Andrei Tarkovsky – Solyaris (1972)

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Quote:
One of the most frequent charges against science-fiction is that it replaces emotion with intellect. Its characters are people who live by and for the mind, and their personal relationships are likely to be stifled and awkward, That’s probably true enough of most s-f novels (although exceptions range from Fredric Brown’s “The Lights in the Sky are Stars” to a lot of the work by Theodore Sturgeon), but it’s even more true of science-fiction movies. Continue reading

Andrei Tarkovsky – Ivanovo detstvo AKA Ivan’s Childhood (1962)

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Quote:
The debut feature from the great Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan’s Childhood is an evocative, poetic journey through the shadows and shards of one boy’s war-torn youth. Moving back and forth between the traumatic realities of WWII and the serene moments of family life before the conflict began, Tarkovsky’s film remains one of the most jarring and unforgettable depictions of the impact of violence on children in wartime. Continue reading

Vera Stroyeva – Boris Godunov (1954)

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quote from Amazon user: A complement I say, as this not being complete (well, I’d better say severely truncated) it cannot be your sole Boris in a collection; necessary I add, because it preserved a sizable portion of the title part, as portrayed by one of its foremost exponents ever, the great russian bass Alexander Pirogov. This incompleteness is only implied but not clearly stated in the disc’s box, which should advise would-be purchasers. So what you get is some kind of “extended highlights” of this, arguably the greatest of russian operas and certainly the most popular. It is a film by Vera Stroieva, made in 1954 as part of a project dear to soviet authorities of putting into film both the lives of Russia’s greatest artists and adaptations of their works, to “educate the masses” and of course not being entirely without some ideological hints (or rather more than mere hints). Continue reading

Grigori Kozintsev – Gamlet AKA Hamlet [+extras] (1964)

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Synopsis:

A screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedy.
The somber Elsinore Castle that keeps secrets of many a crime is looming over the rocky coastline. Prince Hamlet once again puts the question: “To be, or not to be?” He is the first thinker in the line of warriors, a poet and a philosopher, a character so close to future generations. In the utterly corrupted kingdom, a lone hero is bound to take up arms to avenge his father’s death. This film became a champion among Lenfilm Studio’s prize-winning motion pictures – 23 awards in four years. The musical score was written by the great Russian composer Dmitry Shostakovich. Continue reading

Lev Kulidzhanov – Prestuplenie i nakazanie AKA Crime and Punishment (1969)

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Plot Synopsis
This Russian adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment packs nearly every pivotal event from the mammoth novel into its 200 minute running time. Georgi Taratorkin stars as Raskolnikov, the impressionable student who believes himself to be above the law-and commits murder to prove his theory. Innokenti Smoktunovskiy, best known for his brilliant interpretation of the title character in the Russian Hamlet (1964), costars as police inspector Porfiry, who humbly but diligently wears down Raskolnikov’s alibi. Most cinemadaptations of Crime and Punishment end with the protagonist’s arrest; this one retains Dostoyevsky’s lengthy post-prison epilogue, in which Raskolnikov learns at long last how to be a human being.

All Movie Guide Continue reading

Giorgi Shengelaia – Pirosmani (1969)

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Description:

This film is about the great Georgian painter – primitivist Niko Pirosmanashvili (1862-1918). An unknown, self-taught painter roams the streets of a city, painting his pictures. The local people only know that his name is Nikola Pirosmani, that he is a kind and honest person, but nobody takes his painting seriously. To make his living and be able to buy paints, Nikola opens up a food shop. But very soon he goes bankrupt, for he is giving away butter and cheese to anyone who got no money. Already gravely ill, he paints his last picture, imbued with light, joy and love for life. Ruscico Continue reading

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

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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