Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Russian "Wolfy" Conquering Karlovy Vary Pack

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire July 9, 2009 at 4:10AM

Vassily Sigarev's "Wolfy" wasn't even supposed to screen in Karlovy Vary. At the very last minute, after the festival's materials had been printed and the program was ready to go, the festival received a call from the film's producers saying they wanted "Wolfy" in competition. The festival happily obliged, and now - as the festival nears its final days - "Wolfy" seems like a strong contender for the festival's top prize, the Crystal Globe.
0

Vassily Sigarev's "Wolfy" wasn't even supposed to screen in Karlovy Vary. At the very last minute, after the festival's materials had been printed and the program was ready to go, the festival received a call from the film's producers saying they wanted "Wolfy" in competition. The festival happily obliged, and now - as the festival nears its final days - "Wolfy" seems like a strong contender for the festival's top prize, the Crystal Globe.

A haunting tale of child abuse set within a bleak representation of contemporary Russia, "Wolfy" follows a subject matter present throughout much of Karlovy Vary's main competition. Frederic Dumont's Belgian-Canadian co-production "Angel at Sea" details the horrifying relationship between a suicidal father and his 12-year old son, while Martin Pieter's Danish "Applause" stars Paprika Steen as a recovering alcoholic attempting to reunite with her young children after years of abusing them. While both admirable efforts, neither of those films observe their themes with the complexity and ingenuity that Sigarev's does.

"Wolfy" follows the relationship between a young girl (played by newcomer Polina Plutček - chosen from 5,000 girls during a casting call), and her vicious, sociopathic mother (played by Sigarev's wife Yana Troyanova). The girl is essentially left on her own for most of her childhood (save for bare minimum parenting care of her dour grandmother and her invalid aunt) as her mother comes and in out her life through cycles of alcohol-fueled violence and intense verbal abuse.

Yana Troyanova and Vassily Sigarev at the press conference for "Wolfy." Image courtesy of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

"I wanted to tell a story of a mother and daughter, and of God, who should be there with them but for some reason isn't," Sigarev said at the film's press conference. "The primary goal was to capture a child's memories on film, however cruel they might be."

Sigarev - a renowned playwright in his native Russia - adapted the film from his own play. "Wolfy" marks his cinematic debut, and he was coy in returning journalist's questions as to whether he would continue to work in film. "For me, ['Wolfy'] doesn't mean losing theater nor leaning towards filmmaking," he said.

Sigarev also acknowledged that much of the script came about on the basis of Yana Troyanova's childhood memories, which makes her performance all the more terrifying. Suggestively playing some version of one her own parental figures, Troyanov makes Mo'Nique's similarly abusive character in "Precious" look angelic in comparison.

"I've often heard that people would like to kill me for playing this role and I know that means I acted it well," Troyanov said at the press conference. "I played absolute evil."

Karlovy Vary's mid-week presentation of "Wolfy" was its second festival screening, after winning best film, best actress and best screenplay at the Sochi International Film Festival a few weeks back. It's likely just the beginning of the film's festival presence, though Sigarev warned that he's not expecting any audience awards.

"It's no audience hit because it's not a movie for everybody," he said. "But the jury in Sochi voted for it unanimously."

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival continues through this weekend.

This article is related to: Features, Festival Dispatch






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

Most Read



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More