Sergei Yutkevich – Otello (1955)

The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.

Review by The Little Songbird @IMDb:
I have always loved the poetry and intensity of Shakespeare’s dialogue in Othello, and I have also found the play one of his more dramatically concise ones. This Othello from Russia is excellent, and very interesting as well. It is handsome to look at, the photography flows nicely and the locations are splendid. The symbolic palette to emphasise Othello’s contrasts between physical and temperamental is also interestingly used. The film is smartly written and intelligently adapted and it is directed beautifully by Sergei Yutkevitch. Read More »

Richard Viktorov – Moskva-Kassiopeya AKA Moscow-Cassiopeia (1974)

This is, in essence, a Soviet rendition of Star Trek with a teenage crew. The story revolves around a project to send a manned spaceflight to Alpha Cassiopeia to investigate a signal received from there, and, due to the relative slowness of the fastest available engines, the trip is predicted to take something around 27 years in one direction. Therefore, a crew of teenagers is recruited – in hope than when they reach their destination, they will all be aged around 40 and capable of carrying out whatever adult actions necessary to establish First Contact. But, as always, things go awry… The storyline is split up into two parts – this is the first, dealing with the foundation of the plot and the ship’s launch. Read More »

Svetlana Proskurina – Sluchaynyy vals AKA Accidental Waltz (1990)

Tatyana Prokofievna is an ageing woman with a diva’s behavior, but her life is uneventful, ordinary and dull. To escape the everyday slumber she seeks companionship of young men. She provides shelter and becomes involved in their problems. Her ex-boyfriend has married a younger woman. Tatyana is forced to keep her loneliness hidden because of her role as hostess.

Won grand prix “Golden Leopard” at the Locarno International Film Festival, 1990 Read More »

Viktor Ivanov – Oleksa Dovbush (1959)

Story about Oleksa Dovbush, a famous Ukrainian outlaw, who became a folk hero, often compared to Robin Hood. Read More »

Mark Donskoy – Dorogoy tsenoy AKA The Horse That Cried (1957)

Also known as At Great Cost, this adaptation of a story by Mikhailo Kotsyubinsky—a Ukrainian writer executed in the Stalinist purges but rehabilitated in 1955—anticipates the wave of Sixties poetic cinema in its focus on star-crossed lovers and its celebration of nature. Set in the 1930s, the film begins as Solomia is forced into an arranged marriage. She escapes with her lover, Ostep, and for a while it looks as if the fugitives will make a clean getaway. Yet eventually they come to the attention of the police, who mistake them for being part of a gang of thieves. One of the major figures of the earlier current of socialist realism, Donskoy, in one of his first post-Stalin era productions, here loosens his style to reveal a delicate romanticism rarely felt in his earlier films. Read More »

Vladimir Kobrin – Homo Paradoksum 3 AKA Homo Paradoxum III (1991)

This film decisively breaks out of a numerous politicized and social films, it does not dictate to the viewer any particular point of view, perception of the film takes place at the level that the viewer chooses for himself.
Polysemy and uncertainty, appreciated by the surrealists, leads the viewer to choose the “level of difficulty”, however, some viewers can simply perceive it as a parody of the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union.
Read More »

Fridrikh Ermler – Ona zashchishchayet rodinu AKA She Defends the Motherland (1943)

On the first day of the war fascists brutally killed the little son of a peasant woman Praskovya Lukyanova before the mother’s eyes. Her husband was also killed. Praskovya leaves the village. She goes to woods, organizes a partisan detachment and takes vengeance on the enemy.
The film was restored at the Gorky Film Studio in 1966.
 The authors of the film were honored the Stalin’s Prize of the USSR. Read More »