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 Post subject: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:10 am
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Andrey Zvyagintsev (1964-)

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Filmography

Возвращение / Vozvrashchenie / The Return (2003)

Изгнание / Izgnanie / The Banishment (2007)

Apocrypha (2009) - short made for, but not included in New York, I Love You (2008)

Елена / Elena (2011)

Тайна / Tayna / Mystery (2011) - short

Левиафан / Leviafan / Leviathan (2014)

Нелюбовь / Loveless (2017) - in production

Forum Discussion

The Banishment

New York, I Love You

Elena

Leviathan

Russian Films & Filmmakers

100 Russian and Eastern European Classics project

Zeitgeist Films

Web Resources

Andrey Zvyagintsev official page

Andrey Zvyagintsev's own top 10 list for Sight and Sound

Social Media page in VKontakte (in Russian)

Nationalism: On and Off the Screen - Senses of Cinema article on Leviathan

Film of the week: Leviathan - Ryan Gilbey's review of Leviathan in Sight and Sound

Releases

The Return - blu-ray in region A from Kino Lorber to be released in 2017; DVD in region 1 from Kino and in region 2 in UK from Fox
The Banishment - blu-ray in region A from Kino Lorber to be released in 2017; DVD in region 2 in UK from Artificial Eye
Apocrypha - short is included as extra in New York, I Love You blu-ray in region A from Palm Pictures / Vivendi Entertainment (is SD only)
Elena - blu-ray in region A from Zeitgeist; blu-ray in UK in region B from New Wave Films; blu-ray in Russia in region C from Carmen Video
Leviathan - blu-ray in region A from Sony Pictures; blu-ray in UK in region B from Artificial Eye


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:10 am
Location: Atlanta
A new interview with info about his latest film, Loveless.

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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:37 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:42 am
Location: US
Great interview, thanks for sharing!


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:10 am
Location: Atlanta
Russian-language trailer for Loveless


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM
For its first hour or so, Loveless was in serious danger of becoming my favorite film of the year: Zvyagintsev's excellent visual sensibilities directed at emotionally wrenching scenes and characters laden with subtext and commentary had me fully entranced. Unfortunately, where the first half of the film deeply investigates the members of a family for whom "dysfunctional" is an insufficient description - more like "bilious self-loathing projected onto others like sulfuric acid" - the latter half becomes a procedural that only intermittently digs further into the core characters, and ultimately comes a little short of consistently maintaining the power of the early scenes. I was particularly stunned by Maryana Spivak's fascinating, devastating lead performance as Zhenya, a wife and mother intent on abandoning those roles and immersed in anything that distracts her from them.

I loved Leviathan a few years ago, and Zvyagintsev's followup only confirms that he is a master at unflinching diagnoses of the rot in contemporary society; his perspective is distinctly Russian, but the films feel universal in their provocative dissections of corruption, callousness, and institutional failure. The fact that his and cinematographer Mikhail Krichman's careful compositions and stark imagery make his film's consistently among the most visually stunning in any given year certainly help the painful, bitter content of his films go down more smoothly, if not with any less bite.

Can anyone recommend any worthwhile home video options for Elena or The Banishment? I'd love to cover the rest of Zvyagintsev's filmography, but lower quality/non-HD transfers don't seem like they'd be worth it given how important the visuals are to his work.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:12 pm 
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Location: SLC, UT
Elena has impressive BD editions in both the US and UK.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am
I also hope you've seen the terrific The Return? I haven't seen anything but that and Leviathan, but both are wonderful (and Return might be my favorite thus far)


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:10 am
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Zvyagintsev is the first filmmaker to be celebrated in BFI Southbank's new 'Close Up' strand, where they investigate and focus on some of the most compelling names in contemporary cinema.

LINK


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:01 pm
... and from Blu-Ray.com:

British distributors Curzon Artificial Eye have informed us that they are preparing two films from acclaimed Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev for Blu-ray release in April: The Return (2003) and The Banishment (2007).


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am
Pyramide just released in France a BD boxset of his 5 movies. I'll try and have a look at them soon to see if it's technically OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester
Saw Loveless tonight and thought it was another excellent work. I could happily watch films in this mode forever.

Andrey himself seemed an absolute top bloke. Got the sense that the Q&A at HOME, Manchester massively overran, but he was more than happy to keep fielding questions and was talking to those who stayed behind for even more. Very humble and charming through a translator and without pretence.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
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The Pyramide individual Blus of Loveless(Sans Amour) and Leviathan are flawless. I assume Leviathan was mastered from the 4K platform , and Loveless from the same (shot all digital on Arri Alexa.)


