About Love was the opening film of the Russian Resurrection Film Festival, which runs at Cinema Paradiso until November 1.
The film takes a wry look at relationships in the fast-moving digital age, when men and women seem to spend more time looking at their smart phones than getting to know each other.
There’s a lot of sex, some of it comically kinky, but not a lot of love in the half-dozen vignettes of singles and couples seeking to spark up their lives.
Set in glitzy modern Moscow, the film is anchored by a psychologist-author – played by renowned American actor and director, John Malkovich — who is giving a lecture on “How to promote love in the modern world”, while promoting his latest book.
The adults-only film, billed as a heartfelt comedy, drew laughter and applause from many in the audience but I found it hard to like its slick portrayal of loveless encounters.
Now in its 14th year, the festival features 16 films ranging from Vronsky’s Story, an innovative adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic novel, Anna Karenina, to comedy, science fiction, Russia’s first alien invasion film and contemporary features giving an intriguing snapshot of Russian cinema today.
This year, the festival highlights the prolific director Andrei Konchalovsky. His career spans over 45 years starting in the Soviet Union in the 60s and 70s, before he moved to Hollywood in the 80s.
His latest feature, Paradise (2016), won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival.
For festival details, see lunapalace.com.au