Sad news: according to an article in Hollywood Reporter, producer Sergei Selyanov confirmed that the Russian director (and Enfant Terrible) Alexey Balabanov died earlier this week, at only 54 years of age. Although no cause of death has been stated, for some time already the director was known to be suffering from severe health problems.
Balabanov is best known for films like Brother
, Of Freaks and Men
, Cargo 200
, and Morphia
. These all show a scathing, cynical look at human behavior, and especially include no love for the old Soviet communist regime.
He presented his latest film, Me Too
, at the International Film Festival Rotterdam a few months ago, in person. It's where I shot the picture above. At that point the rumor was already that this was probably his last film.
Despite having quite a reputation for (not) talking with the press, he was amiable and approachable, signing stuff for fans and answering questions.
In Me Too
he toys with the idea of death, and indeed the film also shows his own, in detail, in a whimsical and jocular fashion. Which is fitting for a director who so often injected the blackest of jet-black humor in his films, even during the most uncompromising violence.
Rest in piece and happiness, Alexey Balabanov.
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