Gen Art Banished to Siberia

Gen Art’s screening series in L.A. landed in Santa Monica with Brad Anderson’s new film, “Transsiberian” at the Laemmle Theaters. Anderson didn’t make the screener, nor did stars Ben Kingsley, Woody Harrelson or Emily Mortimer. The only “star” to show up at the party at South on Wilshire was Kate Mara, who raved on and on about Anderson and the film.

“He was great and it’s great,” she lauded, while fending off offers of free Saki and bad white wine.

The thriller, shot in various parts of Eastern Europe and possibly Russia, had some amazing footage of the train that runs the TransSiberian express route from China to Russia. Not quite sure how Anderson was able to scrounge this together on what we’re sure is a limited budget. But the result is a fascinating, invigorating look at an Americanized view of life behind the former steel curtain. And the film includes a torture scene of the aforementioned Mara that is so vividly sickening, it makes even the most hardened viewer squirm.

An unusual film for Anderson, whose earlier efforts like “Next Stop Wonderland,” were less brutal and dark-toned. But his “Machinist” was very much in the Transsiberian vein. Tough stuff from a nice Boston boy.