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Thursday, January 12, 10:00 AM
Palm Canyon Theatre
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Russia, 2011, 109 Minute Running Time
US Premiere
Topics: Crime, Drama
Program: Modern Masters
Language: Russian English Sub-Titles

A gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller, Elena offers an engrossing yarn about a coveted inheritance, cruel class differences and quietly monstrous misdeeds. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment—he’s a still-virile, wealthy businessman; she’s his dowdy former nurse who has clearly “married up.” Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir openly despises his proletarian wife’s freeloading son and family. But when a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten the dutiful housewife’s potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan…. Masterfully crafted by award-winning Russian filmmaker Andrei Zvyagintsev (The Return) and featuring an evocative, Hitchcockian score by Philip Glass, Elena is a subtly stylish exploration of crime, punishment and human nature. Although Zvyagintsev extends his characters a compassion that bespeaks a deep understanding of human unpredictability, Elena is ultimately a chilling portrait of Russia’s post-communist consumer society, a culture entirely lacking in morality. Winner: Special Jury Prize, A Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival.

DIRECTOR: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Producer: Alexander Rodnyansky
Editor: Anna Mass
Screenwriter: Oleg Negin, Andrei Zvagintsev
Cinematographer: Mikhail Krichman
Music: Philip Glass
Principal Cast: Nadezhda Markina, Andrey Smirnov, Elena Lyadova, Alexey Rozin
Filmography: The Banishment (2007), The Return (2002)
Print Source: Zeitgeist - www.zeitgeistfilms.com

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