The 5 most anticipated Russian movies in 2017

The script for Guardians, a comic movie about Soviet people with superpowers, was written on the fly as it was already being shot. A team of Soviet superheroes rescue the country and the world as a whole from the threat of apocalypse.
The script for Guardians, a comic movie about Soviet people with superpowers, was written on the fly as it was already being shot. A team of Soviet superheroes rescue the country and the world as a whole from the threat of apocalypse. / Kinopoisk.ru
Listed below are five new Russian films, ranging from an Oscar nominee to a Soviet superhero story, that have a good chance at being distributed internationally.

1. Paradise

This is the story of Helmut, a senior SS officer, who arrives at a concentration camp to investigate corruption allegations. There he runs into the love of his youth, an aristocratic Russian émigré named Olga who has been incarcerated for joining the French Resistance and harboring Jewish children in her house during the Nazi occupation of France.

Andrei Konchalovsky's film is Russia’s main cinematic export of 2017. It won the Silver Lion for Best Director at Venice Film Festival and was shortlisted for the Oscars. Paradise. Source: Kinopoisk.ruAndrei Konchalovsky's film is Russia’s main cinematic export of 2017. It won the Silver Lion for Best Director at Venice Film Festival and was shortlisted for the Oscars. Paradise. Source: Kinopoisk.ru

Andrei Konchalovsky's film is Russia’s main cinematic export of 2017. It won the Silver Lion for Best Director at Venice Film Festival and was shortlisted for the Oscars. That Paradise stands apart comes as little surprise, given the director’s international recognition, the generally high quality of the film and that fact that it approaches the Holocaust from an unusual perspective. You might love it or hate it, but there is little doubt that it is a must-see this year for anyone interested in contemporary cinema.

Source: Monica Cabras/YouTube

2. Anna Karenina: The Vronsky Story

This big screen adaptation of the classic Russian novel by Leo Tolstoy comes from prominent Russian filmmaker Karen Shakhnazarov, who is best known internationally for The Assassin of the Tsar starring Malcolm McDowell.

As the title suggests, Shakhnazarov’s adaptation provides a male perspective on this classic story, with Count Vronsky at the center of the movie. However, here Vronsky is not depicted in his traditional role of the shrewd seducer, but rather is portrayed as a complex and multifaceted character. The new take on Tolstoy's masterpiece, along the eternal love story itself, make it likely that the film will be picked up for international distribution.

As the title suggests, Shakhnazarov’s adaptation provides a male perspective on this classic story, with Count Vronsky at the center of the movie. Here Vronsky is not depicted in his traditional role of the shrewd seducer, but rather is portrayed as a complex and multifaceted character. Anna Karenina: The Vronsky Story. Source: Kinopoisk.ruAs the title suggests, Shakhnazarov’s adaptation provides a male perspective on this classic story, with Count Vronsky at the center of the movie. Here Vronsky is not depicted in his traditional role of the shrewd seducer, but rather is portrayed as a complex and multifaceted character. Anna Karenina: The Vronsky Story. Source: Kinopoisk.ru

3. Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask

Directed by Oleg Stepchenko, this sequel to the 2014 film Viy (which was based on the novel by Nikolai Gogol) was initially set to hit the screens in 2016. However, the deadline was pushed back when the project’s Chinese partners, who apparently had unconditional faith in the film’s potential for success, insisted that the script be revised and the budget increased.

The word viy and all other references to Gogol were removed from the title and replaced with an allusion to Alexandre Dumas. The cast was also expanded to include international heavyweights such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan, who is also a producer on the film. Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask. Source: Kinopoisk.ruThe word viy and all other references to Gogol were removed from the title and replaced with an allusion to Alexandre Dumas. The cast was also expanded to include international heavyweights such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan, who is also a producer on the film. Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask. Source: Kinopoisk.ru

As a result, the word viy and all other references to Gogol were removed from the title and replaced with an allusion to Alexandre Dumas. The cast was also expanded to include international heavyweights such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan (who is also a producer on the film). The resulting movie has been promoted in China as nothing short of a national blockbuster, which is likely to bring it popularity elsewhere in the world.

Source: Official Russian Trailers/YouTube

4. Guardians

The authors describe this film as the Russian answer to Marvel Animation's Avengers trilogy. The script for this comic movie about Soviet people with superpowers was written on the fly as it was already being shot. A team of Soviet superheroes (including a bear-man named Ursus) rescue the country and the world as a whole from the threat of apocalypse.

The trailer, which has been making the rounds on the internet for nearly a year now, has been viewed over 6 million times to a variety of reactions. Guardians. Source: Kinopoisk.ruThe trailer, which has been making the rounds on the internet for nearly a year now, has been viewed over 6 million times to a variety of reactions. Guardians. Source: Kinopoisk.ru

The trailer, which has been making the rounds on the internet for nearly a year now, has been viewed over 6 million times to a variety of reactions. Some have mocked the Russian film industry's attempt at rivaling Hollywood, while others are convinced that the film’s budget is not a determining factor and expect director Sarik Andreasyan to present a breakthrough hit.

Source: Kinoklipi Trailir/YouTube

 5. Arrhythmia

Boris Khlebnikov is regarded as one of the most significant Russian directors of the 2000s. He gained worldwide recognition for his movies Koktebel and A Long and Happy Life, which won acclaim at a variety of international film festivals. In 2013, Khlebnikov suddenly switched his focus to working on television. This is his first major movie in recent years, meaning that 2017 will mark Khlebnikov's return to the big screen.

Arrhythmia is a joint Russian-EU project. Eurimages, the European Cinema Support Fund under the Council of Europe, granted 120,000 euros in support of the movie. Arrhythmia. Source: Press PhotoArrhythmia is a joint Russian-EU project. Eurimages, the European Cinema Support Fund under the Council of Europe, granted 120,000 euros in support of the movie. Arrhythmia. Source: Press Photo

Arrhythmia is a joint Russian-EU project. Eurimages, the European Cinema Support Fund under the Council of Europe, granted 120,000 euros in support of the movie. Additional funding came from the administration of Germany's state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Given its extensive international support, this story of an ambulance medic who saves other people's lives on a daily basis while completely neglecting his own has a good chance both of winning awards at European film festivals and becoming a box office hit.

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