USSR

Larisa Shepitko – Znoy (1963)

Quote:
Heat was Shepitko’s diploma feature, her extraordinary talent underlined by its unprecedented success, winning prizes at the Leningrad and Karlovy Vary Film Festivals. It was also made in gruelling conditions on the barren steppes, the young director falling ill and having to direct from a stretcher. The story fuses serious political drama and cowboy showdown as an idealistic high school graduate goes to work on a state farm, only to clash with its authoritarian, Stalinist leader. Read More »

    Aleksey German – Moy drug Ivan Lapshin AKA My Friend Ivan Lapshin (1985)

    Quote:
    Aleksei German’s singular, multithreaded drama My Friend Ivan Lapshin offers a uniquely stylized look at life in Russia as the flaws of Communism were just beginning to show. Set in a provincial Russian village during the 1930s, the film at times recalls the autobiographical work of Terence Davies or Woody Allen’s Radio Days. Like the work of those directors, German’s film filters most experiences through the eyes of a child, although the child/narrator in this particular movie is not present in the majority of the scenes. Read More »

      Stanislav Govorukhin – Desyat negrityat AKA Ten Little Indians (1987)

      A psychological thriller based on the novel by Agatha Christie. Ten strangers are forced to come face to face with their dark pasts after receiving invitation to an isolated island off the coast of England. Read More »

        Yuri Kara – Zavtra byla voyna AKA Tomorrow Was the War [+Extras] (1987)

        This film is based on a novel by Boris Vasiliev and takes place in a small Russian provincial town in 1940, one year before Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The every day life of class 9B is a larger than life portrait of Stalininism and of unconditional loyalty to party dogma.

        At a birthday party a girl, one of the students, recites poetry by a “bourgeois” author. The information leaks out and her liberal father is arrested as a dissident. The daughter is faced by the class teacher and asked to publicly renounce her father which leads to a tragedy. This causes both inner and outer conflicts, the colleagues start to rebel and to question their loyalty, be it to the class teacher or the soviet ideology itself. Read More »

          Yuriy Ozerov – Osvobozhdenie AKA Liberation (1969)

          The five films are a dramatized account of the liberation of the Soviet Union’s territory and the subsequent defeat of Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War, focusing on five major Eastern Front campaigns: the Battle of Kursk, the Lower Dnieper Offensive, Operation Bagration, the Vistula–Oder Offensive, and the Battle of Berlin. Read More »

            Aleksandr Sokurov – Kamen aka Stone (1992)

            Quote:
            “If ever a film replicated the state of dreaming, Stone does. Which is not to say it is, in the classical sense, surreal; but it has the flow and fugitive feeling of a half-remembered reverie, full of mysteries, portents, inexplicable happenings, and chimerical objects. Set in (and filmed in the actual) Chekhov museum, Stone centers on the relationship between a young museum guard and an older visitor who seems at different times to be a lover, a doctor, or a surrogate father. Shot in evanescent black and white with a sound track of silences, breathing, natural sounds, and fragments of classical music, Stone is haunting and enigmatic” (James Quandt) Read More »

              Mark Donskoy – Foma Gordeev (1959)

              Synopsis
              Gordeev Thomas is the son of a wealthy bourgeois tsarist. He enjoys all the privileges of his condition but can not bear the sight of social misery. He falls in love with a married woman, broke with her when he discovers his frivolity and indulges in debauchery. On the death of his father, he became head of a major grain trading. But it does not handle his affairs. He is only interested in human relations. His background, which scorns the Mavericks, rejects. He chose to break with his peers to live with the poor.

              Awards :
              Award for best director at the Locarno Festival, 1960 Read More »