Sergei Bodrov

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Mongol Review


Excellent
While American filmmakers flog the CGI action to drunken extremes (300, Beowulf), Russian director Sergei Bodrov spits at shortcuts (although he still digs CGI) and recalls the great movie spectacles of the old school, invoking the invigorating spirits of Abel Gance, Sergei Bondarchuk, and Samuel Bronston, in his rousing, grand, and old-fashioned epic Mongol.

The first film in a trilogy, Mongol charts the course of the young nine-year-old Temudjin, beginning in 1172 on the barren and unforgiving Mongolian steppes, and his ensuing trials and tribulations after his father's murder until 1206, when the adult Temudjin (the great Tadanobu Asano) becomes the legendary Genghis Khan, uniter of the Mongolian tribes, and soon to be conqueror of the world, all set to an incredibly rich musical score by Tuomas Kantelinen.

Continue reading: Mongol Review

East/west Review


Essential
Academy Award-winning director Régis Wargnier (Indochine, A French Woman, Lumiere and Company) returns to the Oscar-caliber arena with this multilingual period drama about a family lured back to Stalinist Russia under a false promise of amnesty. Wargnier's nomination for East-West is certainly deserved.

Russian emigrants Alexei (Oleg Menchikov--Barber of Siberia, The Kiss) and Marie Golovine (Sandrine Bonnaire--Circle of Passion, Les Innocents) receive a disappointing welcome when they step off the boat in Odessa with their young son, Serioja (played by Ruben Tapiero and Erwan Baynaud). But, because of Alexei's medical skills, the family is spared execution and shipped off to Kiev to share meager quarters with a household of alcoholic miscreants--including a strapping young swimmer named Sacha (Serguei Bodrov Jr.) Wracked with guilt over the miscalculation that has landed his family in captivity, Alexei struggles to protect his foreign-born wife while avoiding the scrutiny of a fear-ridden polity. Hope stirs when French actress Gabrielle Develay (Catherine Deneuve--Indochine, The Hunger, The Last Metro, Belle De Jour) comes to perform in the local theater.

Continue reading: East/west Review

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Sergei Bodrov Movies

Mongol Movie Review

Mongol Movie Review

While American filmmakers flog the CGI action to drunken extremes (300, Beowulf), Russian director Sergei...

East/west Movie Review

East/west Movie Review

Academy Award-winning director Régis Wargnier (Indochine, A French Woman, Lumiere and Company) returns to the...

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