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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:34 am 
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The filming has completed on November 26.

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A present day social drama spanning multiple characters about the human insecurity in a "new country" which gradually unwinds to a mythological scale concerning the human condition on earth entirely.


some info about the film before the filming started


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:15 pm 

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Cannes 2014


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:24 pm 

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the running time of the movie will be 2 hours 10 minutes

I like this exacting announcement, considering it hasn't begun shooting yet. Presumably the financeers have some very specific demands.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:41 pm 
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Like I said in my first post, the filming completed on November 26.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:13 pm 

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Thanks! Still your link (where I got the quote) was to an article written when sets were just being built.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:08 pm 
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The link is from March, the only I could find in English.

Here is a social media page with info about Zvyagintsev (in Russian) - http://vk.com/azvyagintsev


Last edited by Ashirg on Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:54 pm 
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First Image


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:46 am 
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Did anyone see this? I had a few thoughts but I really don't know what to think. I caught it last night at NYFF and I found it pretty enthralling for the most part. It seemed like an interesting checkup on the current state of Russian politics out in the countryside post-USSR, while also showing that much of the corruption from the USSR hasn't changed outside of different procedures. (I am a big Soviet history wonk (1930s) from everything from Dr. Sheila Fitzpatrick to Solzhenitsyn) It followed the familiar trope of painting the Russian Orthodox church as the vanguard and instrument of corruption, and displaying exactly why the Soviets wanted to chase it out of Russia. Additionally, I loved that the filmmakers found one of the few remaining statues of Lenin still left in Russia outside of the courthouse when they parked their car under it.

This film has no heroes obviously, and seems to eschew a central character. For some reason, this reminded me of No Country for Old Men in form. But a few questions:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. I assume the lawyer and father were simply friends from the army?
2. Why did the wife start sleeping with the lawyer? This really wasn't developed as she just shows up to his hotel room.
3. Regardless of the lawyer's fate, why did the large book of corruption simply disappear from the narrative?
4. Who was the man in Moscow the lawyer and the mayor seemed to know that the mayor was fearful of?
5. Was it me, or did the local priest get the story of Job wrong when telling it outside of the market?
6. This seemed to tell the story of Job, but the father wasn't exactly likeable and he seemed to already be losing the things in his life before the film/story even began.


With the opening and closing sequences, the film cynically showed how things don't change in Russia. I recall this being a common theme throughout Russian history and literature how the cold has kept Russia from evolving since the 900s (The Rus) up through Peter the Great, to Stalin, to Putin. The harsh life demands strict leadership and codes of conduct.

My last thought upon leaving the theater was,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
All of that for a church?


This story apparently came from an event in Colorado in 2008 according to IMDB. Does anyone have the original?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:41 am 
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I think don't think the answer to 2) is supposed to be neatly explained. The central character is almost in an Old Testament story where everything that could go against him just does and he is ultimately powerless.

As to 3), stuff like this happens all the time in Eastern Europe. People have dirt on everyone in power, but if you're powerful enough and have the right connections then nothing will be made of it. It doesn't sound like I need to tell you that though! I presumed the lawyer was bluffing or overplaying his hand for the most part about what he was capable of.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:05 pm 
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TMDaines wrote:
I presumed the lawyer was bluffing or overplaying his hand for the most part about what he was capable of.


I would have thought this as well, but the
[Reveal] Spoiler:
mayor did have a melt down behind closed doors with his police chief and judges. He basically confirmed that everything in the book was legit.


I get the connections part, but the key here seems to be the unexplained mutual acquaintance that both the mayor and the lawyer know.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:38 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:04 am
Quote:
This film has no heroes obviously, and seems to eschew a central character. For some reason, this reminded me of No Country for Old Men in form. But a few questions:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. I assume the lawyer and father were simply friends from the army?
2. Why did the wife start sleeping with the lawyer? This really wasn't developed as she just shows up to his hotel room.
3. Regardless of the lawyer's fate, why did the large book of corruption simply disappear from the narrative?
4. Who was the man in Moscow the lawyer and the mayor seemed to know that the mayor was fearful of?
5. Was it me, or did the local priest get the story of Job wrong when telling it outside of the market?
6. This seemed to tell the story of Job, but the father wasn't exactly likeable and he seemed to already be losing the things in his life before the film/story even began.


