Best known for their collaborations on screen, director Emir Kusturica and musician Goran Bregovic will join together for music reasons only in Moscow on Thursday.
The duo are known for their work together in films such as "Time of the Gypsies," directed by Kusturica with a soundtrack by Bregovic, but will instead headline a concert together for the first time. The Kremlin Palace will be the venue for the sounds of gypsy music, Serbian punk rock and drama-laden scores.
Kusturica is a two-time winner of the Palme d'Or in Cannes, first for his 1985 film "When My Father Was Away on Business," and later for his 1995 film "Underground." He joined the band "The No Smoking Orchestra" after they provided the music for his film "Black Cat, White Cat." The group was then rechristened "Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra."
Bregovic, a former Yugoslavian rock star, mined his gypsy roots to write the sound track for Kusturica's film "Time of the Gypsies" in 1988. The pair continued their filmmaker and soundtrack-writer double act in the 1992 film "Arizona Dream," and in "Underground."
Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra is a ten-piece band that includes an accordionist, a fiddle player, musicians, and a tuba player.
"The destiny of these songs, at least in the Balkans, is to have women dancing on the tables and the musicians getting lots of tips," said Bregovic in an interview with The Guardian before his world tour in 2013. Sadly, there are no tables in the Kremlin Palace concert hall.
Kusturica is a frequent visitor to Russia and has been vocal in his support of the country's policies in Ukraine.
In March 2014, Kusturica devoted a song to Russians residing in Ukraine in a concert in Samara. "Unfortunately, Ukraine is following the Yugoslav scenario and I regret it. I see the same kind of catastrophe. I think that Russia should protect ethnic Russians residing in Ukraine," state news agency TASS reported Kusturica as saying.
Emir Kusturica and Goran Bregovic: The Balkan Concert is Thursday at 7 p.m. Moscow Kremlin. Ticket office: 1 Ulitsa Vozdvizhenka. Metro Alexandrovsky Sad. 495-628-5232. kremlinpalace.org