NZFF2014_07 Leviathan

A film that is described as a ‘Russian master piece’ and which won best screenplay at Cannes is a reasonably safe bet for an ideal Film Festival experience. And thankfully it was. I felt a little taken aback after seeing two films in a row that left me feeling unfulfilled, but Leviafan by Andrey Zvyagintsev was the antidote I needed: a slowly paced film with heart breaking performances & beautiful cinematography, the story arc of which felt almost like a current theme: individual humans being consumed in their attempts to fight corruption – the philosophical righteous confronted & denigrated by the corrupt & powerful….

Levithan has a great soundtrack – the ambiences often primal & foreboding, or empty & plaintive, with the score by Philip Glass primarily bookending moments or chapters of the narrative… Have to say I almost cheered at one point, to hear the gentle rhythm of film during a quiet dialogue scene.

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