Gleb Panfilov

Gleb Panfilov – Tema AKA The Theme (1979)

A self-pitying but popular playwright drives to Vladimir to relax with a doting female student and another writer. He’s convinced his writing is of no lasting value, but he still has an ego, about his work and his masculine appeal. He’s drawn to a museum guide he sees on his first afternoon, and when she appears at dinner, he tries charm. She reads widely, knows his work, loved it once and now finds it trivial; and she says so. He’s stung. The next day, they walk through a cemetery where she talks of a dead peasant’s poems and he grabs an idea of hers as the theme for a new play. She remains indifferent; he’s baffled. So that night he spies on her. All is revealed. Read More »

Gleb Panfilov – V ogne broda net AKA There is no Passage through Fire (1967)

Tanya Tyotkina is a nurse in a hospital train taking the wounded soldiers from Civil War battle fields. The plain, shy and semi-illiterate young girl sincerely believes in world revolution. She does not realize the importance of the events she is taking part in but wants to express what she sees around her in drawings. Tanya has a rare gift of a true original artist and that makes her death even more tragic.
“Golden Leopard” and Award to I. Churikova for Best Female Lead at the 22nd IFF in Locarno, Switzerland (1969).
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Gleb Panfilov – Proshu slova (1977)

Proshu slova (1977)

The title is a Russian expression meaning “I wish to speak”. This is one of my three favorite Panfilov films which I consider masterpieces, the other two being “Nachalo” and “Tema”; Panfilov wrote this script by himself it seems. It shows, this film is genius. For me, this is honestly one of the most thought-provoking films of my life. Perfectly written. It is about a family woman who was made the mayor of a town. I am mystified by this film. Not since Tarkovsky have I felt this strange spiritual energy, and that’s saying something. This is the last Panfilov film I saw, I’ve seen five others. The incredible world of the characters is what reminds me of a Tarkovsky movie. This movie is about a family. It could be said to be about a lot of things. Read More »

Gleb Panfilov – Nachalo AKA Debut AKA The Beginning (1970)


A film-in-film story set in a provincial town in Russia. Pasha (Churikova) is an amateur actress who plays a witch at a local club, but her dream is to play Joan of Arc. In a strike of luck she is cast as Joan of Arc in a big screen film. Now she is torn between her luck and her love to Arkadi (Kuravlev) who is a married man. Read More »