Rocketman is a 2019 UK / USA musical music biography by Dexter Fletcher. Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron Egerton and Richard Madden.
A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of
Elton John's breakthrough years.
During the Russian premiere of Rocketman on 30th May in Moscow, film goers noticed the 40s gay male sex scene between Elton John (Taron Egerton) and manager, John Reid (Richard Madden) was missing.
Film critic Anton Dolin saw the original version in Cannes and remarked the Russian edit cut out scenes of kissing, sex and oral sex between men. This included a photo of Elton John and his husband David Furnish in the closing credits. It also didn't
show scenes featuring drug and alcohol use. Around five minutes in total was missing from the Russian cut of Rocketman.
Maybe the 5 minutes may be an exaggeration. Not also that there are Russian laws banning the 'promotion' of gay sex so such
censorship may be a legal necessity rather than a morality decision by the film censor.
Update: Russian distributors blasted by Elton John
Elton John has hit out at Russian film distributors for editing out gay sex scenes from his biopic Rocketman, adding that it was a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in.
The local film distributor, Central Partnership company
told news agency TASS that it cut the scenes to comply with Russian legislation
The decision to remove the scenes was made solely by the distributor, Russia's Culture Ministry told TASS, adding that it issued no recommendations concerning the
Film critic Dolin said the grossest thing about the Russian edit was that the final caption had been removed from the closing credits. In the original, it says that Elton John found the love of his life and is raising children with the man
he loves (there is a dramatic moment in the film when his mother says to him 'you are doomed to be lonely'). In the Russian version it says the musician set up a foundation to fight AIDS and is still working with a long-time co-author.
Avengers: Endgame is a 2019 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Starring Brie Larson, Robert Downey Jr and Karen Gillan.
The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that
wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios' grand conclusion to twenty-two films, Avengers: Endgame.
The Russian release of Avengers: Endgame
features some tweaked dialogue in an early scene to straighten out Marvel's first gay character. The censorship was intended to avoid conflicts with Russia's ban on so-called gay propaganda.
[ Spoilers! hover or click
Early in the movie, one of the two Russo brothers plays a gay character who attends a support group with Steve Rogers (Captain America). The scene is brief but it marks the first time an openly gay character has appeared in a Marvel film.
The gay character says:
So, I went on a date the other day. First time in five years. He cried as they were serving the salad. [...] But I'm seeing him again tomorrow.
In the dubbed Russian version,
Joe Russo's character says:
I was recently at dinner. First time in five years. [...] He cried over a plate of salad. [...] Tomorrow I'm meeting him again.
The Death of Stalin is a 2017 France / UK historical comedy biography by Armando Iannucci. Starring Olga Kurylenko, Jason Isaacs and Steve Buscemi.
The internal political landscape of 1950's Soviet Russia takes on darkly comic form in a new film by Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated writer/director Armando Iannucci. In the days following Stalin's collapse, his core team of
ministers tussle for control; some want positive change in the Soviet Union, others have more sinister motives. Their one common trait? They're all just desperately trying to remain alive. A film that combines comedy, drama, pathos and political
manoeuvring, The Death of Stalin is a Quad and Main Journey production, directed by Armando Iannucci, and produced by Yann Zenou, Kevin Loader, Nicolas Duval Assakovsky, and Laurent Zeitoun. The script is written by Iannucci, David Schneider and Ian
Martin, with additional material by Peter Fellows.
The Russian release of British comedy film The Death of Stalin has been shelved following a screening before senior figures on Monday night. The Russian attendees complained
that the satire contained ideological warfare and extremism. The film's distribution certificate was withdrawn, effectively cancelling its planned Thursday release.
The screening was attended by members of parliament as well as representatives
from Russian cinema. Yelena Drapeko, deputy head of the lower house of parliament's culture committee, told RBK news she had never seen anything so disgusting in my life.
The film, from director Armando Iannucci, is a satire of the power struggle
in Moscow following Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's death in 1953. Many of the main characters are real historical figures.
February is the anniversary of the Russian victory at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943. It was led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov
whose daughter was one of 21 signatories on an open letter to the culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky, complaining about the film. The letter said:
The film insults the Russian people and even the Soviet Union's
national anthem - heard in the trailer was used inappropriately.
Update: Cinema threatened after screening the banned film to an invited audience
The Russian Culture Ministry has warned cinemas in the country that they will face
legal ramifications if they continue to show the banned film, The Death Of Stalin. The statement came after the Pioner (Pioneer) movie theater in Moscow defied the government ban and screened the film to a packed audience.
Showing a movie without
a license can bring a fine of up to 100,000 rubles ($1,800). A second violation could lead to a theater's closure. Police officers raided the Pioner theater along with what appeared to be plain-clothes officers on January 26.
Dmitry Peskov ludicrously claimed the banning of the film did not constitute censorship. He said: We disagree that it's a manifestation of censorship.
Leviafan is a 2014 Russia drama by Andrey Zvyagintsev. Starring Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Aleksey Serebryakov and Roman Madyanov.
A present day social drama spanning multiple characters about the human
insecurity in a "new country" which gradually unwinds to a mythological scale concerning the human condition on earth entirely.
The Oscar-nominated Russian film Leviathan is going on general release in Russian
cinemas, but with silence blanking out the strong language. It is a highly controversial film in Russia, portraying a corrupt mayor in the bleak far north bullying a man trying to keep his property.
Russian law bans swearing in films, TV
broadcasts, theatres and the media. Much of the dialogue in Leviathan contains swearing, some of it very strong language. A spokesman for the distributor said Russian viewers will find it easy to lip-read the swear words .
producer, Alexander Rodnyansky, said interest had surged since a pirated copy appeared on the internet a month ago and the film had become a hot topic of debate.
Some have seen the film as a condemnation of President Vladimir Putin's Russia. A big
photo of Mr Putin hangs above the corrupt mayor's desk.However, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was pleased that Leviathan had triggered such sharp reactions in society.
Yes and Yes (Da i Da) is a 2014 Russia drama by Valeriya Gay Germanika. Starring Vladimir Dubosarsky, Aleksandr Gorchilin and Agniya Kuznetsova.
Actress Agniya Kuznetsova plays an inquisitive girl
from the outskirts of Moscow, embarking on a coming-of-age adventure in the city's bohemian art community.
Russia's new anti-obscenity law, that came into force on 1st July, has forced Vologda's VOICES Film Festival to pull its
screening of Valeria Gai Germanika's Yes and Yes (Da i Da) .
However, the extensive use of strong language means that the film's producers have not been able to obtain a distribution certificate to release the film in Russian cinemas. Under
the new legislation, films containing foul language will be banned from general release.
The film, which had its European premiere at last week's Moscow International Film Festival and won four awards including best director and the
FIPRESCI Prize. In a last minute decision, a limited release was organised in five Moscow cinemas in the three days leading up to the law coming into effect which resulted in good box office.
Kremlin propaganda claims that the new law is meant to
ensure the protection and development of linguistic culture , but critics say it is reminiscent of Soviet-era censorship.