Pavel Arsyonov – Lilovyy shar AKA The Purple Ball (1987)


Alisa Seleznyova and her father professor Seleznyov are traveling in space. They meet their old friend archaeologist Gromozeka, who’s just discovered a planet all inhabitants of which died. It became known that they discovered a virus of hostility, got infected and killed each other. Gromozeka also discovered that they had left the virus on Earth 26000 years ago, and the virus is about to become loose. The only chance to save the Earth is to travel 26000 years back in time – to the epoch when witches, dragons and magicians lived along with usual people. Continue reading

Marlen Khutsiyev – Iyulskiy dozhd AKA July Rain (1966)


This is the one-film Soviet New Wave. A unique blend of idealism and realism, heavily influenced by Antonioni, nothing like it was ever again achieved – or attempted – in the Soviet cinema as far as I know. The virtually plotless story of a young unmarried couple’s involvement and eventual break-up is told as a series of finely-observed episodes which together form almost an encyclopedia of the time and the place. Among other things, it is a priceless portrait of a somewhat fantastic city which no longer exists. Continue reading

Marlen Khutsiyev & Feliks Mironer – Vesna na Zarechnoy ulitse AKA Spring on Zarechnaya Street (1956)


A young school teacher Tanya works at a night school for working people. But it’s uneasy to get used to grown-up men, their constant attempts at flirting, their sometimes too manly jokes and comments. She is especially irritated by Don Juan-like behavior of Sasha Savchenko. She avoids his advances, and Sasha becomes so upset that he drops out of school. After a while, Tanya gets used to this new for her environment, finds in her heart an attraction to Sasha, and there comes Spring, exams time… Continue reading

Sergei M. Eisenstein – Ivan Groznyy I (Иван Грозный) AKA Ivan the Terrible Part 1 (1944)


From Turner Classic Movies:
On the day of his coronation as the first Tsar of Russia, the former archduke of Moscow, Ivan IV (Nikolai Cherkasov), finds himself inheriting a deeply troubled empire. The Russian people are divided into estranged clans including the Tartars and the aristocratic boyars, led by the evil, black-cloaked princess and Ivan’s aunt Euphrosinia Staritskaya (Serafima Birman). Continue reading

Dziga Vertov – Tri pesni o Lenine AKA Three songs about Lenin (1934)


The legendary Dziga Vertov’s most personal and deeply felt film, as well as the touchstone of his brilliant career. Three Songs of Lenin reveals the Russian leader as seen through the eyes of the Russian people represented in three songs. The first, “In a Black Prison Was My Face,” concerns the life of a young Muslim woman. “We Loved Him” deals with the life and death of Lenin himself. The third song, “In the Great City of Stone” shows the accomplishments of his glorious rule. Continue reading

Igor Alejnikov & Gleb Alejnikov – Tractors and other shorts (1984 – 1987)

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From an article by Natasha Drucbek-Meyer:

Russian Parallel Cinema is a unique tradition. It appeared in the Soviet Union in the beginning of the 80s and existed as if there were no strong system of official film. It appeared when world experimental film had 50 years history, but never gave a glance at it.

In the end of the 80s, Parallel Cinema came into fashion, as a part of underground culture. The next decade started with strong desire to bury it, as a part of perestroika fashion. Today the third generation of Parallel Cinema is active. <…>

Social identification of the Parallel Cinema group of film and video makers started in underground and close to CINE FANTOM (historically incorrect name) magazine, the first and only Russian independent selfprinted magazine devoted to cinema. It was founded in Moscow in 1986 by Igor Aleinikov and existed until 1991.

In 1987 the first CINE FANTOM festival was held in Moscow. Since 1995 the CINE FANTOM club exists. If you type you”ll find the CINE FANTOM site. If you type in net search “Russian film”, you”ll find the CINE FANTOM site again.
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