Tag Archives: Russian

Aleksandr Gordon – Sergey Lazo (1968)

“A movie about the life and activities of the civil war hero Sergey Lazo (1894-1920), a poet, a publicist, a war strategist, a party activist, a diplomat fluent in several languages, a direct descendant of a noble Moldavian family, the son of a land-owner, a former student of the Moscow University and an officer of the tsarist army who determinately crossed over to the revolutionaries and headed the partisan movement during the struggle against the Japanese intervention in the Far East. At the age of 26 Lazo literally burnt in the revolutionary fire. The enemies threw him into the boiler of a steam locomotive and burnt him alive. Read More »

Shaken Ajmanov – Konets Atamana AKA Az atamán halála (1971)

featuring Andrey Konchalovskiy on the script
Quote:
[…]Andrei Konchalovsky had, together with Eduard Tropinin, written the script for The End of the Ataman, directed by the renowned Kazakh film-maker Shaken Ajmanov. The film dealt with the special task of the Red officer Chadiarov (played by Asanali Ashimov), who in 1921 has to kill the ataman Dutov,a collaborator with the Whites.Chadiarov discloses during this operation the spy in the Red headquarters in his Kazakh home town. In order to fulfill this task, Chadiarov, who is a Chinese prince, has to get himself arrested as a spy by the Soviet commander; then he escapes, crosses the border and sides with the ataman, who resides in China. Chadiarov fulfills the secret mission successfully, while its full scale and significance transpire only at the end of the film. In its use of cavalry chases, escapes and hide-outs in the steppe, this film is fully within the genre of the ‘Eastern’. Read More »

Nadezhda Kosheverova & Mikhail Shapiro – Zolushka AKA Cinderella (1947)

It is one of those happy memories of our childhood, which sometimes is better to leave untouched in order to preserve the first naive impressions. The fabulous atmosphere and unusual interpretation of the story, together with the vivid images of the characters and magnificent game of actors create the truly magnetic effect. Even though the film is shot during the times of post-war hardships, it is filled with such a kindness and sincerity that you want to watch it again and again. At this difficult time Yevgeny Shwarts, Nadezhda Kosheverova and Mikhail Shapiro managed to create a beautiful fairytale, which fills the hearts of viewers with the unforgettable sense of miracle. Read More »

Yevgeny Yufit – Ubitye molniey aka Killed by Lightning (2002)

Quote:
The action of the film is unfolding not in the real world, but in subconsciousness of the heroine, professor of anthropology.
The woman-anthropologist researches roots of the human evolution. Psychic childhood trauma, caused by the death of her father, the captain of a submarine, in the W.W.II, periodically throws her out of balance. Phantoms of the prehistorical past and father’s violent death collide in the scientist’s subconsciousness and bring to life an unexpected theory of human evolution. Read More »

Svetlana Baskova – Zelyonyy slonik AKA The Green Elephant (1999)

The Green Elephant also known as Green Elephant Calf) is a 1999 Russian gore film directed by Svetlana Baskov. The film could not be distributed through the mainstream film circuit in Russia, due to its extremely violent images and obscene language. The International Film Festival Rotterdam programme commented that “Green Elephant is even more urgent because of the escalation of the war in Chechnya and growing criminality in the Russian army Read More »

Mark Donskoy – Raduga AKA The Rainbow (1944)

Mark Donskoy, the Russian filmmaker whose fame rests upon his brilliant “Gorky Trilogy” of the late 1930s, came up with another artistic triumph in 1944’s Rainbow (originally Raduga). With understandable creative rage, Donskoy depicts life in a Nazi-occupied village at the beginning of World War 2. The German conquerors are above nothing, not even the slaughter of small children, to break the spirit of their Soviet captives. Suffering more than most is Olga (Nataliya Uzhviy), a Russian partisan who returns to the village to bear her child, only to endure the cruellest of arbitrary tortures at the hands of the Nazis. Eventually, the villagers rise up against their oppressors-but unexpectedly do not wipe them out, electing instead to force the surviving Nazis to stand trial for their atrocities in a post-war “people’s court.” (It is also implied that those who collaborated with the Germans will be dealt with in the same even-handed fashion). Brilliantly acted by virtually everyone in the cast, Rainbow is a remarkable achievement, one that deserves to be better known outside of Russia. Read More »

Yevgeny Yufit – Pryamokhozhdenie AKA Bipedalism (2005)

Yufit continues themes from Silver Heads, this time featuring an artist who paints insects, and who discovers evidence of scientific experiments aimed at understanding and controlling the progress of man. Specifically, what caused man to stand upright, thus moving away from a more practical and natural lifestyle and into a modern, intellectual one. The experiments attempt to recreate this effect or fuse the advantages of both. He moves into an old house with his family, is haunted by strange visions and dreams, but when his children uncover a film archive documenting the experiments, and a strange old man disturbs his peace, he loses his simple pleasures and his mind regresses into a form of insanity. While he slowly unravels the truth, experimental bipedals (naked crouched men) roam and terrorize the countryside chased by the government. By far Yufit’s most conventional narrative, with odd, mildly interesting but simplistic meditations on humankind.

— The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Read More »