Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wed. 2/18 THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT (2014) by Maxim Pozdorovkin

The Notorious Mr. Bout (2014) 95 minutes
directed by Maxim Pozdorovkin (in-person)

Viktor Bout was a Russian entrepreneur, a war profiteer, an aviation magnate, an arms smuggler and, strangest of all, an amateur filmmaker. Until three days prior to his 2008 arrest on charges of conspiring to kill Americans, Bout kept the camera running, documenting a life spent in the gray areas of international law. Dubbed the "merchant of death" and portrayed by Nicolas Cage in LORD OF WAR, Viktor Bout can justifiably be called the world's most famous arms dealer. With unprecedented access to Bout's home movies and DEA surveillance material gathered during the sting operation to bring him down, THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT is a portrait of a life much mythologized but little understood.

Maxim Pozdorovkin is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and media curator based in New York City. He is the director of three feature-length documentaries and numerous short films. His documentary PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it won a Special Jury Award. Released theatrically around the world, the film was shortlisted for an Academy Award. Maxim holds a PhD from Harvard University and is currently an artist fellow at Harvard's Society of Fellows. Maxim's most recent film, THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT, about the Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and has been shown at festivals around the world. Maxim's first feature film, CAPITAL, is a modern-day city symphony about the construction of Astana, a utopian city in the center of Kazakhstan. Recent curatorial work includes designer Julia Ramsey's knitwear installation PELT as well as Flicker Alley's Landmarks of Early Soviet Film box-set.