USSR

Aleksandr Kajdanovsky – Gost (1987)

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The script is based on Borges’s story “The Gospel according to St. Mark”.
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Vladimir Potapov – Posrednik AKA The Mediator (1990)

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Quote:
Morning of a silent provincial small town. The sleepy city is exposed silent to capture alien a landing. Newcomers are installed in people, destroying the person and subordinating a body to the new carrier. It is last fantastic film made in the USSR. 1990 – last year before disintegration of the Union.
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Vsevolod Pudovkin – Konets Sankt-Peterburga AKA The End of St. Petersburg (1927)

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Filmed to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 1917 Russian revolution, End of St. Petersburg was the second feature-length effort of director V. I. Pudovkin. Utilizing many of the montage techniques popularized by his contemporary Sergei Eisenstein, Pudovkin details the fall of St. Petersburg into the hands of the Bolsheviks during the revolution. Unlike Eisenstein, Pudovkin concentrates on individuals rather than groups (his protagonist is a politically awakened peasant played by Ivan Chuvelyov) humanizing what might otherwise have been a prosaic historical piece. The mob scenes, though obviously staged for ultimate dramatic impact, are so persuasive that they have frequently been excerpted for documentaries about the Russian Revolution, and accepted by some impressionable viewers as the real thing. Filmed just after his 1926 masterwork Mother, The End of St. Petersburg was followed by the equally brilliant Storm Over Asia.- allmovie.com Read More »

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

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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 Read More »

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

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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 Read More »

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

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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.” Read More »

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

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“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. Read More »