big budget sci-fi/fantasy/horror blockbusters such as Nightwatch and Daywatch. Its also nice to see that they can make real drama movies as well and here is a teaser trailer for on of them, Kandahar (Кандагар).

Based on a true story about seven Russian pilots (only five in the movie) who in 1985 had their plane hijacked by the Taliban in Afghanistan. There captors imprisoned the men for over a year and subjected them to torture,brutality, starvation and even attempts to convert the pilots to Islam. Somehow the pilots where able to neutralize the Taliban captors and escaped on there aircraft.

To make the movie as authentic and true to the story the filmmakers invited Vladimir Sharpatov, the captain of the crew, and used his diares and memories in the movie.

Director of Kandahar is Andrey Kavun, with Vladimir Mashkov, who stars in this movie. Kandahar opens in Russian Cinemas on 4th February, 2010.
source TWITCHFILM | Permlink