On the Competition Programme of the 31st Moscow IFF

  • Christina Stojanova


CHARACTERS AND CIRCUMSTANCES: NOTES ON THE COMPETITION PROGRAMME OF THE 31st MOSCOW IFF If a common aesthetic denominator of the competition films, presented at the 31st Moscow International Film Festival (June 19-28, 2009) is to be found, it would be the predominance of mythos (plot) over ethos (character). While most of the characters were ordinary people - that is, "responding to our sense of common humanity" and like us not distinguished by "superior power of action and intelligence" - the extraordinary circumstances were removed either in time, space or in degree from "the cannons of probability that we would find in our own daily experience" (See Frye). In other words, the Moscow competition films were, as Aristotle would have it, about the predominance of the plot, the soul of the play, and stood or fell upon its intricacies, overshadowing the particular psychological and moral make-up of its dramatis personae. Whether...