The film segment of the second annual Russian Arts Festival runs Friday through Sunday, November 28 through 30, at First Chicago Center Theater, First National Bank of Chicago, 2 N. Dearborn. Tickets for all programs are $6, students and seniors $2. For more information call 773-734-2619.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28
"Another Russian gangster film," you may groan at first, as I did at the onset of this feature by writer-director Alexei Balabanov (who made the remarkable 1995 short Trofilm). But the further this movie develops, the better it gets--not only as a hard-edged look at Russian life today but also as a finely nuanced psychological study. Starring Sergei Bodrov Jr. (Prisoner of the Mountains), this follows the ups and downs of a young man who returns to Saint Petersburg after leaving the army and discovers that his brother is a hit man. (JR) (5:30)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29
Time of the Dancer
Following the end of World War II, three friends return home from the front and try to readjust to civilian life. Vadim Abdrashitov (Sluga) directed; with Sergei Garmash, Chulpan Khamatova, Zurab Kipshidze, and Yuri Stepanov. (3:00)
Viktor Sergeyev (Genius, The Executioner) directed this political thriller about organized crime's ties to the judiciary and special services in postreform Russia. Based on a true story; with Alexander Abdulov. (6:00)
The Man for the Young Woman
A 1996 romantic comedy about a middle-aged family man who falls for a younger woman. Murad Ibragimbekov directed; with Regimantas Adomaitis and Oleg Yankowsky. (8:30)
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30
Pioneer Mary Pickford
Shot entirely on location in the U.S., Vladimir Levin's comedy recalls the early years of Soviet collectivization. A schoolgirl, inspired by silent films of Mary Pickford, causes consternation in her village when she announces her ambition to become a movie star. (3:00)
A poet released from a political prison returns home to his wife and child, but after a reading of his work he has the opportunity to buy a pistol and finds himself developing an "anti-muse." Vladimir Khotinenko directed this 1996 drama; with Sergei Makovetsky, Irina Metlitskaya, and Vladimir Ilyin. (5:00)
The Hunting Party: Russian Style
A 1995 comedy written and directed by Alexander Rogozhkin (Living With an Idiot), about a Finnish anthropology student who joins a Russian hunting party and imagines what this experience would have been like in the 19th century. With Ville Hapsalo and Viktor Bychkov. (7:00)
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Time of the Dancer film still.