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am
Pyramide's BD release of Loveless is incorrectly in 1080i, so that's sadly not that flawless (except if it was shot at 25fps but I don't believe so). It's however the only disc of the 5-movies boxset in 1080i.
I had a very quick look at The Return and it seemed quite good looking.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:41 pm 
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THese are the specs for it:

Disc Title: NELYUBOV_BLUEBIRD-subs
Disc Size: 41 362 700 059 bytes
Protection: AACS
BD-Java: No
Playlist: 00017.MPLS
Size: 34 979 020 800 bytes
Length: 2:01:46.160
Total Bitrate: 38,30 Mbps
Video: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 29778 kbps / 1080i / 25 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: French / DTS-HD Master Audio / 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3163 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio: Russian / DTS-HD Master Audio / 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3172 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitle: French / 0,749 kbps
Subtitle: French / 25,539 kbps

It looks flawless to my eyes. Further both my 4K Panasonic DMP ud900 player and the Oppo 203 are uprezzing it to 3860 (4K) and there is no hint of tearinng or any other encoding issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:10 pm 
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I'm not saying it doesn't look flawless, I'm just saying that it's not playing the movie at the proper speed because of the encode being at 25fps instead of the correct 24fps. Another consequence is that it's likely the pitch of the soundtracks is incorrect too.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:20 pm 
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I am not a Russian speaker but I am a musician with perfect/relative pitch and the audio to me sounds fine, and I am acutely sensitive to PAL speedup. It is a puzzle to me why or how it was rendered in 25fps but as you know most of the money for it was French and Canadian and perhaps the filming was mastered with domestic broadcast requirements in mind? I can't get further on tech history than the imdb details to note it was apparently filmed in and DI created in 4K. Who would know what else?


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:25 pm 
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I suspect, as it often is the case in France, that the BD was outputted at 25fps because that's the speed for DVD and TV broadcast, with France specifically in mind.
However, it is possible that Pyramide corrected the pitch of the audio tracks.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
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In an echo of the ambiguity around a key plot element in Zvyagintsev's Leviathan, I'm curious if anyone who's caught Loveless has a strong opinion either way on whether
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the corpse the parents view at the morgue is in fact their son, despite their protestations to the contrary.

I was able to catch Loveless again now that it's making its way through the American art house circuit, and it remains as bleakly beautiful and emotionally crushing as ever; however, one of my goals in seeing it again was to settle a seven-month-old disagreement with my Telluride viewing partner, and I'm not sure I have any more insight on this question now than I did going in. Now that it's popped up on a few consensus lists, I wonder if anyone else can offer their opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:37 pm 
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
I think a big theme of the film is how our self-interested pursuits are failing our children. If that really is their son in that scene, then the point is made even more cynical--we're failing them and either denying it or not recognizing it. That's some rich ambiguity there.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:44 pm 
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
The child is not clearley identified so the ambiguity is also a burden cast upon the viewer. THe fact you don't know for certain makes the last shots which recall Antonioni's L'Eclisse" even more powerful and troubling.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:30 pm 
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
My wife and I decided that it was more likely that the corpse was NOT the son -- but rather he drowned himself in the river. You get a reminder that his normal path to school was along the river right before the end (the long pieces of tape fluttering from the tree into which it had been thrown by the son right near the beginning of the film.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrey Zvyagintsev
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:40 pm 
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
David and swo, I agree that leaning into the ambiguity is the most meaningful way to read that scene; that said, the film does indicate that there is a definitive answer to that question (the investigator notes that they'll have to do a DNA test to be certain, which seems prudent given the brief glimpse we get of the condition of the body), it's just not an answer the audience is ever given. If forced to take a position, I lean to the side that they're correct that it isn't their child, but their intense emotional reaction is a result of seeing a tangible representation of one of the worst-case scenarios their lack of attention and care for their child may have wrought. That they are then forced to continue to grapple with never knowing with certainty what happened to their son - in much the same way the audience is - seems much more appropriate a way to leave those characters than with any sense of finality or closure, however horrific.

Michael, that makes sense. Both the opening and closing shots are of the river, and there's a point where the volunteer search party comes to the edge of the river and the father asks if they're going to search it, and he's told that they're only looking for a living child - a dead one would be the responsibility of the authorities, with the implication (reinforced at other points) that the state is so incapable/unwilling of actually serving its citizens that this would mean the child is gone forever - which appears to be exactly the case.


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