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still from The Luzhin Defence (Marleen Gorris, GB/FR 2000)

The Luzhin Defence

Marleen Gorris / GB, 2000 / 109 min.

Alexander Luhzin the obsessive chess genius experiences scarcely manageable emotions when he falls in love with beautiful Russian aristocrat Natalia. Guido van der Werve selected Marleen Gorris’ film of a novel by Nabokov for his film programme to accompany the exhibition at Eye.

poster The Luzhin Defence (Marleen Gorris, GB/FR 2000)

Italy, 1920. Eccentric grandmaster Alexander Luhzin (John Turturro) attends the world chess championships. He plays like never before, nothing seeming capable of breaking him from his cocoon of genius. Until, that is, he becomes enchanted by the beautiful Russian aristocrat Natalia (Emily Watson).

The screening of The Luhzin Defence is programmed to accompany the talk - about chess, film and art - by grandmaster Hans Ree (22 March, 19:15) who was invited by Van der Werve.



Marleen Gorris

Production year




Original title

The Luzhin Defence


109 min.





Part of

Guido van der Werve

In the world of Guido van der Werve, Romanticism, nature and the sublime are never far away. His films explore the futility of existence, yet they also capture its endless beauty.

Learn more
Guido van der Werve, Nummer vier, I don't want to get involved in this. I don’t want to be part of this. Talk me out of it, 2005, courtesy the artist and GRIMM Amsterdam | New York
still from The Luzhin Defence (Marleen Gorris, GB/FR 2000)
still from The Luzhin Defence (Marleen Gorris, GB/FR 2000)

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