The Russian Filmmaker Who Directed ‘Tango & Cash’ Wants Popcorn Banned at His Movies

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Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky told reporters on Thursday that he hopes to ban the sale of popcorn at presentations of his movies, according to the TASS news agency. At a press conference to promote his new film, “Paradise,” which has been selected as Russia’s entry for the 89th Academy Awards, Konchalovsky said he divides filmgoers into two groups: those who eat at the movie theater, and those who do not.

“Our films are for those who don’t eat popcorn,” the Russian director explained, adding that he wants to forbid the sale of popcorn at showings of his movies.

Andrei Konchalovsky is a celebrated filmmaker in Russia, where he was awarded a special Silver St. George medal in 1997 at the 20th Moscow International Film Festival for his contributions to world cinema. Earlier in his career, Konchalovsky collaborated frequently with Andrei Tarkovsky, the director of such Soviet classics as “Solaris” (1972) and “Stalker” (1979).

Konchalovsky's feature film “House of Fools” (2003), set in a Chechen mental ward in 1996, during the war with Russia, won him a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Audiences more familiar with Hollywood motion pictures will likely recognize Konchalovsky's buddy-cop action comedy, “Tango & Cash” (1989), starring Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.

In April 2015, Konchalovsky and his brother, Nikita Mikhalkov (also a famous filmmaker in Russia), wrote Vladimir Putin a public letter asking the Kremlin to help them finance a fast-food chain called “Let’s Eat at Home!” The restaurants are meant to offer Russians an alternative to Western fast food, like McDonald’s and KFC.

The brothers asked the government to invest nearly 972 million rubles (then more than $18 million) in their pilot project. The Kremlin rejected the proposal, but the latest reports indicate that Konchalovsky and Mikhalkov found the necessary start-up capital, and expect to launch their restaurant chain next year.

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