Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Russian Film Festival

Autumn's always a busy time for me: immediately after the London Film Festival, there'll be the Russian Film Festival

Rather than try manically to blog as we go I'll try to put a bit of perspective to both events. But a heads up for a couple of RFF strands.

They'll be marking the centenary of Tolstoy's death with a few films, including a complete War and Peace (Война и мир) - presumably the proper widescreen print rather than the TV pan-and-scan that occasionally turns up! and, even rarer, Vengerov's Living Corpse (Живой труп, 1968). Should be fascinating to see this after the LFF's revival of Ozep's silent version a couple of years ago.

The animation strand is, as usual, strong, with retrospectives of Garry Bardin and Irina Evteeva.

Bardin's dark 1990 fable Grey Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood (Серый волк энд Красная Шапочка) was on Channel 4. Once. About 15 years ago. Probably at about 3am. So it'll be interesting to see how he deals with Andersen's The Ugly Duckling, (Гадкий Утенок, illustrated above) especially as, keeping fine old traditions intact, it was banned from Russian TV.

Among Evteva's work is a version of Pushkin's Little Tragedies (Маленькие Трагедии) which again should prove an interesting compare-and-contrast with Mikhail Shveitser's 1979 effort. Evteeva races through in 38 minutes what took Shveitser (as so often in his career) a lumbering 240 minutes. A propos Tolstoy, Shveitser's Kreutzer Sonata always seems longer than its 158 minutes, though it might have been nice to include it in the festival as a little nod to Oleg Yankovsky, who died earlier this year. I've not seen his 209-minute Resurrection (Воскресение) from 1961. But there are so many Tolstoy adaptations to choose from...

Anyway, back to what is in the festival, there's a whole load more, of course focusing on recent films, so I'll report back in due course.

No comments: