Marina Razbezhkina is a well-known Russian documentary filmmaker, educator, and founder of the largest independent documentary school in the country. Her very original approach to documentary, which combines intimate proximity to the protagonist with raw observational aesthetics, revolutionized the Russian film landscape and became the trademark of her school. Her students most often work as a one-person crew with a lightweight hand-held camera shadowing their protagonists up close. This “hunt for reality,” as Razbezhkina terms the practice, usually results in deeply engaging observational documentaries that completely absorb the viewer into an unfamiliar reality. In this interview Razbezhkina talks about the beginnings of her career, explains the origins and the core of her filmmaking method, and discusses the changing role of documentary in the modern world.
When Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, The Guardian (2006), a film about Coast Guard rescue workers set in North Carolina and Alaska, was preparing to shoot there. Was it some eerie coincidence that this Coast Guard rescue movie had picked Louisiana? Hardly. It is just less expensive to build a wave tank there than in Los Angeles.
Disney’s Silly Symphonies, Russian Ark, Harry Langdon, and part 2 of our Annual Film Book Survey. Plus reviews of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring, and Lost in Translation
READ: a review of Lost in Translation