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Angels Falling From Canada

Canadian director Scott Smiths quirky drama Falling Angels comes to Moscow in April straight from the Toronto Film Festival, without having been released in the U.S. The film, admittedly one of the more esoteric movies to be shown here this month, is based on a novel by Toronto writer Barbara Gowdy. The film is a 101-minute glimpse at the lives of a dysfunctional family unraveling in late 1960s Ontario. A depressed, alcoholic mother (subtly rendered by British actress Miranda Richardson) and a domineering, paranoid dad (Callum Kieth Rennie) look on as their three highly variegated daughters grow up fast. In addition to sterling acting, the film is imbued with a unique atmosphere, thanks to production designer Rob Grays expressionistically tawdry late 60s interiors and Greg Middletons rich cinematography.

Falling Angels is in English with Russian subtitles. Starts on Thursday, April 1 at MDM-Kino. 28 Komsomolsky Prospekt (M: Frunzenskaya.) Tel. 961 0056.



Buena Vista Voice at the Estrada

Almost overnight Afro-Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer went from impoverished ex-musician he shined shoes for a living to international music sensation. Ferrer was re-discovered by guitarist Ry Cooder and by German filmmaker Wim Wenders, whose 1999 documentary about the Cuban music collective The Buena Vista Social Club charmed viewers the world over. One of the most memorable of the Buena Vista bunch, and also one of the most gracious, Ferrer has been dubbed by some the Cuban Nat King Cole because of his smooth, sonorous voice. He will sing alongside a 17-piece orchestra including a few surviving Buena Vista compatriots.

Ibrahim Ferrer plays at Teatr Estrady on April 12 and 13. 20/2 Bersenyevskaya Naberezhnaya. (Metro: Polyanka) Tel. 101 3465, 959 0550.



Bolshoi Hosts Benois Dance Prize

The non-profit Benois Center will award the annual Benois de la Danse prize for excellence in dance at the Bolshoi Theatre on April 27. Prize winners, top modern and ballet dancers from around the world, will take to the Bolshois stage throughout the evening. Each year, an international jury of authoritative figures in world choreography tenders nominations, deliberates for an entire year, and finally defines the best. The dance prize was established to present the very best of contemporary dance and ballet to the public and also to provide an international milieu for creative contacts among dancers. The event will feature performances by this years winners of the Benois prize: Raphael Coumes-Marquet, Sue Jing Kang, Sol Leon, Paul Lightfoot, Ulyana Lopatkina, Vladimir Malakhov, Irek Mukhamedov, Elisabeth Platel, Yann Saez, Gregor Seyffert, Yumiko Takeshima, and Robert Tewsley.

The Benois de la Danse prize award ceremony and performance takes place at 7pm on April 27 at the Bolshoi. (M: Teatralnaya). Tel. 290 1652, 292 9270.


Photo Biennale Opens Windows to the World

A plethora of Moscow exhibition halls, galleries, cafes, clubs, and other establishments will host the Fifth Annual Photo Biennale beginning April 19. The festival focuses on highly creative photography and is organized by the Moscow House of Photography, City Hall, and the Culture Committee. This years individual exhibitions are grouped according to three main themes: City, Identification, and New Technologies. A circle of well-known artistic photographers from St. Petersburg are heavily represented this year, including Sergei Africa Bugayev, Olga Tobreluts, Alexander Florensky, and Dmitry Goryachyov. Also of note is a contingent of Iranian photographers that includes renowned film director Abbas Kiarostami. Kiarostami and other international photographers will teach master classes during the month-long festival. The New Technologies part of the event will focus on the use of digital imaging to restore vintage photographs.

The Fifth Annual Photo Biennale runs from April 19 to May 19 in spaces around Moscow. Tel. 231 3325, 231 3326,

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