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Russia sends her “Help Gone Mad” to London

Published time: October 14, 2009 10:01
Edited time: October 14, 2009 10:01
“Help Gone Mad” by Boris Khlebnikov

“Help Gone Mad” by Boris Khlebnikov

The London Film Festival, which is highlighting award-winning productions from around the world, will screen several Russian dramas featured in the “Cinema Europe” program.

Russia’s “Help Gone Mad”, “Morphia” and “Wolfy” will be presented along with the latest Italian, French and Spanish productions.

“Wolfy”, from leading Russian playwright Vasily Sigarev, is among the films vying for the festival’s honors. The dark drama boasts an emotional plot, dramatic tension and a touching performance.

It has already won accolades at home as well as prestigious awards overseas. Sigarev has transformed his play “Wolfy”, about mother-daughter relationships, into a film which has already taken the top award at the 2009 Kinotavr festival in Sochi in southern Russia.

Sigarev’s name is familiar in the UK. The Siberian playwright-turned-director stepped into the limelight in 2002 when his play “Plasticine” was staged at London’s Royal Court Theatre. Sigarev subsequently took the Charles Wintour Prize for Most Promising Playwright. Since 2003, he has written 18 plays that have been staged at theaters in Russia and overseas.

"Wolfy" by Vasily Sigarev
Among the Russian films generating the biggest buzz is also “Morphia” from Aleksey Balabanov. The film has been described as a “compelling and occasionally graphic story” which has been adapted from Mikhail Bulgakov's autobiographical stories about medical practice in Russia back in 1917.

Boris Khlebnikov’s black comedy “Help Gone Mad” has won comparisons with none other than Samuel Beckett in terms of its unconventional outlook at human nature and urban decay.

Last but not least on the Russian menu of the festival there is “A Room and a Half” by Andrey Khrzhanovsky. It centers on the life of the Nobel-prize winning Russian poet Joseph Brodsky, who was exiled from the Soviet Union to America back in 1972.

Up to 200 films will be screened at the London film festival running from October 14-29.

Top awards will be handed over on October 28. According to the organizers, this year there will be “an enhanced range of awards” which will go to newcomers, as well as established filmmakers.