May 6 - 12, 2005• Vol. 26 - No. 18

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You I Love—And You…And You…And You
by The Maven and The Blonde
Film Columnists

The Russian film You I Love is directed by Olga Stolpovskaya and Dmitry Troitsky. (Try saying those two names four times in a row quickly!). Stolpovskaya is an independent filmmaker and television producer with numerous awards. Troitsky, also a filmmaker, is the creator of the controversial reality show, “The Hunger,” filmed in Berlin. Both directors were influenced by the Russian Parallel Cinema (the Russian alternative and experimental film school). You I Love is a comedic love story involving Vera, portrayed by Lubov Tolkalina, who is a beautiful Moscow anchorwoman. Tim, played by Evgeny Koryakovsky, is a handsome, successful, advertising executive. Both Vera and Tim are living fast-paced, stressful lives in ultra modern Moscow. Their relationship is turned upside down when Tim's car accidentally hits Uloomji, portrayed by Damir Badmaev, a young Kalmyk day worker. (The Kalmyks are a semi-nomadic people of Mongolian decent). The two men are instantly drawn to each other. Vera struggles to understand her boyfriend's suddenly erratic behavior and is dragged into a bizarre love triangle. Uloomji's family is shocked when they learn about his lifestyle choice and try to force him into medical treatment to “cure” him.
You I Love is filmed in Russian with English subtitles. It took First Place at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival and won the “Best Foreign Narrative” award at the 2004 New York City Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. This is not a movie for everyone, but if this synopsis intrigues you, go see You I Love and find out what all the fuss is about.

The Blonde: Ya know, foreign films aren't just called foreign because they are done outside of America. I believe they are called foreign because they are made, filmed, directed, written, and paced in a foreign way than what we are used to here in America. You I Love was like Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice without the Alice. I must admit I had some difficulty getting into this film. YES, the subtitles did have something to do with it, in the beginning. However, there was the waiting and waiting the writer made us go through to let us in on where this film was going. The good news is, if you care to and wait long enough, you will catch on. Whether or not it will be worth your while catching on is another thing all together. This is not a mainstream film, folks, so if promiscuous sex, bisexuality, gay themes, nudity, controversial, odd, strange and artsy films are not your bag, then take a pass on this one. Otherwise, this film will walk you through a journey of quite interesting proportions.

The Maven: As foreign films go, this was quite enjoyable. I always find the rhythm of non-American movies off a little. Once you get used to it, though, you forget and get into the movie.

The Blonde: No! You get used to it, but you don't forget. Ga-head!

The Maven: You I Love gives you a glimpse of the sexual attitudes in modern Russian society. It’s interesting to find they are not so different from our own, so to speak.

The Blonde: I think you are right when it comes to Mongolians, but I believe that Russians are more sexually liberal than Americans. Speaking of LIBERAL…

The Maven: No… “SPEAKING OF LIBERAL,” we aren't! The movie wasn't political and we won't be either. Hey Blonde, are you feeling any better since we spent time with Elizabeth Hurley?

The Blonde: Not at all!  And THANK YOU SOOOO much for reminding me …….AS IF I am not depressed enough! Speaking of gorgeous people, have you seen how beautiful Brooke Shields’ baby is? Look for her to be a major movie star in the future.

The Maven: How do you segue from depression to a baby? You scare me!

The Blonde: Hey Mav, speaking of segues, do you think Michael Jackson is going to “Moon Walk” his way out of this conviction?

The Maven: I don't know, but, either way, he is going to have to do some real inventive moves. More important to me, I am upset with who got voted off “American Idol.” I liked Constantine.

The Blonde: Really, is she that good of a singer?

The Maven: Um, I don't know, but HE certainly is! Paula was crying and Simon was actually surprised.

The Blonde: I don't want to upset anyone but, I DON'T REALLY CARE!  

The Maven: Blonde, do you care about that amazing real life “run away bride” (Jennifer Wilbanks) in the news this week?

The Blonde: Indeed, and she taught us a lesson we can all learn BEFORE saying “I Do.” RUN, Jennifer, RUN! SEE Jennifer RUN!

The Maven: Listen Blonde, if you decide to copy her and “run away” at YOUR next wedding, just call me to let me know that you're okay!

The Blonde:  Have no fear. There will be NO more weddings for The Blonde! I have enough wedding gowns to start my own bridal shop! I, alone, could write for Bridal Magazine.

The Maven: Glad you said it!  Now back to the film… I suppose I should have been shocked by the subject matter, but I was NOT! It's presented in such a way that I was not offended in THE LEAST. I was also pleased to see a Russian film about working people and class struggles that was not political. These are Russian people who love their country and are just trying to find their place in it. For a foreign film, I rate this film an A for an absolutely delightful experience.

The Blonde: ARE YOU SERIOUS? YOU RATE THIS FILM AN “A”? Did you recently up your Zoloft dosage? WHATEVER! Moviegoers, this story was an old tale, told in a modern way. It was hard to follow because of the interesting camera work and choppy editing. In spite of all that, it does make sense in the end. The moral is quite interesting. Love HAPPENS TO US. We can fight it, deny it, try to change our feelings, try to love who others expect us to love…but in the end, LOVE PICKS US! Maven, okay, even though you rate it an A for Russian, back here in the USA I rate You I Love a C+. For your movie snacks, I suggest some Snickers candy because this movie will give you a lot of them!

P.S.: A very unique film out of Israel, if you're interested, is Walk on Water.

P.S. AGAIN: Look for our review next week on the wonderful film Finding Home. We will fill you in on our delightful, very interesting, one-on-one interview with the film’s director (and writer) Lawrence D. Foldes and his wife (the film’s producer) Victoria Paige Meyerink. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!

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