2Morrow to Screen TodayТs Finest Films
- By Tom Birchenough
- Oct. 16 2009 00:00
The 2Morrow alternative film festival opens Friday in its third installment despite the economic crisis and the death last month of its founder, Ivan Dykhovichny, at the young age of 62.
An inspirational figure, the late Taganka Theater actor and director will be feted with a free retrospective of all of his films as part of this “blitz” festival that runs for just four days.
Dykhovichny’s film heritage survives in remarkable works like the Stalin-era “Moscow Parade,” which recreated all the architectural pomp of the 1930s, and the much bleaker St. Petersburg-set drama, “Music for December.” His 2006 “Inhale, Exhale” was not much brighter, but was still the kind of filmmaking that characterized a truly individual director.
Despite that, this year’s 2Morrow has grown, with the addition of a second screening venue at the newly refurbished Pioneer cinema on Kutuzovsky Prospekt. Its main base remains the two halls at the 35MM cinema.
The event’s profile has often been compared — favorably — to the summer’s Moscow International Film festival, although it’s certainly not marked by the pomp and circumstance of the main Moscow festival.
Programming director Alexei Medvedev said the festival’s aim is to support the experimental, saying he avoids picking films from the main competition programs at festivals, preferring supporting programs where innovative work can be found. Thus one of the only U.S. entries in the nine-film competition program is Robert Siegel’s “Big Fan,” which first appeared at the Sundance Film Festival. The majority of the other films come from Europe.
Jim Jarmusch’s “The Limits of Control” opens the event, and its cinematographer, Christopher Doyle, will attend. The latest film from French veteran Alain Resnais, “Wild Grass,” will close the festival.
2Morrow will launch a couple of new international programs this year. The Tomorrow Generation Campus brings film industry figures from around the world together for a series of workshops, while Project for Tomorrow offers film-industry professionals a chance to see films still in editing from Russian and East European directors — potentially, next year’s festival hits. Attendees are expected from festivals including Cannes, Locarno, Tribeca, Rotterdam and Venice.
As well as the Dykhovichny tribute, there is also a retrospective of off-beat Canadian director Guy Maddin, known for distinctive films like “The Saddest Music in the World.”
From Russia comes the world premiere of Konstantin Seliverstov’s “The Marriage,” a loose — apparently, very loose — version of Nikolai Gogol’s comedy.
Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky is jury president, and there are hopes that a rare copy of his 1989 film “Holy Blood” will screen as the festival’s “surprise” showing.
He’s supported by Russian actress Polina Agureyeva, France’s Jean-Stephane Savaire, and Dutch action star Rutger Hauer. A supporting blogger jury will judge in real time.
That’s an unconventional aspect of the that nicely captures the tone of 2Morrow, as does its program of Midnight Music — the title indicates its starting time — devoted to the theme “Punk’s Not Dead.”
There are entries from Germany and the Czech Republic, but it proved rather difficult to find a Russian one, as the offering “Yegor Letov Film Project,” devoted to the work of the musician who founded the band Grazhdanskaya Oborona, or Civil Defense, and died almost two years ago, is more a work in progress than a finished film.
2morrow film festival runs Oct. 16 to Oct. 19. A full timetable of all the films being shown can be found at www.2morrow.ru