Elem Klimov – Agoniya AKA Agony (1981)

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Synopsis:
A wide-scope panoramic view of Russia in 1916. The country is in its third year of war which seems to never end, with police rule, hunger and devastation at their peak. All this plays out against a background of luxury and corruption at the court, where the agonizing power still entertains hopes of coping with “the rebels”. The courtiers have a presentiment of the collapse of the Russian autocracy. Fear, despair and blind belief in Providence make a fertile ground for the “great” starets, adventurist Rasputin, who is a friend of the royal family and has gained mastery over the Czar and his ministers. The filmmakers used newsreels of the 1917 Revolution… This controversial historic drama was released twice: in 1975 and, after a number of changes, in 1985. RUSCICO offers the film’s 1985 version. Continue reading

Roman Kachanov – Varezhka (1967)

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The Little girl dreams of a dog. But dry prudish mum is categorically against animals. In the yard all children walk with dogs. And the girl walks her mitten on lead. Unexpectedly her mitten turns into a knitted puppy.
III VCF, Leningrad 1968, – the First premium in the section of cartoon films.
VII IF animation films, Annecy (France) 1967 – the First premium for the best children’s film.
V ICF, Moscow 1967, – the Silver medal in competition of children’s films.
X IF films for children and youth, Gijon (Spain) 1968 – Grand prix ” The Golden plate”; a prize of Gijon for high quality of animation. Continue reading

Tengiz Abuladze – Samkauli satrposatvis aka Necklace for My Beloved aka Ozherele dlya moey lyubimoy (1971)

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Three guys are living in a Dagestan aul, and all three are in love with the blue-eyed Serminaz. According to a mountaineers’ tradition, a young man seeking the hand and the heart of a beloved girl has to make her a present that she would remember for the rest of her life. The friends set out in search of the special gift… Continue reading

Nikita Mikhalkov – Neokonchennaya pyesa dlya mekhanicheskogo pianino AKA Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano (1977)

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Plot:
Early in the 20th century, family and friends gather at the country estate of a general’s widow, Anna Petrovna. Sofia, the new wife of Anna’s step-son, recognizes Misha, the brother-in-law of one of the widow’s admirers: a few years before, they had been idealistic lovers and now she can’t believe he has settled for a dim wife and a job as a teacher. Amidst parlor games and idle talk of women’s rights and peasants’ capabilities, Sofia and Misha rekindle their love. Will they flaunt convention, abandon families, and run away to pursue lost dreams? Rescue comes from an unexpected place. Continue reading

Yuriy Norshteyn – Yozhik v tumane aka Hedgehog in the Fog (1975)

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Plot / Synopsis
Hedgehog is on his way to visit Bear cub, to sit and count the stars, their nightly ritual. On the way however, he is distracted by the sight of a beautiful white horse in the fog, and curious about the nature of this strange world, ventures into it, becoming hopelessly lost in the process.
Hedgehog in the Fog [ Ëжик в Tумане ] is a classic Russian animated short film from 1975. Based on a story by Sergei Kozlov. Charming in its simplicity.

In 2003 “Hedgehog in the Fog” won the “#1 Animated film of all the time” at “All time animation best 150 in Japan and Worldwide” contest in Tokyo, Japan.

Awards: “Outstanding Film of the Year”, London, UK, 1977 “Second Prize”, Sydney, Australia, 1978 “Third Prize”, Chicago, USA, 1977. Continue reading