As the winter days become colder, the idea of cuddling on the couch with your favorite Russian girl has surely crossed your mind. But if you're unable to spend this season with your lady, you can still enjoy a movie night alone and then chat with her about the films afterward.
Watching movies from each other's cultures is a great way to grow your relationship... and you may even pick up a little of the language!
Here are five fantastic films from the last decade that range from a fantasy thriller to a jazzy musical.
Russian Ark (2002)
Film critic Roger Ebert called Russian Ark "one of the most astonishing films ever made." An eccentric French aristocrat walks the grand halls of the State Hermitage Museum, encountering eminent historical figures as he goes. Remarkably, the film shows off 33 rooms to the melodies of three orchestras, with 2,000 actors milling about. Russian Ark is the only film ever created in one single take and one long continuous shot.
The Return (2003)
Directed by Andrei Zyagintsev, The Return was universally acclaimed for its cinematography and psychological depth, winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. It explores the relationships and ensuing tragedy when a Dad tries to make amends and come home to his children.
The first of the homegrown Russian blockbusters after the collapse of the Soviet film industry, the fantasy thriller Nightwatch spawned a new genre somewhere between The Matrix and Twilight. The film has an international cult following and its director, Timur Bekmambetov, is now sought after in Hollywood.
The Island (2007)
Filmed on the lonely, harshly beautiful shores of the White Sea, The Island patiently films the tortured solitude of Anatoly. A monk who served aboard a barge during World War II, he was captured by Germans and coerced into shooting his captain to save his own life. This act pushes him to the brink of insanity, but it does not stop him from playing the edgy prankster and an oracle to local villagers.
Stilyagi (Hipsters in English, 2008)
A wonderful jazz film, Stilyagi portrays young, hip Russian communists in the 1950s trying to set their own spirits free to the beat. It managed to be an indie hit, a musical and cult film in the United States all at once.
Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines