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Film extravaganza sweeps Moscow


A pot-pourri of different cultures, languages and religions - the Moscow International film festival is on the go from June 23-July 2, with the Russian capital turning into a platform for a host of exciting cinematic experiments.

ґWith hundreds of films from around the world being screened, the festival is set to fill in the empty spaces of your life with a sense of reality or illusion.

"Some people see cinema as superficial and glamorous, but for me, it is something quite different. I think it holds a mirror up to the world," legendary French actress, Jeanne Moreau famously remarked.

Cinema, the "most beautiful fraud in the world", as Jean-Luc Godard once defined it, has long been a part of the global economy, with action movies enjoying the biggest popularity.

One of the world`s oldest film festivals, the Moscow Film Festival, is highlighting independent productions as well as Hollywood blockbusters like Michael Bay`s Transformers 3.

ґIts world premiere will turn the opening of the festival into a star-studded event, with the darlings of American cinema gracing the red carpet.

Heading the jury is Charlie Chaplin`s daughter, the granddaughter of the Nobel Prize winning playwright Eugene O`Neill, Geraldine Chaplin.

Among the highlights of the competition program is the debut drama of the celebrated playwright, dissident and politician - the first president of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel.

ґOne of the distinguishing features of this year`s program is the range of documentary films on the festival`s menu, and a new "Saint George" trophy for best documentary film.

As well as filmmakers vying for awards, a range of must-see films will also be on offer on the festival`s parallel programs.

Among the most highly-anticipated is a selection of films by one of the key German artists, Werner Herzog, who will present such early masterpieces as Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes and Woyzeck as well as the more recent dramas My Son My Son What Have Ye Done and Cave of Forgotten Dreams.The cream of the crop of the Cannes film festival - films that had their world premiere earlier this year - will be screened in Moscow, including Lars von Trier`s Melancholia, the black-and-white silent masterpiece The Artist as well as Andrey Zvyagintsev`s tour de force Elena.

ґCinema will also reflect modern technology with Wim Wenders` 3-D tribute to the legendary German choreographer, Pina Bausch who died in 2009. The dance drama is taking the viewer straight onto the stage of the celebrated ensemble and beyond the theater, into the city and the surrounding industrial landscape of Wuppertal - the place that was the home and center of Pina Bausch`s creative life for more than 35 years.

Among the films attracting the loudest buzz is a tantalizing Hong Kong adventure entitled 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy. The film, which has already been banned in several countries, will be screened in the "Sex. Food. Culture. Glory" strand.

Culture, sex, glory and food will all be in the picture day and night at the Moscow film marathon.

ґValeria Paikova, RT

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