CROSSROADS OF MEMORY

Suddenly the present 40th Moscow Film Festival found itself at the crossroads of anniversaries and memories of former festivals and great late filmmakers. Complicated memories belonging to different nations relating to the same events have surfaced. It is time to remind everybody about different assessments and interpretations of the same movies, including those that are part of various programs of the present festival.
 
For the 40th forum we have selected films that can be called milestones of the almost 60-year history of the festival (excluding the unique first festival of 1935). Films like “Koktebel” by Boris Khlebnikov and Alexei Popogrebsky and “Chapito-show” by Sergei Loban are coupled with works by present-day masters of world cinema (mostly earlier ones): the Iranian Asghar Farhadi, the Swedish Ruben Östlund, the late Pole Krzysztof Kie?lowski, the Hungarian István Szabó, the Chinese Wang Quanan who were effectively discovered at the Moscow Film Festival.
 
For the first time in the post-Soviet period the Moscow film forum reprised its role of consolidating the film process on the territory of the former Soviet Union and in part the Central and Eastern Europe. We celebrate the 100th anniversary of the film industry of the Baltic States juxtaposing the best works of the Soviet period with the newest films, where the conflicts and contradictions in our separate and joint histories are not hushed but analyzed by masters of different generations. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are represented in the competition. Refuting the traditional official approach we have selected a Yakut historical epic from Russia and a provocative movie by the young Chinese called “Nu”.
 
A sort of international partner to the 40th MIFF selection is the program “Two Weeks 50 Years Long” timed to coincide with the anniversary of “The Directors’ Fortnight” in the Cannes. The program is in memory of our colleague Igor Guskov. In the latter part of his life, cut short early, he selected films for this particular program. It was in Cannes that the premiers of such films as “Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird” by Otar Ioseliani, “Of Monsters and Men” by Alexei Balabanov, “The God” by Konstantin Bronzit were held. 
 
Another anniversary program, of which we are especially proud, is a huge retrospective of Ingmar Bergman films on the occasion of his 100th birthday. It is mostly composed of films which for the most part were not screened in this country.
 
Last year we acquainted our audience with Indian cinema. This year festival viewers will discover the cinema of the neighboring Sri-Lanka. 
 
Following many years of efforts and cooperation with the Hong-Kong film archive we finally managed to compile the retrospective of the restored copies of films with Bruce Lee including the unique movie featuring the teenage actor.
 
A panorama of the very young cinema will be offered in the competition of shorts, which we enrich every year, while the problems of the older generation will come to the fore in the program “Third Age” which we are reprising this year and which will mostly feature Asian countries.
 
I hope that documentary films and the so called authors’ programs will as usual arouse the viewers’ interest, the latter will be presented in more detail by their curators. 
 
Kirill Razlogov
Program director of the MIFF