Russia 2007: Tarantino Mania

No matter how furious Russians may be about America's cultural hegemony, Hollywood still reigns supreme in both the cities and small towns of this country, and one figure stands above the crowd: Quen­tin Taran­tino. "In a silver car we drive to see a Taran­tino movie," sings pop star Glukoza. "It's so Tarantino-esque," the literary critics write. In the first half of 2007 alone we've had One Love in a Million—a remake of the Tarantino-scripted True Romance—and Get Tarantino, about Russian mafioso and video-piracy gangs in Los Angeles com­peting to get a copy of a not-yet-released Q.T. movie. Why is he so popular? "He came to Russia at a perfect time with a perfect product," says Stanislav F. Rostot­sky, a well-known Russian film critic (and himself a big fan). The romantic, lighthearted, and often absurdist violence so characteristic of his movies perfectly matched the crime-driven atmosphere of nineties Russia. Still, with patriotism and orthodox values on the rise, a new, ideologically correct direc­tor may replace old Quentin—and, most likely, he will also be an American. —A.T.