Yuliya Solntseva & Aleksandr Dovzhenko – Poema o more AKA The Poem of the Sea (1959)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Summary:
This is a movie-poem with philosophic and lyric contemplations about the construction of Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station, closure of the Dnieper, creation of Kakhovskoye Sea and also about human destinies involved in this great overturn of the region’s life. The action takes place in 1956-57. To the farm chairman’s call the people born in the village located near the Dniepr river that is to be flooded come to say good-buy to their birthplace. It is very hard for the senior generation to destroy their native houses and demolish the gardens as their memories of happy peaceful life and of the dreadful war are associated with them. The young people on the contrary smash down everything old with enthusiasm being sure that it brings nearer the bright future. Spring waters of the Dniepr are out and the Ukrainian village sinks to the bottom of the new Kakhovskoye Sea…
Source : www.mosfilm.ru Continue reading

Gleb Panfilov – Nachalo AKA Debut AKA The Beginning (1970)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
A film-in-film story set in a provincial town in Russia. Pasha (Churikova) is an amateur actress who plays a witch at a local club, but her dream is to play Joan of Arc. In a strike of luck she is cast as Joan of Arc in a big screen film. Now she is torn between her luck and her love to Arkadi (Kuravlev) who is a married man. Continue reading

Aleksandr Rou – Vechera na khutore bliz Dikanki AKA The Night Before Christmas (1961)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

The whimsical combination of Christmas phantasmagoria and an eccentric fairy tale makes this film an unforgettable spectacle. The action takes place both in a village of Dikanka in the Ukraine and at the palace of a Russian Empress. Blacksmith Vacula has enraged the devil himself: in a church he painted the devil’s figure in such a way that even the hell’s inhabitants could not help laughing. Solokha, Vacula’s mother, is known to be a witch, not averse to flying on a besom. Vacula’s sweetheart, Oksana, demands for a Christmas present a pair of tcherevichki (shoes) that the Empress wears. Only then she will agree to marry Vacula. And the devil promises to help the blacksmith get the Empress’ shoes, on condition that Vacula sells him his soul. Meanwhile, Christmas is almost here. Based on Gogol’s story. Continue reading

Mikhail Kalatozov – Soy Cuba (1964) (HD)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Four vignettes in Batista’s Cuba dramatize the need for revolution; long, mobile shots tell almost wordless stories. In Havana, Maria faces shame when a man who fancies her discovers how she earns her living. Pedro, an aging peasant, is summarily told that the land he farms has been sold to United Fruit. A university student faces down a crowd of swaggering U.S. sailors and then watches friends shot by police when they try to distribute a pro-Castro leaflet. The war arrives on the doorstep of peasants Mariano, Amelia, and their four children when Batista’s forces bomb the hills. Mariano wants peace, so he seeks out the guerrillas to join the fight. Continue reading

Andrei Tarkovsky – Stalker [Artificial Eye] (1979)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Twenty years ago, a meteorite fell to Earth, and decimated a provincial Russian town. Villagers traveled through this curious area, now known as The Zone, and disappeared. Stories purport that there is an inner chamber within The Zone called The Room that grants one’s deepest wish. Fearing the consequences from such an inscrutable resource, the army immediately secured the area with barbed wire and armed patrol. But the desperate and the suffering continue to make the treacherous journey, led by a disciplined, experienced stalker who can stealthily navigate through the constantly changing traps and pitfalls of The Zone. A successful Writer (Anatoli Solonitsyn), perhaps searching for inspiration or adventure, and a Scientist (Nikolai Grinko) searching for Truth, enlist the Stalker (Aleksandr Kaidanovsky) to guide them through The Zone. The Stalker has been trained by a renowned stalker named Porcupine, who, after an excursion with his brother into The Zone, returned alone and infinitely wealthy, only to commit suicide a week later. Soon, it is evident that reaching The Zone is not their greatest impediment, but the uncertainty over their deepest wish. As the men approach the threshold to The Room, their fear and trepidation for the materialization of their answered prayers leads to profound revelation and self-discovery. Continue reading

Eldar Ryazanov – Vokzal dlya dvoikh AKA Railway Station For Two (1983)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Platon Ryabinin, a pianist, is traveling by train to a distant town of Griboedov to visit his father. He gets off to have lunch during a twenty minute stop at Zastupinsk railway station. He meets Vera, a waitress, after he refuses to pay her for the disgusting food he doesn’t even touch and misses his train due to police investigation of the incident. His passport is then accidentally taken away from him by Andrei, Vera’s fiancé, and his money is stolen as he waits for the next train to Griboedov. Vera learns that Platon is about to get sentenced and sent to prison in the Far East for a car accident he isn’t guilty for. During the few days that Platon has to spend in Zastupinsk he and Vera develop feelings for each other… Continue reading