May 16, 2012, 7:00 P.M.
The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, SCA 112, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Outside the Box [Office] and Zeitgeist Films invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of
7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, CANNES FILM FESTIVAL -- UN CERTAIN REGARD
BEST FEATURE FILM; BEST DIRECTOR; BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER; BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS -- GOLDEN EAGLE AWARDS, RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURES
Opens at Landmark's Nuart Theatre in West L.A. on Friday, May 25th, 2012
Winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize, Elena is a gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment—he’s a still-virile, wealthy businessman; she’s his dowdy former nurse who has clearly “married up.” Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir openly despises his wife’s freeloading son and family. But when a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten the dutiful housewife’s potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan.... Masterfully crafted by award-winning Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev (Golden Globe nominee, The Return) and featuring evocative, Hitchcockian music by Philip Glass, Elena is a subtly stylish exploration of crime, punishment and human nature.
Provided courtesy of Zeitgeist Films. Not Rated. Running time: 109 minutes. In Russian with English subtitles.
To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.
I’m thrilled by the chance this story provides to explore the central idea of the early modern period: survival of the fittest, survival at any cost. With the growth of individual freedoms, society requires a corresponding growth of solidarity. Ever-increasing disengagement and individualism mean that people start to behave more and more like a bunch of tarantulas in a jar. This will be a rough drama — a pitiless, uncompromising look at human nature.
We see two old people who have what appears to be an entirely normal relationship. You could even say that these people love each other, though it’s not a passionate, youthful kind of love. We see their mutual care, gentleness and tact, which, along with their dedication and fairness, persuade us that they are bound by a lasting love.
However, if we choose to call the illusion of a commercial relationship “love” then, in a moment of crisis, individuals will always act first and foremost in their own interests.
As far as the form or the time flow is concerned, I see this film as a fast, intense ride that spirals around the central event — Elena’s decision to kill. Up to that point we see a gentle, sweet, feminine woman, full of love and care — at the climax we see a monster, barely recognizable as the character for whom we felt such empathy. From that point onward, time ends its mad dash and moves towards the finale like a person realizing the mechanistic nature and fundamental meaninglessness of everything around them.
This is a drama for today, told in a modern cinematographic language subjecting the viewer to eternal questions about life and death.
A monster disguised as a saint, a repenting sinner facing her idols in a temple — how is that for an image of the Apocalypse?
The Devil is powerless when he stands before the face of God. Man is powerless in the face of Death. And God is powerless in the face of Man’s freedom of choice. Humanity holds the key to the future of this trinity.
– Andrey Zvyagintsev
About Outside the Box [Office]
Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain. The weekly screenings will be on Wednesday and Sunday nights (and other select dates, as they arise) in the School of Cinematic Arts Complex, George Lucas Building.
To view the calendar of screenings, click here.
Check-In & Reservations
This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.
All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.
Name: Alessandro Ago