January 11, 2011 |
In Peter Weir's "The Way Back," which opened late last month for a brief Oscar-qualifying run and releases again on Jan. 21, a group of prisoners escapes a Stalin-era Siberian gulag by walking all the way to India. The film is structured very much as an ensemble, with equal moments given to Ed Harris, Saoirse Ronan, Colin Farrell and others, but it is British-born actor Jim Sturgess, portraying a Polish prisoner named Janusz, who is in many ways the audience's point of entry. The story not only opens with him, but also his character's desire to return to his wife is the emotional fulcrum on which the action moves.
October 5, 2007 |
Workers rebuilding a 19th century Moscow house unearthed the remains of nearly three dozen people apparently dating back nearly 70 years to the era of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's political purges, police said Thursday. Police also found a rusted pistol on the estate where the remains of an estimated 34 people were found, some of which bore gunshots to the head, said police spokesman Yevgeny Gildeyev.
May 10, 2007 |
DANNY HO can't believe what he's seeing outside of the Key Club on a busy Saturday night. "A Russian rapper is playing here tonight?" the 23-year-old asks incredulously of the doorman behind the velvet rope. When informed tickets start at $60, he scoffs: "Even if Eminem was playing tonight, I would never pay $60! If there are more than 100 people in there, I'd be shocked."
November 25, 2005 |
A mordant fusion of comedy and outrage, "Red Star" is a characteristically bitter offering from British playwright Charles Wood, also notable for the screenplays "Help!" and "The Knack." Wood, who came in on the tail end of the Angry Young Man epoch in British theater, neatly avoids the curmudgeonliness that has afflicted many of his contemporaries. Full of rage and not a little horror, "Red Star" is still a brass-plated hoot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 2000
Sergo Gegechkori, 75, who tried in vain to clear his father's name of crimes committed in the Soviet Union's Stalinist era. His request for a pardon for his father, dreaded Soviet secret police chief Lavrenty Beria, was rejected by a Russian military court in May. Beria was executed by a firing squad in 1953 for rape, terror and spying for 14 foreign countries.
January 31, 1999 |
Some of our most familiar assumptions about the Cold War are mutating, and books like "The Haunted Wood" are partly responsible. The mask has fallen from the corpse of Soviet totalitarianism; much of what we have learned since 1991 surpasses even bleak Cold War suspicions of the regime that Lenin and Stalin created. The old '60s rhetoric that portrayed democracy and totalitarianism as equivalent evils, locked in morally content-less confrontation, stands exposed as a shameful absurdity.