Russian Resurrection Film Festival 2009
This year organisers are ramping up the fun and have designed a program in direct response to popular demand. All the audience feedback forms have been put to good use, and after much anticipation, they are extremely chuffed to announce our 2009 film line-up.
Comedy. You wanted it, and the festival will be delivering it. In fact they are going one step further, presenting the Comedy & Musical Gems Retrospective, featuring the best of Russian Comedy, Musicals, and Musical Comedies from the past 70 years.
This year the festival will also be presenting the best of New Russian Cinema, with “new” being the keyword! On showcase will be not one, but two world premiere features. Do not miss Karen Shakhnazarov’s Ward No. 6 and Nikolay Lebedev’s Soundtrack of Passion. And with UNESCO announcing 2009 as the year of Nikolai Gogol, be sure to see Taras Bulba.
In 2009, Russian Resurrection will for the very first time present a Critic’s Award for Best Film. But you too, can be a part of all the voting experience, by voting online (www.filmink.com.au/vote) for the Filmink Audience Award for Best Film.
Following are some highlights of the festival – let the Resurrection continue!
This beautifully filmed, colourful musical is sure to be a festival favourite.
Soviet Russia in the 1950’s is the setting for this stunning new musical from acclaimed director Valery Todorovsky. Mels (Anton Shagin) is a member of the Komsomol, the youth wing of the Communist Party. Polina is a Stilyagi or Hipster, a group of youths who stand out from the rest of their grey dressed comrades with their flashy colourful clothes and love of jazz and American culture. Whilst on a “raid” to break up a Hipster party, Mels chases Polina (Oksana Akinshina, Mothgames), gets thrown in a pond by her and immediately falls in love.
As Mels starts to hang out with the local Hipsters we are taken on a song and dance extravaganza that explores what people will do for love; the love of music, the love of freedom. As Todorovsky has said “Things considered normal in other countries need to be won here through struggle. There were times when walking around in coloured socks was a heroic deed. And this is not a problem of today, but an eternal problem.”
Admiral is the new offering from Andrei Kravchuk who directed the charmingly intimate The Italian (2005). Admiral is a love story set in one of the most turbulent times in Russian history 1916 – 1920.
Aleksandr Vasil’evich Kolchak is a Rear Admiral in the Russian Navy during World War I who is in love with Anna Timireva, the wife of his junior officer and friend Sergei Timirev. This is a historical film of epic proportions reminiscent of Dr Zhivago (1965), alternating between the grandeur of turn of the century Russia and first-rate action sequences. Kolchak is a naval hero, a man who leads his men with prayer and personal courage.
When Tsar Nicholas II abdicates during the Revolution of 1917 he resigns his commission and eventually becomes the Supreme Commander of exiled Russian forces in Siberia during the Russian Civil War. This big budget epic has become one of the most controversial films of recent years, spurring much debate as to the role that Kolchak played in Russian history and the film’s themes of honour, patriotism, religious devotion, and the triumph of love over all catastrophes.
Wild Field tells the story of Mitya, the only doctor on a remote outpost in the mysterious and poetic Kazakh steppe. With barely any medical supplies, a handful of herbs and great compassion, he deals with a series of increasingly bizarre medical situations thrown at him by the locals. From being stuck in the middle of a shoot-out, to a man struck by lightning, to a cow who has swallowed a tablecloth - the detached, resourceful Mitya and his damaged patients battle the harsh natural elements arising from the silence of the steppes. The isolation, the loneliness of their existence is hilarious and tragic at the same time. And just who is keeping watch over Mitya from the distant hills? Directed by Mikhail Kalatozishvili, the grandson of the great Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov (The Cranes are Flying, 1958) Wild Field is Russian cinema at its best. This quiet, reflective, existential film serves as a timely reminder that no matter where you live, life is chaotic, uncertain and although terrifying at times, still essentially beautiful.
Russian Resurrection Film Festival
Dates and Venues:
Melbourne 19–26/08/09 Palace Cinema Como, South Yarra
Sydney 21/08 – 02/09/09 Chauvel Cinema, Paddington
Brisbane 03-09/09/09 Palace Centro Cinema, Fortitude Valley
Adelaide 09-16/09/09 Palace Nova Eastend Cinema, Adelaide
Perth 10-16/09/09 Cinema Paradiso, Northbridge
Canberra 17-20/09/09 Greater Union, Manuka
Official Site: www.russianresurrection.com
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