January 31, 2015

ALL YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE STATUS OIF THE TWO COUNTRIES...:

Anti-Putin' Oscar nominee Leviathan gets wide Russian release (Alec Luhn, 30 January 2015, The Guardian)

Even as Russia's Academy-award nominee Leviathan was winning prizes at half a dozen illustrious film festivals and garnering glowing reviews at arthouse cinemas in New York and London, doubts remained as to whether it would even be shown in its home country. Besides a week-long showing in one St Petersburg theatre in September to meet Oscar entry requirements, the film's release date was postponed, as officials criticised its grim take on modern Russia and many called for it to be banned.

That's about to change on 5 February, when director Andrei Zvyagintsev's dark morality tale will begin showing on at least 638 screens around the country, producer Alexander Rodnyansky has told the Guardian in an interview. He said the film has online piracy to thank for that: where state television has mostly ignored the many accolades Leviathan has won, including a Golden Globe for best foreign-language film, an estimated 1.5 million Russians have taken interest and downloaded the film illegally.

In confirmation of the old adage "there's no such thing as bad publicity", the heated debate over the film has made it into a "major public event" and won the movie more than double the 300 screens its producers thought they could get, Rodnyansky said.

"The unexpected thing, which we never experienced before, is that a few million people have watched it online, [now that] it's been pirated," he said. "A lot of cinemas and theatrical chains approached us because of all the controversy around the movie."

is that their top film is anti-Russian and ours is American Sniper.




MORE:
What American Sniper's Success Tells Us : We're hungry for pro-America movies. (Roger L. Simon, 30 January 2015, City Journal)

American Sniper is a runaway hit. It's so popular, in fact, that it's on track to become the highest-grossing war film of all time, passing Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. Domestic grosses are approaching a staggering $300 million. This tells us what we should already have known: a gigantic, underserved audience exists in this country for movies that paint our troops as sympathetic human beings--or indeed have any basically pro-American theme. That audience has been thirsting for films like American Sniper with the intensity of Lawrence of Arabia crawling for an oasis in the Sahara. No wonder liberal critics are throwing a fit.

Further, the film's success reminds us that investors on the right are leaving a hunk of change on the table. This may ultimately be the most important takeaway from Eastwood's movie. Right-tilting investors are way overdue to establish film and television companies with conservative or libertarian leanings. The problem here, of course, is that conservatives have long been suspicious of culture. Some of this is dumb prejudice, but much of the skepticism makes sense. The arts have been dominated by the Left for so long that it's difficult to see them as anything but treacherous. But right-wing investors should get over themselves. The local symphony is not the only cultural endeavor worth supporting. Popular culture is a far more powerful way of reaching the public, and films, as American Sniper proves, remain one of the most potent--and remunerative--of those avenues.

Posted by at January 31, 2015 8:03 AM
  

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