By MCN Editor



For Immediate Release

New York, NY – September 24, 2010 – Kino International is proud to announce the acquisition of MY JOY (2010), the fiction film debut of veteran Russian documentary filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa. The film premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival where it was the only feature from a first-time filmmaker in the main competition. Renowned Romanian cinematographer Oleg Mutu (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) provides the striking widescreen camerawork.

Following Cannes, MY JOY has enjoyed strong audience reaction in Telluride as well as Toronto (earlier this month), and the film will have its New York premiere in the current New York Film Festival where it screens Thursday, September 30.

Set in contemporary provincial Russia with several flashbacks to World War II, the ironically titled MY JOY is “a journey into the heart of darkness, the depths of Russia – a vast land mass that reduces those wandering across it to ants and fleas” (Anton Dolin, FILM COMMENT).

The story centers around the adventures of young trucker Georgy (Viktor Nemets), who travels through a primitive terrain drenched with reminders of Russia’s brutal past. Along the way he encounters a crew of lost souls, including an elderly hitchhiker, a young prostitute and a band of corrupted soldiers.

However, it is neither the exotic local, nor the characters, that make MY JOY memorable. It is the director’s “ability to create and sustain a visual style of heightened realism that lends total credibility to scenes that would otherwise play as horror or dream,” says Variety’s Alissa Simon.

The acquisition was put together by Donald Krim of Kino International, and Winnie Lau of Fortissimo. Kino International is the theatrical releasing arm of Kino Lorber, which specializes in foreign films, classics and documentary features.

Kino Lorber combines the resources, staffs and libraries of Kino International, Lorber Films, and Alive Mind, bringing together veteran distributors Richard Lorber and Donald Krim.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon