Vladimir Moiseyenko

Vladimir Moiseyenko

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12 Review


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A peculiar, slathering beast comes lumbering out of writer Reginald Rose's slow-burning 12 Angry Men in Nikita Mikhalkov's epic 12, an inverted and wildly uneven Russian production that recasts the famous, tight legal drama as a litmus test of the cultural mindsets currently at play in Mother Russia. Fitted with a flared lighting scheme that wouldn't be out of place in the latest Saw installment, this intriguing, prolonged version of Sidney Lumet's debut film is nothing if not deeply Russian.

Perhaps the one thing that most separates Mikhalkov's film from its American counterparts is a difference in law rather than dramatic choice. As a young Chechen man (Apti Magamayev) paces in his cell, 12 men sit around a long table in a high school gymnasium deciding whether or not the youth will spend the rest of his natural life in prison. Accused of murdering his stepfather, the young man would face a far more fatalistic sentence if he were to be tried stateside. As in Rose's original, the group is slowly picked apart by a singular vote of not guilty. But where the original was wound tightly around the fate of the accused, Mikhalkov's concept nearly disregards the young man in question and accentuates instead the empty space of the large gymnasium.

Continue reading: 12 Review

The Return (2003) Review


Very Good
There are films that go easy on the dialogue because they just don't have a lot to say: set a camera up in front of an actress who looks good pouting in existential ennui, throw something classy on the soundtrack and just hope it all works out. Then there are the films that have plenty to say, spend even longer than they need to say it, and you wish they would just shut up already. Andrei Zvyagintsev's 2003 festival hit The Return is a film without a lot of dialogue or story, and wonderfully so: More words and action would have spoiled it.

Two young boys, Andrey (Vladimir Garin) and Ivan (Ivan Dobronravov), live with their mother and grandmother, the only memory of their father a single photograph of the man they've never seen. After a seemingly innocuous incident when Ivan, the younger brother, refuses to jump off a high tower into the water and is later scapegoated by weak-spined Andrey and their friends (the importance of this only becomes apparent at the shocking climax), their mother announces that their father (Konstantin Lavronenko) has returned. He's a gray-haired question mark with a sour puss and a slight air of danger; no information is given about where he's been, or why he's back.

Continue reading: The Return (2003) Review

The Return Review


Very Good
There are films that go easy on the dialogue because they just don't have a lot to say: set a camera up in front of an actress who looks good pouting in existential ennui, throw something classy on the soundtrack and just hope it all works out. Then there are the films that have plenty to say, spend even longer than they need to say it, and you wish they would just shut up already. Andrei Zvyagintsev's 2003 festival hit The Return is a film without a lot of dialogue or story, and wonderfully so: More words and action would have spoiled it.

Two young boys, Andrey (Vladimir Garin) and Ivan (Ivan Dobronravov), live with their mother and grandmother, the only memory of their father a single photograph of the man they've never seen. After a seemingly innocuous incident when Ivan, the younger brother, refuses to jump off a high tower into the water and is later scapegoated by weak-spined Andrey and their friends (the importance of this only becomes apparent at the shocking climax), their mother announces that their father (Konstantin Lavronenko) has returned. He's a gray-haired question mark with a sour puss and a slight air of danger; no information is given about where he's been, or why he's back.

Continue reading: The Return Review

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Vladimir Moiseyenko Movies

The Return (2003) Movie Review

The Return (2003) Movie Review

There are films that go easy on the dialogue because they just don't have a...

The Return Movie Review

The Return Movie Review

There are films that go easy on the dialogue because they just don't have a...

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