Tag Archives: Russian

Elem Klimov – Zhenikh AKA The Groom (1960)

A young schoolboy tries to help the girl he likes to pass a math test.
Elem Klimov’s student work. Read More »

Karen Shakhnazarov – Yady, ili vsemirnaya istoriya otravleniy AKA Poisons or the World History of Poisoning (2001)

Fantasmagoria mingles seamlessly into reality in this comic film. Oleg is being two-timed by his wife. Fortunately he is advised by well-known poisoners from history, from Caligula to Lucretia Borgia. Read More »

Karen Shakhnazarov – Tsareubiytsa AKA The Assassin of the Tsar [Russian version] (1991)

A good portion of the film depicts the last days of the Russian Imperial Family in Yekaterinburg, largely narrated by Timofyev’s voice-over from the perspective of Yakov Yurovsky, the chief guard and ultimately executioner of the family. In the scenes, Yurovsky is impersonated by Timofyev (McDowell) and Tsar Nicholas II by Dr. Smirnov (Yankovsky). Other members of the family function merely as background, with few or no lines. Read More »

Aleksey Balabanov – Morfiy AKA Morphine (2008)

Russia, 1917. The young doctor Polyakov arrives to work at a hospital in a remote village. After an allergic reaction to a vaccine, he starts to take morphine but becomes progressively addicted. Soon, he finds himself trying to undertake more ambitious operations whilst under the drug’s influence. Read More »

Aleksandr Orlov – Strannaya istoriya doktora Dzhekila i mistera Khayda AKA The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1986)

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself. Read More »

Sergei Solovyov – Chyornaya roza – emblema pechali, krasnaya roza – emblema lyubvi AKA Black Rose Is an Emblem of Sorrow, Red Rose Is an Emblem of Love (1990) 

In the heady days just prior to the collapse of the Soviet system in Russia, a satirical, anarchistic comedy such as this was just the sort of film to attract huge audiences. Told with the rapid-fire imagery and insistent soundtrack of a music video, it tells the story of Aleksandra (Tatyana Drubich), a self-centered 20-year old girl who escapes from her tiny apartment after she has been locked into by her father it to make her study for her exams. Instead, she parties with her boyfriend Vladimir (Alexander Abdulov) who is perfectly happy to make love to her until he discovers she is pregnant. Nearby, Mitya (Mikhail Rozanov), a suddenly rich fifteen year old boy, shares a flat with his crazed roommate, an Abyssinian given to brewing his own alcoholic beverages. Somehow, Mitya hears of Allesandra’s predicament and offers to marry her – which pleases her parents a great deal (after all, he’s rich). Most of the fun in this movie comes from in-jokes at the expense of the government’s sacred cows, and jokes at the expense of the movie itself and its characters. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi Read More »

Tatyana Lioznova – Semnadtsat mgnoveniy vesny AKA Seventeen Moments of Spring (1973)

A 1973 Soviet twelve-part television series, directed by Tatyana Lioznova and based on the novel of the same title by Yulian Semyonov. The series portrays the exploits of Maxim Isaev, a Soviet spy operating in Nazi Germany under the name Max Otto von Stierlitz, depicted by Vyacheslav Tikhonov. Stierlitz is tasked with disrupting the negotiations between Karl Wolff and Allen Dulles taking place in Switzerland, aimed at forging a separate peace between Germany and the Western Allies. The series is considered the most successful Soviet espionage thriller ever made, and is one of the most popular television series in Russian history. Read More »