Larisa Shepitko – Ty i ya AKA You and Me (1971)

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Peter, a former medical scientist, suddenly quits his cushy job as a doctor at the Russian Embassy in Sweden and returns to Moscow. 3 years ago his team stood on the threshold of a vital break-through in neurosurgery, but the experimental work was cut short when Peter left for Stockholm. Peter tries to pick up the threads of his old life, fails and runs still further away, to a small town in Northern Russia where he takes a job as a district doctor. But the past would not relinquish its hold on him even there. Continue reading

Larisa Shepitko – Rodina Electrichestva aka The Homeland of Electricity (1967)

Quote:
Shepitko graduated from VGIK, where she had studied in the workshop of Alexander Dovzhenko (whom she always referred to as her mentor) and Mikhail Romm in 1963. Her diploma work was Znoi / Heat (1963), made for Kirgizfilm from “The Camel’s Eye”, a story by the Kirgiz writer Chingiz Aitmatov, about a clash of generations in which a middle-aged woman, director of a civil engineering school, yearns for her days as a pilot during World War II and struggles to understand her daughter’s generation. Shepitko’s next project was the short film Rodina elektrichestva / Homeland of Electricity (1967), from the story by Andrei Platonov about the coming of electricity to a Russian village after the Revolution. Frequently compared to the work of her master Dovzhenko, this film, like Andrei Smirnov’s Angel, was shot as part of a portmanteau film, Nachalo nevedomogo veka / The Beginning of an Unknown Century, made to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Revolution. But the films were banned for twenty years, and Rodina elektrichestva surfaced only in 1987, long after Shepitko’s death. Continue reading

Boris Barnet & S. Mardanin – U samogo sinego morya AKA By the Bluest of Seas (1936)

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Synopsis:
The sea is at first quite dark for the sailors Aliosha and Yussuf. Adrift, they reach an island where they meet Mashenka, a beautiful girl they both immediately fall in love with…

seagullfilms.com

One of the films revered by French filmmakers such as Godard and Otar Iosseliani, this marvelous picture, a spontaneous and joyful romantic comedy shot at eye-popping locations, stars the delicious Elena Kouzmina as a bouncy island beauty wooed by two young shipwrecked Caspian fisherman. And it’s more fun than Alexander Nevsky. Continue reading

Ivan Pyryev – The Idiot (1958)

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SYNOPSIS: Upon Prince Myshkin’s return to St. Petersburg from an asylum in Switzerland, he becomes beguiled by the lovely young Aglaya, daughter of a wealthy father. But his deepest emotion is for the wanton, Nastasia. The choices all are forced to make lead to great tragedy.

IMDB wrote:
In the period 1955-60 some absolutely incredible movies were made in the Soviet Union. This is no exception. Based on the classic novel, the script of course holds masterpiece quality. Visually, it’s also a masterpiece. The music is one of the most dramatic soundtracks I’ve heard. And not least, Yuliya Borisova in the role of Nastasia Philippovna gives the most charismatic acting performance I’ve ever seen. Throughout the movie I simply couldn’t wait for her to get into the frame again whenever absent. I’ve never ever been this hypnotised by an actor or an actress before (and I’ve actually given that careful thought). The other actors also give stellar performances. As the events unfolded, I felt this movie pushed the script to its ultimate limits. At the end, you will find yourself filled up with uncontrolled emotions that you don’t even know the name of. The movie is so dramatic that some people may find it unrealistic, but I assure you: these characters are out there in the real world, and this play may have relevance to anyone’s life. At some point, most people with brains will seek out this story. My tip is, don’t read the book. Don’t see any theatre play or movie based on it but this one. Though the movie may take a lifetime to find – *it’s worth it*! Continue reading

Aleksandr Sokurov – Avtomobil nabiraet nadezhnost AKA The Automobile Gains in Reliability (1974)

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This film was created by Sokurov before or during his VGIK student years for the regional TV of Gorki. He does not consider it a part of his filmography. For its creators, it was just a TV program, and the people who worked on it most often were being given no distinction in the credits. This document of the very origins of Sokurov gives us a notion of his “pre-stylistic” period, where the personality of the future great filmmaker reveals itself in spite of means and circumstances. [from the catalog of Torino Film Festival] Continue reading

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