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Russian and Soviet Cinema
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Russian War Films

Russian War Films | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Scoop.it
War movies have long been the most influential genre in Russian cinema, so much so that in the Soviet Union’s militaristic society, “cinema front” was used to describe the film industry itself. Denise J. Youngblood, an internationally recognized authority on Russian and Soviet cinema, provides the first comprehensive guide to this long-neglected genre.
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Camp Cinema: Russian Style (Russian Film Symposium)

Camp Cinema: Russian Style (Russian Film Symposium) | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Scoop.it

"What use, then, is “camp” for Russian cinema? Western discussions of camp and its politics of identity often note the attempt of distinction, a separation from bourgeois, normative, mainstream culture. Explicit representations of gender or sexual transgression in Soviet cinema are almost absent, however, and the famous saying proclaimed: “In the USSR there is no sex” (“В СССР секса нет”)...

...This year’s retrospective program will investigate a variety of approaches to camp. The Soviet style of the past can become newly discovered camp treasures in The Amphibian Man (1962) as well as Abram Room’s recently restored A Severe Young Man (1936). The pure stylized performances of Aleksandr Bashirov and Renata Litvinova, “Russian camp icons” of art-house cinema, are on full display in House under a Starry Sky (1991) and The Goddess (2004). Popular genre films Hello, I’m your Aunt (1975) and more recently Feliks Mikhailov’s Jolly Fellows (2010) celebrate the transgressive performances of drag queens."

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Central Europe Review - Film: Vitali Kanevskii Zamri, umri, voskresni!

Central Europe Review - Film: Vitali Kanevskii Zamri, umri, voskresni! | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Scoop.it
It is difficult to discern a structure of metaphor and meaning in Vitaly Kanevskii's perplexingly varied and intricately revealed setting. The bleak landscape of the Far Eastern town of Suchan, where he himself lived in childhood and which he chose as the setting for the greater portion of his two autobiographical films, Zamri, umri, voskresni! (Freeze, Die, Come to Life!, 1989) and Samostoiatel'naia zhizn' (An Independent Life, 1992) evokes a remarkable ambivalence.
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SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS & THE LEGEND OF SURAM FORTRESS | Films In Review

SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS & THE LEGEND OF SURAM FORTRESS | Films In Review | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Scoop.it
The name of Sergei Paradjanov is a legend in Russian (Soviet) and world cinema. His fate is one of a martyr, his fame is being one of the most unique talents, and with his death the world has lost one of its magicians.
The works of Paradjanov are extremely poetic, richly expressive, visually astounding, stylistically fearless and monumentally profound. His tales of love and tragedy are set against colorful, exotic, ethnic backgrounds and told with the naïve simplicity of folk songs and myths.
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Ivan the Terrible Parts I and II | Senses of Cinema

Ivan the Terrible Parts I and II | Senses of Cinema | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Scoop.it

"By the time Sergei Eisenstein completed Ivan Groznyy (Ivan the Terrible Part I) in 1944, the widespread experimentalism that had characterised the Soviet arts of the 1920s was a distant, long-suppressed memory. The Soviet Union of the 1920s represented a rare historical instance in which a state openly supported avant-garde art as a force for socio-political change, having fostered futurist and constructivist movements that dexterously combined anarchist sentiment with the pressing Bolshevik need for agitprop and Marxist sloganeering..."

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Classic Film Club: 'Come and See'

Classic Film Club: 'Come and See' | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Scoop.it
It is, of course, impossible for cinema to accurately portray the horrors of life during wartime, though that never seems to stop directors from trying. In a century of harrowing, brutally realistic war pictures, from ‘The Battle of the Somme’ to ‘Saving Private Ryan’, no one has come closer to achieving this goal than Elem Klimov in ‘Come and See’.
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The State of Contemporary Russian Cinema - David Gurevich

The State of Contemporary Russian Cinema - David Gurevich | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Scoop.it
East European art, with its tradition of engagément, has traditionally been a better barometer of what is going on in society. This is echoed by the old Russian chestnut, "In Russia, a poet is more than a poet." Change "poet" to "filmmaker", and an absurd hope springs in your chest: perhaps modern films provide a clue to the confusion that is post-Soviet Russia? They make movies, don't they?
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Viy (1967): or, Attack of the Surfin' Dead

Viy (1967): or, Attack of the Surfin' Dead | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Scoop.it

"What is Viy, you might ask? I've still got the same question--in walks a bulky, golem-like giant with stubby arms and eyelids that droop to the middle of its pinched face. The way the other creatures make room for the stomping beast tells us this guy is the Big Gun, and it's hard not to be nervous for our drunken friend. Viy commands the demons to "Raise my eyelids!" so he can cast his killing gaze on Khoma. The seminarian screams in horror and falls out of his circle, and the demons and other creatures of hell fall on him in a heap just as the cock crows for the third and final time."

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MOTHER AND SON (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1997)

MOTHER AND SON   (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1997) | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Scoop.it

"In the middle of life, guided by his inspiration, Aleksandr Sokurov has pilgrimaged to a masterpiece, a transparent, massively moving work that, for me, is the most transcendent film of the 1990s. And more: the most humane film in more than thirty years—to be exact, since Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Gertrud (1964), whose quietude and nobility it matches. Sokurov’s, though, is the simpler film; for it’s about nothing more than two persons and their familial bond: a dying mother and her grown son, who is her caregiver. Here is a visual poem, spare and spiritually intense. Yet, despite sharing these qualities with the cinema of Sokurov’s great mentor, Andrei Tarkovsky, Mat i syn is Sokurov’s own, neither derivative nor confounded by anxiety of influence—proof that Sokurov has passed out of Tarkovsky’s immense shadow and into his own light..."

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Offscreen.com :: Temporal Defamiliarization and Mise-en-Scène in Tarkovsky’s Stalker - Volume 15, Issue 1

Offscreen.com :: Temporal Defamiliarization and Mise-en-Scène in Tarkovsky’s Stalker - Volume 15, Issue 1 | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Scoop.it

"In her article “The Concept of Cinematic Excess,” Kristin Thompson speaks of a dual tendency in film criticism: we could see films as a “struggle of opposing forces,” some of which “strive to unify the work, to hold it together sufficiently that we may perceive and ‘follow’ its structures.” Outside of these structures “lie those aspects of the work which are not contained by its unifying forces – the ‘excess’” (Thompson, 54). What happens when this homogeneity-as-unifying-effect is thwarted by everything from shot length to mise-en-scène; performance to sound? The text in question need not necessarily be a non-narrative experimental piece – Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979) illustrates that a science fiction film can grow from the same excessive soil..."

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