Ralph Fiennes in Russia to head Mirror Film Festival

Acclaimed British actor Ralph Fiennes, recently debuted as a film director of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, arrived in Russia to head the jury of the Andrei Tarkovsky Mirror International Film Festival.

Fiennes was “profoundly moved” after watching Andrei Rublev, the very first film by Tarkovsky he’d seen.

“He is not frightened …of human beings discussing big ideas or …deep profound existential questions. And he does it with a lightness of touch,” Fiennes said of his feelings after watching Tarkovsky’s film during an interview with RIA Novosti.

It was not an easy decision for Fiennes to head the jury as “judging is not easy” for him; however, he came here “with no agenda,” open to see the new films, and to respond and share his response with other jury members. Fiennes was struck by how well the idea of “author cinema” was pronounced at the Mirror Film Festival.

“I loved …that you sensed here the film festival saying the filmmaker as author is our priority,” he said.

Fiennes recently debuted as a film director making Coriolanus based on what he believes to be one of the most provocative and political of Shakespeare’s plays “disposing the continual dysfunction of society and politics.”

Fiennes, who played Eugene Onegin, loves Russian literature and had a dream of making a version of Dostoyevsky’s Idiot. The actor and now film director finds the writer’s “perception of evil” and “sympathy for those who are cursed” fascinating. He believes it is important not be “a slave to the book,” while filming classics.

Fiennes says it is crucial “to find freedom in response to the book” and to reinvent it, reinterpreting what one believes to be its most meaningful components.


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