8 ½ Films
We are often asked what we are guided by when selecting movies for our program which celebrates its 21st anniversary in 2020. To a large extent – and it has come about naturally – it is the direct contact with the filmmakers who seem eager to prolong it and make a gift of their works to the Moscow audience. The program of eight and a half movies is the outcome of our TV talks in the seashore pavilion of the Venice Fortnight (“Boze Cialo”), in the multilingual “de Doelen” in Rotterdam (“Mosquito”), in the Berlin lounges (“Malmkrog”), the cozy gardens and pavilions of San-Sebastian (“A Dark-Dark Man” and “Thalasso”). The ultimate goal of our program is to turn these screenings into something more than mere visits to the cinema, to pass over to the audience our impressions of the filmmakers’ unconventional approaches. Among the more ambitious aims is the desire to direct the more sophisticated viewers towards unexpected breakthroughs in the stylistics and the genre, even baffle them by demonstrating what modern cinema is capable of. Its range is truly broad from the classic forms (“Le sel des larmes”) to post- and post-post-modern quirks (the brilliant “A Dark-Dark Man”), it can immerse the audience in the philosophical disputes about the eternal mysterious meanings of human existence, borrowing the three and a half hour-long script from the Russian philosopher Vladimir Soloviev (Cristi Puiu), offer to enjoy idle wisecracking conversations between Gerard Depardieu and Michel Houellebecq which also touch the painful centers of the human soul despite the clownish philosophical ramblings in “Thalasso”. Or the screen may fill with sinister apocalyptic expressiveness and we will find ourselves in Africa between two world wars which – as we have seen – are not about to end (“Mosquito”) or... I would not like to anticipate the reaction of our faithful viewers and lay all the cards on the table and give hints about interpreting this or that film. This years the program “8 ½ Films” is vested with extra responsibility since despite all the threats the world is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the greatest genius of the 20th century Federico Fellini who shared with us the title of his film. We will try to justify the confidence drawing the energy from his film images. And we will beat any virus, there is no other way. And, I must admit, I am particularly happy that we were able to invite two films from the 77th Venice film festival to this program: the postmodern eco-thriller Mosquito State "and the dystopia of the Mexican director Michel Franco"New order", which has become almost the main event of Venice 2020.