Custance interviews “The Russian Five” director Joshua Riehl

The Athletic’s Craig Custance engaged in a Q and A with The Russian Five’s director, Joshua Riehl:

Craig Custance: I saw the documentary at the world premiere and it was great. I’m not sure I’ve ever been part of a movie experience where the crowd kept breaking into loud cheers throughout the middle of the movie. What was it like to see that from your perspective?

Joshua Riehl: It was surreal. On the one hand, it kind of washed over me. Because I was like, ‘Is the aspect ratio good? How’s the sound here?’ Towards the second half of the film, and I was like, ‘This is playing well,’ I made it a point where I wanted to watch the brawl (vs. Avalanche) from the front of the theater, just so I could feel the crowd. It was really incredible. That is a rare experience for any filmmaker. My producers, who have done a lot of documentaries and a lot of films, are teasing me: ‘It’s your first feature doc, first premiere and it’ll never get any better the rest of your career. You started at the top of the mountain. Prepare for disappointment the rest of your life.’

Hopefully they’re wrong. The coolest thing is when Vladdy (Konstantinov) was acknowledged and the crowd gave him a cheer — ‘Vladdy! Vladdy!’ That’s kind of why I made the movie. That’s why I kept persevering over every obstacle, and there were so many of them. I had a vision of Vladdy at the premiere, the crowd chanting his name and him basking in the hometown love one more time. To realize that, it was the most amazing thing of the whole night.

Continued (paywall)…


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

5 thoughts on “Custance interviews “The Russian Five” director Joshua Riehl”

  1. I saw it at the DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts) during the Freep Film Festival. Great doc. Jimmy D was actually pretty funny. Great stories and great memories.

    BTW, I got the DIA crowd going in a “lets go redwings” Chant before the movie started. Fun times.

    1. I love Jimmy D. He never gets enough credit for laying the foundation. Also like how he tells it like it is, rather than acting like a scripted politician.

  2. Jimmy D built this team (for Cup wins 97’98’ 2002). The core group he drafted with Bryan Murray and Scotty, but Holland gets most the credit in the press.

    I meet Jimmy D a long time ago at Andrews on the Corner in Detroit. He was very down to earth and respectable to a 20 year old (1988) that was (still is) very loquacious. I made him laugh a few times.

    I happen to meet with him again at a preseason game a few years ago, he sat two seats over from me. He had a player list and was making notes like crazy. He was sitting in the stands. This guy loves this team and hockey. We spoke some, but I mostly let him do his thing. Without Jimmy D, this blog might not be here.

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