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A tale of two cities: Sokurov and Stelling panel

A tale of two cities

‘There is something about Rotterdam that Russians love,’ says IFFR programmer Ludmila Cvikova. ‘They are fascinated by the light here. They find the sky and the clouds interesting, like the Dutch painters who used to reflect on them in their paintings. This seems to give them an instinctive connection with the city.’
This, and other aspects of filmmaking, will be discussed in a free panel on 27 January called The Russian Ark Floats Into Rotterdam Harbour: A Conversation Between Sokurov and Stelling. The conversation, moderated by Maria Baker, will feature an exchange of ideas between Alexander Sokurov and Dutch director Jos Stelling. ‘Stelling is fascinated by Russia – he has a very a special connection with the country and the region, and his latest film was shot partially in the Ukraine,’ says Cvikova. ‘He admires Sokurov. I think that it will be a very intriguing discussion between two directors. I think we will see a focus on this connection between Russian and Dutch souls.’
Alexander Sokurov is in Rotterdam for the screening of his latest film, Alexandra, a political film with a humanist message set in Chechnya. He has already explored the repository of art that lies in the city’s galleries. ‘Sokurov is a very important filmmaker for the IFFR, and I think that we’ve shown all his films over the years,’ says Cvikova. ‘He’s a powerful auteur, and a master filmmaker. He achieves perfection with everything – his images, his sound. He also has a strong connection to the arts and painting – he loves painting and galleries. He’s the perfect director for Rotterdam.’
The Russian Ark Floats Into Rotterdam Harbour: A Conversation Between Alexander Sokurov and Jos Stelling takes place today in the Van Capellenzaal in de Doelen on 27 January at 13.30. Admission is free. RJH