‘Dahlia’ opens Russia fest of U.S. pix

Indie fare dominates lineup

MOSCOW — Images of America, the largest festival of U.S. films in Russia in well over a decade, opened Thursday with the local premiere of Brian De Palma’s “The Black Dahlia” and will close Sunday with Rian Johnson’s “Brick.”

Fest follows last year’s IndieVisual event, which brought indie content to Russian screens for the first time.

This time it’s expanded with support from the State Dept. and local U.S. Embassy, as well as Russian partners.

Indie fare continues to dominate, with eight pics in the main program. Supporting strands profile contempo docus, with a retrospective for classic helmer Frederick Wiseman.

Pics in the “Classics of Hollywood” section include Fritz Lang’s Western “Rancho Notorious,” starring Marlene Dietrich; Nicholas Ray rodeo pic “The Lusty Men,” with Robert Mitchum; and Mervyn LeRoy’s 1946 comedy “Without Reservations,” with John Wayne.

Sidebar “How the Geniuses Began” has a gay flavor — rare in the Russian capital — showcasing first works from Gus Van Sant (“Mala noche”) and Todd Haynes (“Poison”).

Besides Wiseman, expected guests include Irvin Kershner, Siofra Campbell, Alan Berliner and Ted Hartley of RKO.

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