USSR

Vladimir Menshov – Moskva slezam ne verit AKA Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980)

Quote:
This is a life story of three girlfriends from youth to autumn ages. Their dreams and wishes, love, disillusions. Different careers. And big late love. Read More »

Yulian Kalisher – History of Soviet Puppet animation 24 – The Art of Yulian Kalisher (1983 – 1993) (DVD)


History of Soviet Puppet animation 24 – The Art of Yulian Kalisher

Yulian Kalisher ( 1935-2007) was a relative late-bloomer in the field of puppet animation. Coming from the field of puppet theatre, where he had worked in Tasjkent, Uzbekistan and in Moscow. He was hired by the Soviet TV organisation Ecran to direct puppet-plays for TV in 1971. In 1974 he was teamed up with Youri Trofimov and co-directed 3 episodes of The Wizard of Emerald City ( see DVD 17) In 1977 he realized his first solo-direction: a feature film puppet animation after a puppet play. From then on his work always stood out for its originality and inventiveness. “A New Year’s Adventure” on DVD 20 is a good example of his work between 1977 and 1982. Read More »

Andrei Tarkovsky – Andrey Rublyov (1966) DVD

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Presented as a tableaux of seven sections in black and white, with a final montage of Rublev’s painted icons in color, the film takes an unflinching gaze at medieval Russia during the first quarter of the 15th century, a period of Mongol-Tartar invasion and growing Christian influence.

Commissioned to paint the interior of the Vladimir cathedral, Andrei Rublev (Anatoli Solonitsyn) leaves the Andronnikov monastery with an entourage of monks and assistants, witnessing in his travels the degradations befalling his fellow Russians, including pillage, oppression from tyrants and Mongols, torture, rape, and plague. Faced with the brutalities of the world outside the religious enclave, Rublev’s faith is shaken, prompting him to question the uses or even possibility of art in a degraded world. After Mongols sack the city of Vladimir, burning the very cathedral that he has been commissioned to paint, Rublev takes a vow of silence and withdraws completely, removing himself to the hermetic confines of the monastery. Read More »

Leonid Gaidai – Kavkazskaya plennitsa AKA Kidnapping, Caucasian Style (1966)

Leonid Gaidai’s irreverent comedy updates a Leo Tolstoy story for modern Soviet times, in the Caucasus region. Shurik, a naive Russian student mired in his own clumsy Soviet culture, sets off to the Caucasus to write down the folk culture of this region: its traditions, legends, sayings, and toasts. Read More »

Nadezhda Kosheverova – Staraya, staraya skazka AKA A Very Old Story (1968)

A young puppeteer tells a story about a soldier who falls in love with a rude princess. Based on fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen. Read More »

Larisa Shepitko – Ty i ya AKA You and Me (1971)

Synopsis:
Peter, a former medical scientist, suddenly quits his cushy job as a doctor at the Russian Embassy in Sweden and returns to Moscow. 3 years ago his team stood on the threshold of a vital break-through in neurosurgery, but the experimental work was cut short when Peter left for Stockholm. Peter tries to pick up the threads of his old life, fails and runs still further away, to a small town in Northern Russia where he takes a job as a district doctor. But the past would not relinquish its hold on him even there. Read More »

Boris Barnet – Podvig razvedchika aka Secrets of Counter-Espionage (1947)

Quote:
Soviet agent Fedotov is air-dropped into Nazi occupied land. He changes over into Mr. Eckert, a German entrepreneur wishing to take advantage of eastern worker slave labor in occupied Ukraine. Eckert (Fedotov) enters into a partnership with a German entrepreneur whose son, Willy, is a high ranking Nazi. Together they go to Vinnitsa, Ukraine and start a factory. Fedotov begins seeking contacts with headquarters, but faces problems when a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator manages to infiltrate the Soviet partisans. Read More »