|A still from Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida shows the title character, a nun who, on the verge of taking her vows, discovers her Jewish heritage.(Courtesy of Music Box Films)|
|In this still from Andrei Zvyaginstev's Leviathan, the isolation of the protagonist in a vast, empty landscape perfectly illustrates his predicament, as well as his sensibilities. (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics).|
My New York Film Festival interview with Sissako, a Mauritanian-born writer-director, "Defying Jihad: Abderhamme Sissako's 'Timbuktu' Dramatizes a City Under Siege," appears in the print version and on Film Journal International's website: http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/content_display/esearch/e3ie83416ef2c00c3e3b59097c4170142f7. (Film Journal International is launching a new website design and there may be problems viewing the images attached to this article and the one below.)
I also interviewed Zvyaginstev, a Siberian-born filmmaker, when he was in New York City this Fall. That interview, "In the Belly of the Beast: Andrey Zvyaginstev's Acclaimed 'Leviathan' Depicts One Man's Fight Against Corruption in Modern Russia," may be seen here: http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/content_display/esearch/e3i8d383049914604678e9d38d153e1272a. These two movies, along with Ida, would have been at the top of my "Best Films of 2014" list, which I did not have time to write this year. More about the project that prevented me from posting in my next entry . . .