Sergei Parajanov & Dodo Abashidze – Ashug-Karibi aka The Hoary Legends of the Caucasus (1988)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis: Wandering minstrel Ashik Kerib falls in love with a rich merchant’s daughter, but is spurned by her father and forced to roam the world for a thousand and one nights – but not before he’s got the daughter to promise not to marry till his return. It’s told in typical Paradjanov style overlaid with Armenian folksongs. source Continue reading

Aleksandr Medvedkin – Schastye aka Happiness [+Extras] (1932)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Aleksandr Medvedkin’s Happiness, as rowdy as any Soviet silent movie, is a comic parable composed of equal parts of Tex Avery and Luis Buñuel. It satirizes the plight of a Soviet farmer who finds himself providing for the state, the church, and his peers at the expense of his personal satisfaction. A hapless young prole, Khmyr, is tasked by his wife with the goal of going out in the world and finding happiness, lest he end up dead and dissatisfied after a lifetime of toil, like his father. Through stylistic exaggeration and a systematic attack on pre- and post-Revolutionary Russia’s dearest institutions, the movie achieves a wide-ranging, and deeply wounding, attack on the limitations placed on personal freedom in Russian society Continue reading

Sergei M. Eisenstein – Dnevnik Glumova AKA Glumov’s Diary (1923)

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_nDmwSDJNbj0/SjDUOMtHLRI/AAAAAAAADiM/FDnsUxyfP_c/s400/DnevnikGlumova_5.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

The first film from Eisenstein.

From allmovie

” Eisenstein’s interest in film began with an appreciation of the work of D.W. Griffith, whose editing style influenced him in the production of his first cinematic endeavor, the 1923 five-minute newsreel parody Dnevnik Glumova. A stint with Lev Kuleshov’s film workshop followed, as did an increasing fascination with the burgeoning avant-garde.” Continue reading

Henrikas Sablevicius – Atspindziai AKA Reflections [Restored] (1968)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

“Reflections” is a film created by Henrikas Šablevičius and the national television. Back then, the movie was seen as unconventional in the context of Lithuanian cinema: it employs a surrealistic etude of no clear narrative and has an extreme form. Thus, immediately after the release it was banned and had been unnoticed for almost two decades. By bringing graphic artist Stasys Krasauskas’ works to life in the conditional spaces of “Reflections”, the director, only by means of images, creates a story about human’s duality, the search for self, liberation, accepting the agency of the past and a limited opportunity to choose. Continue reading

Valentina Brumberg & Zinaida Brumberg – Noch pered Rozhdestvom AKA The Night Before Christmas (1951)

From Wikipedia:

The Night Before Christmas (Russian: Ночь пе́ред Рождество́м, Noch pered Rozhdestvom) is a 1951 Soviet traditionally-animated feature film directed by the Brumberg sisters and produced by the Soyuzmultfilm studio in Moscow. The film is based on Nikolai Gogol’s story The Night Before Christmas.

The animation features heavy use of rotoscoping, known as “Éclair” in the Soviet Union, and is an example of the Socialist-Realist period in Russian animation. Continue reading

Mikhail Romm – Mechta AKA Dream (1943)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

About the fate of Anne, a peasant girl who finds herself among the inhabitants of the «Dream» furnished rooms in a town of Western Ukraine. They are unfortunate people who can’t be settled in life that shuts the door on them. Only Anne manages to realize her dream of worthy existence: having overcome serious difficulties she finds herself in the USSR.
Source : www.mosfilm.ru Continue reading

Friedrich Ermler – Parizhskii sapozhnik AKA The Parisian Cobbler AKA Paris Shoemaker (1927)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Friedrich Ermler (1898-1967) remains one of the shadowy figures of the early Soviet cinema, known if at all for his psychological parable Fragment of an Empire. But he was a major force among the Leningrad filmmakers of the 1920s and ’30s, whose sympathies lay closer to youth and realism than to the monumental frescoes of the Moscow ‘masters.’ The Parisian Cobbler is impossible to hide from inquisitive looks and gossips in a small provincial town. Film tackled a controversial theme head-on: the sexual exploitation of women by party activists in the name of ‘free love.’ Hapermill worker, Young Communist Leaguer Katya and Andrei are not hiding their love. All of a sudden Katya’s radiant hopes break to pieces: Andrei is indignant to hear the news that Katya is expecting a baby. He does not want “to change diapers”, this “trivial life” will interfere with his plans to “build bright future”. Katya is befriended by a cobbler who, as a mute, knows what it is to be a social outcast. Ermler’s spare and uncompromising style reveals the extent to which realism was already on the agenda before it became a repressive slogan in the mid-thirties. As usual with Ermler, the film is not only about a problem, but is also about everyday life. Continue reading