By Sarah Stopforth
The Russian Resurrection Film Festival (RRFF) is the biggest exhibition of Russian film outside of Russia. The festival is the perfect way to celebrate the stories and filmmakers of a rarely seen, often misunderstood, culture. This year’s selection of Russian films is a wonderful mix of the old and the new; independent and blockbuster films. I had the pleasure of watching 14+ (2015, Andrey Zaytsev) and The Good Boy (2016, Oksana Karas), both of which were the first Russian films I had ever watched, and I enjoyed them immensely.
The two films are in fact very similar; both quirky comedies following the coming-of-age of a young boy and his trials and tribulations with the opposite sex.
14+ was one of the most beautifully shot films I’ve seen in a while. It follows young Alex, a fourteen year old boy, who lives with his mother, and his unstoppable male gaze to the stunning Vika, and running from the older boys who try to beat him up for hanging around her.
In The Good Boy, young Nikolai, similarly, must deal with a big bully who possesses ‘ownership’ over a girl whom he asked out, as well as falling in love with his English teacher.
There is a running theme here!
The Good Boy reminded me hugely of Australian film Girl Asleep (2016, Rosemary Myers), with its upbeat dance numbers and Wes Anderson-esque style composition and editing, enhancing the humour delightfully.
I was not sure what to expect from the films I watched, but I was pleasantly surprised that they are not so different from the independent films coming out of Australia and the US, but are still individually glossed in Russian charm. I definitely want to see more.
I encourage you to watch the trailer below, as it gives a spectacular peak into the window of what is playing in the festival – a huge range of genres. It will, without a doubt, get you excited about the films on offer; I know it did for me.
The Russian Resurrection Film Festival will be showing at Cinema Paradiso from the 10 November to 16 November.