Monday, March 23, 2009

Critics give warm welcome to film produced by Lancastrians

Former Lancastrian and NewsLanc's "Santa Monica" movie reviewer Dan Cohen and publisher Robert Field teamed up to help produce the motion picture "Perestroika" that previewed before an audience of 700 at a New York City benefit last week and opened in Los Angeles over the week end to near rave reviews.

The following are excerpts from the four reviews to date:

LA Weekly: "GO: PERESTROIKA On the evidence of his new movie, Slava Tsukerman, who made the 1982 cult movie Liquid Sky, would make a brilliantly entertaining dinner guest. The Russian writer-director, who thrives on confusion, has emptied the contents of his very busy head and heart into this crowded, talky but immensely likable movie about almost everything in a rapidly changing, uncertain post perestroika world."

Los Angeles Times: "In this highly personal film, Tsukerman bristles with insights and ideas, pondering even whether it's God's plan that man should destroy all life -- yet manages to work his way rigorously toward a note of spirituality. ‘Perestroika’ asks, with a philosophical shrug of the shoulders: Why not try to be optimistic?"

Variety: "An REF Prods. presentation. Produced by Nina V. Kerova, Slava Tsukerman. Executive producer, Robert Field. Co-producer, Dan Cohen. Directed, written by Slava Tsukerman.

With: Sam Robards, F. Murray Abraham, Oksana Stashenko, Ally Sheedy, Jicky Schnee, Maria Andreyeva, Andrey Sergeyev.

Soviet emigre Slava Tsukerman has spent much of his career crafting docus detailing the lesser-known stories of the former USSR, yet he's best known as the renegade director behind 1982's hallucinatory cyberpunk freak-out 'Liquid Sky.' With "Perestroika," he fuses both halves of his filmmaking persona, turning the semi-autobiographical story of a returning Russian refugee into a deeply strange, breezily existential cocktail of Milan Kundera and Federico Fellini. he film, which opened March 20 in Los Angeles, is unwieldy, overstuffed and at times hopelessly clunky, yet it's also touchingly funny, visually arresting and somehow a consistent joy to watch." 4 stars out of 5. "Deeply personal, fiercely political, whimsical and unpredictable in style, and direct in voice, writer-director Slava Tsukerman's Perestroika resonates across personal, national, global, and even cosmic levels, all at once….Most striking about Perestroika, though, is its hard-to-categorize style. Tsukerman smashes together a smorgasbord of video and archival Soviet footage; on-location sequences with scenes using experimental rear projection and false perspectives; digitally processed imagery; sequences intercutting the low-budget psychedelic present-time with pristine sepias of the past, and so on, in a delirious approximation of Sasha's emotional and psychological life."

Field said that seventeen years passed between when the screenplay was written and the movie was filmed in Moscow in 2007. He credited Cohen, an F & M graduate and now a film writer and director in his own right, with making a major artistic contribution to the final editing of the movie.

The movie opens in New York City on April 17th at the Cinema Village.

A trailer, full reviews and other materials can be viewed at