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Aleksei Balabanov obituary

Film-maker known for his dark take on post-Soviet Russia

Aleksei Balabanov, who has died aged 54 after suffering a seizure, saw himself as the "anti-establishment rock'n'roller of Russian film" with an aim to make "scandalous, harsh cinema". Many of Balabanov's films are metaphorical black comedies that gaze unflinchingly at the bleakness and violence of the last days of communism and post-Soviet society, with classic Russian rock music on the soundtrack. His first two features, Happy Days (1991) and The Castle (1994), were based on Samuel Beckett and Franz Kafka respectively, and Balabanov's nihilistic oeuvre also takes in Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Mikhail Bulgakov, whose Notes of a Young Doctor was the basis of Balabanov's Morphia (2008).

"I don't make movies with ideas. Ideas make for bad cinema," he said. "I don't make my movies for the intelligentsia, but for the people. That's why they like my films." This was demonstrated by the commercial

See full article on The Guardian - Film News