Here are some of my thought on this.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. Looks like it.
2. I am not exactly sure if it was Zvyagintsev's intention, but it seems to me like this scene is meant to show the hollow nature of a life in such isolated town in a middle of nowhere, where people are willing to do anything (like sleeping with if a not a complete stranger, but with a person you couldn't possibly develop a proper affection to) just to get out of this numbing cycle of work and home routine just for one hour. I can't remember anything in particular, but I'm sure I saw similar scenes in other Russian movies of the last couple of years (I'm fairly sure a very similar scene was in Vassily Sigarev's "To live"), so the sequence in Leviathan immediately seemed to me like it was supposed to depict this feeling of despair and a feeling of being perpetually stuck in the oppressive environment.
3. It was expected, wasn't it? After the mayor forced the lawyer to leave the town, all the docs he brought with himself effectively lost their power, it's not like he could go to another attorney's office or court to try and pursue the case further, partially because, as it was shown in the movie, the mayor is convenient enough for the governor of the region to keep him as the head of the town. Unfortunately that's the reality of corruption in Russia: unless a mayor or another bureaucrat loses favor of his superior, it may be impossible to bring him to justice.
4. Never explained but it seems to me that he is mentioned as being "member of the committee" (there aren't that many important enough committees in Russia), it may be implied that this person is a member of the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation (this governmental office was a part of the prosecutor's office in Russia but now it's independent and is headed by an old pal of Putin Alexander Bastrykin). When I hear about "committee" in the film, I immediately though that it must be about a higher-up of the Investigation Committee, but that's just my idea, nothing more specific in the film itself.


Hope this clarifies some things about the movie for you!

Quote:
My last thought upon leaving the theater was,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
All of that for a church?


This story apparently came from an event in Colorado in 2008 according to IMDB. Does anyone have the original?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Heemeyer


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:20 pm 
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I caught Leviathan the other night and was very pleased with it; technically gorgeous and thematically bleak are one of my favorite combinations, and this film carries both of those factors to extremes.

So many shots could be printed and curated in a museum: the whale surfacing, the boy and the skeleton, the rotting boats, the ruined church... just an embarrassment of compositional and cinematographic riches.

As for the bleakness: You know going into a Russian drama called "Leviathan" with a poster prominently featuring a skeleton decaying in the mud that you shouldn't expect a lighthearted experience, but what made this film's brand of inevitable doom particularly crushing was that it seemed inextricable from the makeup of Russian society. The displeasure of Russian conservatives and the Ministry of Culture with the film has been widely noted, but honestly, I'm somewhat impressed that there hasn't been more backlash from the state that imprisoned an obscure punk band for making many of the same criticisms of the country's culture, religion, and politics.

aox wrote:
... a few questions:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. I assume the lawyer and father were simply friends from the army?
2. Why did the wife start sleeping with the lawyer? This really wasn't developed as she just shows up to his hotel room.
3. Regardless of the lawyer's fate, why did the large book of corruption simply disappear from the narrative?
4. Who was the man in Moscow the lawyer and the mayor seemed to know that the mayor was fearful of?
5. Was it me, or did the local priest get the story of Job wrong when telling it outside of the market?
6. This seemed to tell the story of Job, but the father wasn't exactly likeable and he seemed to already be losing the things in his life before the film/story even began.

Interesting that you didn't include what I thought was both the most vexing, compelling question and one that paradoxically almost doesn't matter for our protagonist or the film's view of modern Russian misery:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
How did Lilia die? The film implies heavily but never concretely establishes that she killed herself and that Kolya was framed for her non-existent murder, but the detective describing the case against Kolya notes a blunt force injury to the back of her skull matching a hammer from Kolya's garage.

I see three possibilities, escalating in awfulness and rated by the level of ensuing depression:
1. Lilia killed herself and Kolya was framed by the corrupt justice system to benefit the mayor (who may have stolen the lead in the competition for my most hated film character of all time); i.e. the state cruelly takes advantage of a tragedy to further ruin a man's life over a piece of land (3 vodkas)
2. One of the mayor's thugs killed Lilia and then Kolya was framed for the murder; i.e. the state actively murders an innocent woman in order to ruin a man's life over a piece of land (5 vodkas)
3. Kolya's son, Roma, killed Lilia in the final expression of the escalating anger he displays toward her throughout the film, inadvertently sending his father to prison, orphaning himself, and enabling the state to ruin his family and his home over a piece of land (Life is a never ending series of sadisms administered by a petty and pitiless God-child and death is our only escape from the madness)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:55 pm 
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DarkImbecile wrote:
Interesting that you didn't include what I thought was both the most vexing, compelling question and one that paradoxically almost doesn't matter for our protagonist or the film's view of modern Russian misery:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
How did Lilia die? The film implies heavily but never concretely establishes that she killed herself and that Kolya was framed for her non-existent murder, but the detective describing the case against Kolya notes a blunt force injury to the back of her skull matching a hammer from Kolya's garage.

