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Laura Blum

Laura is a festival correspondent covering films and the festival circuit for She also publishes on Thalo



Filmmaker Johnny O'Reilly on "Moscow Never Sleeps"

“Moscow is a prison, but we love it. To leave, you must pay a bribe to the prison guards,” cracks a Russian entrepreneur in Moscow Never Sleeps. In dialogue and detail, Johnny O’Reilly’s follow-up to his debut feature The Weather Stationvividly captures the Muscovite zeitgeist, from pungent irony to soulful compassion.

As the Irish filmmaker recently told me in New York, he made the film to give Western audiences an authentic view of the city he called home for 12 years – minus the prism of geopolitics. “There’s corruption, betrayal and suffering, but also warmth, caring and humor,” he observed.

The movie entwines multiple story threads in the mold of Magnolia or, to a lesser extent, Crash. Unfolding over a period of 24 hours – as did Ulysses in Dublin -- Moscow Never Sleeps surveys the Russian capital as it swings into gear for Moscow City Day, an annual bash that brings together diverse walks of metropolitan life. Along the way it offers an engrossing sweep of the local people, panoramas and pulse. How O’Reilly worked these into his Irish-Russian co-production provided ballast for our conversation:


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