Joseph Brodsky was generous in his praise of those poets he saw as predecessors – most notably, Donne, Pushkin and Auden (‘the greatest mind of the twentieth century’). And in the fourteen years since his death, aged fifty-five, he has received grateful tribute in his turn. A varied group of poets, including Derek Walcott, Adam Zagajewski and Paul Muldoon, have commemorated Brodsky in verse. There have been memoirs by the academics Ludmila Shtern and Daniel Weissbort; another, by James L Rice, is on its way. As is the real prize: Jane Ann Miller's translation of the biography by Brodsky's close friend and industrious admirer, the late Lev Loseff.
In the meantime, we shall have to make do with Andrey Khrzhanovskiy's film, a scattergun formal experiment that hits more often than it misses. At times, the film is almost unwatchable in its diffuseness and whimsy. But when it hits, the result is droll, mournful and graceful, a