I see three possibilities, escalating in awfulness and rated by the level of ensuing depression:
1. Lilia killed herself and Kolya was framed by the corrupt justice system to benefit the mayor (who may have stolen the lead in the competition for my most hated film character of all time); i.e. the state cruelly takes advantage of a tragedy to further ruin a man's life over a piece of land (3 vodkas)
2. One of the mayor's thugs killed Lilia and then Kolya was framed for the murder; i.e. the state actively murders an innocent woman in order to ruin a man's life over a piece of land (5 vodkas)
3. Kolya's son, Roma, killed Lilia in the final expression of the escalating anger he displays toward her throughout the film, inadvertently sending his father to prison, orphaning himself, and enabling the state to ruin his family and his home over a piece of land (Life is a never ending series of sadisms administered by a petty and pitiless God-child and death is our only escape from the madness)
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I totally thought it was #2, didn't even think about #3 but now think it's a possibility. Personally #2 is way more depressing to me. Knowing it was based on the "armored bulldozer" guy I was hoping at the end the mayor was gonna build a house for himself instead of a church and that Kolya would show up in his own armored bulldozer and crash through/run him over.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:42 pm 
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aox wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
5. Was it me, or did the local priest get the story of Job wrong when telling it outside of the market?


Which part?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:38 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:42 pm
Anybody have any information of a possible stateside blu ray release?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:45 pm 
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US release is May 19.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:19 am 
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Quote:
Earlier this year the outspoken culture minister voiced his dislike of Russian art-house film "Leviathan," despite its landmark victory at the Golden Globes and Oscar nomination, complaining it was full of "existentialist hopelessness."


And now a new film about a serial killer in the late Stalin days, Child 44, has been banned in Russia.
Got pulled, and banned, one day before its scheduled theater release.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:31 am 
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Lemmy Caution wrote:
Quote:
Earlier this year the outspoken culture minister voiced his dislike of Russian art-house film "Leviathan," despite its landmark victory at the Golden Globes and Oscar nomination, complaining it was full of "existentialist hopelessness."


And now a new film about a serial killer in the late Stalin days, Child 44, has been banned in Russia.
Got pulled, and banned, one day before its scheduled theater release.


Given the early reviews, it might be a blessing in disguise.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:32 am 
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Saw this a second time last night.

A film about partial views and over views - how we take partial views as over views. The narrative uncertainties of the film mirroring this. So a film about pride leaves me feeling humble. And a film about faith and what may be hung onto when it is not there.

It occurred to me that Lilia and Dima may have had a history. It also seemed likely she chose not to be with him as she said he did not know him when he did not speak of belief in God. But we don't know for sure. Kolya seemed somewhat lost but still with an awareness of God.

This morning I came across a quote from Kafka in Conversations with Kafka citing him speaking of 'The dream of destroying evil is only a reflection of the sense of despair which comes from loss of faith.' - this seemed relevant to Kolya and the mayor and Dima, maybe even an aspect of the church too.

I last saw it nearly two years ago. It has stayed with me. I think I read what happened to Lilia then as possibly from herself. But last night was struck by the Roma angle - especially due to his reaction to the idea his father was responsible, but there, as a friend pointed out, I am somewhat in debt to subtitling.

The shots of the churches reminded me of Andrei Rublev -- are they shots up to where the bell would be? That made me compare the church then and the need to survive by linking itself to power, and the contemporary setting. It occurred to me that maybe in the long view Churches sometimes have that they may see the corruption and games involved in getting this church a price to pay for the gain they get - which may be remain even as power develops. i wondered about a sort of spiritual trickle down theory from that. Not that I believe in trickle down in other ways. But they may see themselves as more constant than power relations. The shots of nature made me think of such constants as well.

The house a wonderful thing and what happens, the way that is shown. It struck me it has something of a God shot view of the town which may explain a lot - this whole battle being a battle over a literal and a metaphysical view. It is wonderful, wonderfully subtle. Kolya maybe a veteran from another time expecting a status that the world has passed by (maybe, am I wrong in seeing that?).

Very much struck by a message of how in assuming our partial views in some way we may contribute to making them happen / seem true - reification. If the mayor had not played to stereotype then would Dima have ever tried to play his cards? Digging the mayor further in? Kolya making threats then easier to paint as he is. The mayor easy to believe may then use this, but has he at all. The consistency of the film in offering many possibilities, whilst also not quite confirming so many, a delight, makes me think of a soufflé.

So much could be said, excuse me if I add too many of my own reifications, they're just a reaction, may change.


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