Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:10 am 
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PREVIEW - See the complete review here.

A downward path in Russia laced with vodka

Bookended by brooding Philip Glass music (from his opera Akhnaten) and its vast unfriendly metallic-blue tinged landscape on a barren estuary by the Barrents sea in northwestern Russia, Leviathan is a film epic of rural corruption, family rot, and alcoholism whose Dostoevskian wastes are fringed with sardonic comedy. The overall picture, which most resembles the director's earlier The Banishment but comes together with more force and tension, is one of a working class crushed by a brutal Russian state with the Orthodox Church standing cooperatively by. Zvyagintsev's inspirations are the Book of Job for the travails of his macho, vodka-soaked auto mechanic hero Kolya (Alexei Serebriakov) and Hobbes' seventeenth-century treatise Leviathan.

Leviathan, 140 mins., debuted at Cannes in Competition, where for some time it was deemed one of the top contenders for the Palme d'Or. It wound up winning the Best Screenplay award; it is also Russia's entry into the 87th competition for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards. Its US theatrical release (NYC) is 31 December 2014.

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