In Memory of Aleksey Balabanov

The movies are accompanied by great soundtracks, usually made with minimal budget, yet with dignity,

In an interview given to the british “Sight&Sound” he gave his list of influential films:

  1. Greed, 1924
  2. Stachka (Strike), 1924
  3. Earth, 1930
  4. Brother Yakuza, 2000
  5. Brazil, 1985
  6. Andrei Rublev, 1966

  7. Stalker, 1973
  8. The Knack… and How to Get It, 1965
  9. Barton Fink, 1991
  10. Pulp Fiction, 1994

  • Я тоже хочу – 2012 – Me too / I want it too
  • Кочегар – 2010 – The stoker
  • Морфий – 2008 – Morphin
  • Груз 200 – 2007 – Cargo 200
  • Мне не больно – 2006 – it doesn’t hurt me
  • Жмурки – 2005 – Dead man’s bluff
  • Река – 2002 – River
  • Война – 2002 – War
  • Брат 2 – 2002 – Brother 2
  • Про уродов и людей – 1998 – Of freaks and men
  • Брат – 1997 – Brother

His films- Cargo 200, Stoker & I want it too- are debated on episodes No. 16, 59 and 81 respectively in the great Russian talk show “Private Screening”-“Закрытый Показ”.

I’ve decided to break them into groups of three, except for the case of his ultimate film-

“I want it too”

It is without a doubt one of the best pictures i’ve ever seen, and is righteously the Magnum Opus of Aleksey Oktyabrinovich Balabanov;
who did not disdain from his usual humour and inserted himself as a character- of a dying member of the european presidium of cinematography.

“Brother 1, 2”, “Of freaks and men”

While “freaks and men” is a great example of AB cynicism, his adoring of classic literature, (like we will see in Morphine), and his misanthropic approach,

Brother 1 and 2 are his most notable creations, and much could be said in praise of those masterpieces. having made the most impact on russian society(after it was brought to it’s knees in the perestroika) Along the rising of christianity traditions, both religious and sober minded people alike admired Bodrov most charismatic character of a simple-folk young man who stands by what’s right. and by that made an example to a whole generation of youngsters, whose vast country was again brought into turmoil.

Both are absolute must-watch when you are inquiring into russian cinematography, especially when they are amongst the only good product of the 2000 era.

“War”, “Dead man’s bluff”, “River”

River was never finished, and was only edited into a 50 minute film, after the main actress died in a car crash. Dealing with a colony of lepers in Yakutia (his ancestral origin), River was said to be the Magnum Opus of AB, and even supposed to make the audience recognize in him a world-class master of cinematography.

War, was in my opinion a great job done in portrayal of realities of the Second Chechen war and as an opinion on war itself. It stars Sergei Bodrov jr. In one of his best roles,
yet it was very long and not much interesting.

Zhmurki, Dead man’s bluff, was okay. It was positioned as a comedy movie and perhaps it really is his most “funny” film ever. But AB’s humour is always dark and cynical,

“Cargo 200”, “Morphine”,
“It doesn’t hurt me”, “The stoker”

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