Aleksandr Sokurov Poster


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Overview (3)

Born in Podorvikha, Irkutskaya oblast, RSFSR, USSR [now Russia]
Birth NameAleksandr Nikolaevich Sokurov
Nickname Alexander Sokurov

Mini Bio (2)

He was born with a disability because of an anatomic defect of his leg, in 1951 in Podorvikha village in Siberian Russia. His father was a Red Army veteran of WW2. One of most important contemporary filmmakers, Sokurov worked extensively in television and later graduated from the prestigious film school, VGIK, in 1979. His films often created tensions with the Soviet authorities but he received great support from such outstanding film masters as Andrei Tarkovsky. Particularly, after the collapse of the regime, Sokurov's films started earning him numerous awards around the world. While most known for his feature films, Sokurov has directed over 20 interesting documentaries. His 2002 sensational "Russian Ark" is a historic achievement that will be watched and talked about by many generations.

Sokurov has collected a number of awards at Berlin, Cannes, Moscow, Toronto, Locarno and European Film Awards. He lives and works in Russia.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Alexandr Sokurov is a Russian director of avant-garde and independent films that have won him international acclaim. A son of an army officer, Sokurov was born in 1951, and spent his childhood traveling with his family around Russia as his father was transferred from one location to another. This fast change of places and schools kept him lonely, he never had close friends and liked to spend his free time by himself withdrawn into the world of his own. After school he studied history and completed a BA degree course. By that time, however, he had made up his mind to become a film maker and in 1975 he moved to Moscow to study at VGIK-a state film school, one of the most prestigious and major of its kind in Russia. In the years that followed he made several shorts, none of which was liked by his teachers. His works were described as "weird, formal, and mannered" but never "talented" or "promising". In the end Sokurov entered into an open conflict with his mentors and dropped out of BGIK, nevertheless it was during his years there that he met Andrey Tarkovsky whom he later befriended. Tarkovsky was the first to notice Sokurov's gift and to tell him that he was going to have a brilliant career provided he found his own style and stayed true to it, and it was with Tarkovsky's backing that Sokurov found an employment at Lenfilm - the second largest film studio in Russia. His feature debut The Lonely Human Voice (1987) was not released until the early 1990s because the studio chiefs saw an anti-government stance in it. A man of a rare strength Sokurov managed to complete several films in a year. Produced at the same time Mournful Insensibility (loosely adapted from Bernard Shaw's A Heartbreak House) was a commercial failure because it proved to be very difficult for common cinema-goers but pleased critics who reckoned Sokurov as a budding auteur with a vision of his own. He kept on making highly personal, artistic films that won art house fans acclaim first in Russia and then around the world. Often plotless with emphasis on aesthetics and impressionism his films are noted for philosophical approach to history and nature. Besides Sokurov made starring ordinary people instead of professional actors his trademark. At the same time the different interpretations that can be drawn from his films sometimes make them very bizarre. The most recent example is his Father and Son, it was premiered at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival and worried the critics since some saw in it what was described as "homosexual relationships involving close relatives". However Sokurov denied it. His Russian Ark (2002) is an experimental film which is actually a single 96 mn long shot. In the 1990s Sokurov announced the plan to make a trilogy about the most powerful political leaders of the 20th century

  • a sort of a reconciliation to his first vocation as a historian. From
Moloch (1999) that chronicles one day in life of Hitler, through Telets (2001) - an interesting but controversial look at Lenin, to Solntse (2005), which shows the Japanese emperor Hirohito in August 1945 calling for Japan's unconditional surrender, it is obvious that Sokurov is concerned with such subjects as the influence of absolute power on human being, the responsibility, and a degree to which one person can influence history. Sokurov has always tried to distance himself from mainstream as far as possible. Assisted by European and Asian producers he founded his own production company Bereg (Coast) in St.Peterburg, Russia, which supports independent film making. Sokurov is very influential, he is the driving force of the art house movement in Russia, many Russian directors of younger generation idolize and adore him.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mike (hfhfdfse@rol.ru)

Trade Mark (1)

Paintings - Often includes long, accurate shots of real paintings in his film and his videos.

Trivia (3)

Retrospective at the São Paulo International Film Festival. [2002]
Profiled in "Films and Dreams: Tarkovsky, Bergman, Sokurov, Kubrick and Wong Kar-Wei" by Thurston Botz-Borsnstein. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008.
Retrospective at the Beirut International Film Festival 13th Edition. [2013].

Personal Quotes (3)

Anyone who would like to work in film - you have to know everything. You have to know more than everyone on the crew. It's the biggest challenge in being a director. [2016]
There are no geniuses in film. It's not that sort of art form where you can create a perfect masterpiece. Literature, yes; music, probably yes; but never, ever film. [2016]
[on his former teacher Andrei Tarkovsky] He loved what I was doing but, to be honest, I was quite reserved about his work. In hindsight, I think, 'Wasn't I brave to go against him?' I was insane to argue with this great master. [2016]

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