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Thread: Elena (2011)

  1. #1

    Elena / Елена (2011)

    A Russian film from 2011 got absolutely fantastic reviews in a the biggest Swedish paper. I'll definitely watch it! Anyone seen "Elena"?

    Check out the spelling of the directors surname. This is worse than a Polish name! "Zvjagintsev". How on Earth is that pronounced.. (edit: ah, ok -- Звягинцев, Андрей Петрович - easier when you see it in Cyrillic letters but still a mouthful.)

    Here are some quotes from the review, translated into English by me:
    We are seeing the Russian society aching in its very soul. There is a coldness between people, society now consists of an archipelago of souls, disconnected from each others, from neighbours and from the world surrounding them. "Why on Earth should I help a stranger, give me just one reason...?"

    And the scary thing is: Nobody can see a reason.

    I am hit by the similiarities between the Russian experience and the Swedish: Societies that (for historical and other, political, reasons) have left their fundamental values behind. Scrapped everything communal, things that people used to share, but most importantly, scrapped solidarity"
    (sorry about my rubbish translation, it was really beautifully written in the original language)

    Doesn't it sound tragic? Is this how Russian people feel? I know what he is talking about and I witnessed it in Sweden after I returned. The country has gone to the dogs, looks like crap and everyone is just worried about themselves and don't give a t--ss about anyone else. The welfare state is history...

    For Russia, the transformation's been ten times worse, I suspect! Even though no doubt, some people are a lot better of materially, and can go on holiday wherever they want etc, etc. That seems to be what the film is about, apart from the actual people.

    Russian acting is always of very high qulity and it is sad that we do not see it very often anymore (but please note that the Axess channel broadcasts some excellent Russian TV drama series). Russian actors have an unusual and unique ability of acting from the depth of their hearts, but using their brains too. Their acting is without pretense or distraction and they possess the ability to portray a single individual or a large group in with just one glance and without affected gestures.

    Finally: Andrej Zvjagintsev uses the music of Philip Glass in a way that gives us goose pimples all over our bodies. Nothing short of genial.

    Johan Croneman DN.SE
    Wow, this reviewer seems to be a big fan of Russian cinema in general.

    Although the film is not necessarily uplifting, it seems like a "must-see".

    Anyone seen it?

    The article mentioned that this director made a very highly acclaimed film back in 2002 "The Return" (?)

    English subtitles here: Subtitles Elena - subtitles english 1CD srt (eng)

    You should have no problem finding a copy of the film to download....

  2. #2
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    Jan 2011
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    How on Earth is that pronounced.. (edit: ah, ok -- Звягинцев, Андрей Петрович - still tricky though!)
    Very easily, in fact. The stress is on the first syllable in the surname/ (АндрЕй ПетрОвич)
    Is this how Russian people feel?
    I feel it the opposite. It depends on a person of course.

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Чапелхилловка, NC USA
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    yeah, go see it! I haven't yet but I did see his first one The Return and thought it was five stars!

  4. #4
    Почётный участник
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    May 2010
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    I have seen it. I think it is a good movie but disappointed me a bit. I really like Звягинцев, and I agree with Chaika, The Return is an amazing film, and the Banishment is also quite good. I think Elena is the worst of those three but still worth watching. I'd like to recommend My Joy, made by Лозница. It's the best Russian/Ukrainian movie I've seen that's been made in the past 10 years. Enjoy!

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