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Loveless

There are some things that Andrey Zvyagintsev is very good at, such as political commentary.  There are some things that Zvyagintsev is awful at, such as portrayals (or occasionally even the inclusion) of women in his films.  So, what happens when Zvyagintsev makes a political film with a female lead?  You end up with a disappointing monstrosity;  one that could have been a masterpiece if a good forty percent was discarded.  You end up with…

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On Putin’s Blacklist

In this current political climate, Russian president Vladimir Putin – along with his government – has frequently been held suspect for unethical ideologies.  On Putin’s Blacklist, a Canadian-produced documentary directed by Boris Ivanov, exposes more of these unorthodox decisions while also linking these rippling effects to possible ideas of Putin’s personality.

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Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite

Making a mythology for a horror film is a complex concept.  Filmmakers have to take into account narrative, visual and paratextual elements in order to create an iconic creature that can stand the test of time.  The filmmaker may not realize this, but they are inherently forced into this routine when they make a film which involves the creation of an urban legend.