(Release Info London schedule; January 30th, 2018, Institue of Contemporary Arts, 18:00)
Zhenya (Maryana Spivak) and Boris (Aleksey Rosin) are going through a vicious divorce marked by resentment, frustration and recriminations. Already embarking on new lives, each with a new partner, they're impatient to start again, to turn the page, even if it means threatening to abandon their 12-year-old son Alyosha (Matvei Novikov). Until, after witnessing one of their fights, Alyosha disappears.
Born in Novosibirsk. In 1990, Andrey Zvyagintsev graduated from the acting program at 'The Russian University Oof Theater Arts' (GITIS), under the tutelage of Evgeny Lazarev. He went on to take part in independent theater productions and had a few bit parts in TV shows and movies. In 2000, he made his debut as a director. In 2003, Zvyagintsev shot his first feature film, "The Return", which became one of the the cinema sensations of the year. A debut not only for the director but for the majority of the crew as well, it was accepted for the main competition at 'The Venice Film Festival', and won the top prize, the Lion. It also garnered the award for 'Best Debut', with the commendation; a sublime film about love, loss and coming of age. His second film, was presented at 'The 60th Cannes Film Festival', where the lead, Konstantin Lavronenko, became the first Russian actor ever to receive the festival’s award for 'Best Actor'. The international premiere of third film, place in 2011 at 'The 64th Cannes Film Festival', where it was awarded 'The Special Jury Prize' in 'The Un Certain Regard' competition program. His most recent film and, "Leviathan", screened in 'Ofcial Competition' at 'The 67th Cannes Film Festival' and won the award for 'Best Screenplay'. "Leviathan" also became the first Russian film since 1969 to win a 'Golden Globe Award' and was nominated for 'The Best Foreign Film Academy Award'
Zvyagintsev draws parallels between "Loveless" and Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from " A Marriage", transplanted to a diferent era and acted out by diferent characters; urbanites devoid of any real self-awareness or doubt, an average middle- class couple today. Sick of each other after many years of marriage, a man and a woman are going through a divorce. It’s an unremarkable situation. Only, both have new projects. They want to turn the page, begin a new chapter of their lives, with new partners and new emotions that will help them to feel complete and full of promise. Past experience has disheartened them a bit, but they remain confdent in the future. All that remains for them to do is to ofoad the burden that stands between them and happiness; their son, Alyosha, a stranger to both of them, who becomes a ragdoll that each throws vindictively into the other’s face. These are the thoughts of people who blame others for their fascos. In the end, the only thing you can really change is yourself. Only then will the world around you glow once more; perhaps only a terrible loss can allow this to happen. Our post-modern era is a post-industrial society inundated by a constant fow of information received by individuals with very little interest in other people as anything else than a means to an end. These days, it’s every man for himself. The only way out of this indiference is to devote oneself to others, even perfect strangers, like the volunteer search coordinator who combs the town looking for this vanished child, with no promise of reward, as if it's his life’s true purpose. This basic task imbues his every action with meaning. It's the only means of fghting dehumanization and the world’s disarray.
Among the snowy high-rises of modern Moscow lives stocky salesman Bori and Zhenya, a youthful salon owner. Having migrated to shiny new partners, the couple's relationship is coming to a bitter end and the fate of their 12 year-old son Alyosha is the last thing on their minds. When Alyosha goes missing without a trace, his parents can barely grieve in unison. "Loveless" is a story about a heartless marriage on the verge of collapse faced with tragedy. It also illuminates multilayered dichotomies embedded in Russian society. Battles between old and new beliefs, public and private institutions, post-Soviet infrastructures and nouveau riche establishments linger throughout. is the master of crafting a drama with the cinematic tropes of a thriller. Moreover, he's an expert at exposing his world for what it has become. We watch as the director's countrymen ruthlessly step all over each other in order to claw to the top. As Vladimir Putin flexes his muscles and expands westward, "Loveless" may at first appear to be about a specifically Russian phenomenon, but it's not. "Loveless" is universal.