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Andrey Zvyagintsev's Elena, The Apocalypse, and Moscow's Mosques
April 15, 2013 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Zvyagintsev claims that the idea for Elena originated with an invitation from the British producer, Oliver Dungey, to participate in a multinational project in which four directors from different hemispheres would each produce a film about the apocalypse. Zvyagintsev ultimately bowed out of the project, but the film that resulted is certainly eschatological. Russian culture has a long tradition of allusions to the Book of Revelation - Tolstoy's Pierre Bezukhov is obsessed with the idea that Napoleon is the Antichrist and many of Dostoevsky's characters read the last book of the Bible - and Zvyagintsev was a natural fit to take up the theme.

A review from Samuel J Hirst of Andrey Zvyagintsev's most recent film, Elena. Two of Zvyagintsev's short films are also available to watch on Youtube: Mystery and Apocrypha.
posted by smcg (5 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
For what its worth, Elena is available on Mubi.
posted by vacapinta at 7:51 AM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's not enough Zvyagintsev films in the world. Any news of more is very welcome.
posted by halatukit at 8:12 AM on April 15, 2013


Return was amazing; I'd like to see more of his work. (By the way, the stress is on the first syllable of his family name: ZVYA-gintsev [Звя́гинцев].)
posted by languagehat at 11:43 AM on April 15, 2013


What are Mystery and Apocrypha like, in comparison to Elena? Will I need to block off the rest of the evening to be suffused with the poignant weight of the world's tender cruelties, also?
posted by Pwoink at 1:08 PM on April 15, 2013


Neat review -- Elena also available to watch instantly on Netflix and has been sitting in my queue for a little while. The AVClub also liked it and I generally trust their opinions. I'm definitely going to have to watch it soon.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 2:56 PM on April 15, 2013


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