Tuesday, February 03, 2004

The Return review

Stanley Kauffmann reviews "The Return" in this week's New Republic (scroll down). He says the film unfairly leaves too much unexplained, but that the young actors Vladimir Garin (who died shortly after the film's completion) and Ivan Dobronravov carry the film. Kauffmann calls their performances "further instances of phenomenal acting by very young people."

Monday, February 02, 2004

New York, New York

I was lucky to catch the New York Public Library's "Russia Engages the World, 1453 - 1825" exhibit on its final day. Some of the highlights included a first edition of Pushkin's Prisoner of the Caucauses (Kavkazkii Plenik), a large wall map of Russia from Napoleon's invasion, numerous illuminated manuscripts and a pornographic pop-up book featuring Catherine the Great.

Also, the Russian film "The Return" ("Vozvrashchenie" ) opens in New York on Friday (check out the trailer). The film, the first directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev, has received wide praise. It won the Golden Lion at the 2003 Venice International Film Festival (Zvyagintsev was awarded the "Lion of the Future award" as best first-time director) and was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Foreign Language Film. Is this part of a widespread revival in Russian film? The real question is will "The Return" make it to DC, or will I have to go back to New York?