Tag Archives: Aleksandr Surin

Andrey Konchalovskiy – Kurochka Ryaba AKA Ryaba My Chicken (1994)

This Russian-French comedy examines the effects of capitalism and democracy upon a Russian peasant village. It was filmed in the rural village of Bezvodnoye, the setting of this film’s 1967 precursor “Asya’s Happiness.” The outspoken peasant woman Asya returns in this new episode which begins with her walking along a road explaining why democracy doesn’t work. Her husband is an alcoholic who lives with a gypsy. Her son works on the black market for the mob. He was part of a theft involving a rare golden egg from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Asya’s opinions seem to be well founded. In the village crime has increased, inflation is rising, and local authorities are ineffectual. Many locals are so angry at the town Capitalist for running his mill 24-hours per day that they stage a demonstration and begin waving pro-Communist banners. Asya’s pet chicken begins to grow and speak. Read More »

Andrey Konchalovskiy – Istoriya Asi Klyachinoy, kotoraya lyubila, da ne vyshla zamuzh AKA Asya’s Happiness (1966)

From Senses of Cinema:
Istoriya Asi Klyachinoy, kotoraya lyubila, da ne vyshla zamuzh (Asya’s Happiness) is a seminal film, a film that suffered numerous title changes and edits by edict. It is a rediscovered classic that was shelved for 20 years and now stands as a testament to the paranoid absurdity of Soviet censorship. It is a film that provided a powerful start for some careers and stunted others. With its natural lightness and exploration of femininity it broke the genre of the collective farm-worker movie and introduced a deeply Russian neo-realism that celebrated the rural, spiritual environment through stunning black-and-white cinematography and breathtakingly authentic performances by non-professional actors that captured the sounds, stories and pace of life in the village of Bezvodnoye. Read More »