MSSU Russia Semester

Russia Film Events

Russian Film Festival: Prisoner of the Mountains

 Russian Film Festival: Prisoner of the Mountains7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2004
Cornell Auditorium in Matthews Hall
Admission: free

Directed by Bodrov
1996

A tightly executed moral drama of love and war, Sergei Bodrov’s Academy Award-nominated film is based on Tolstoy’s classic tale and set in the remote, austerely beautiful Caucasus mountains. A dashing soldier (Russian heartthrob Oleg Menshikov, Burnt by the Sun), and a young recruit (Sergei Bodrov, Jr.) are captured by a Chechen father who holds them hostage in his village home. The father attempts a prisoner exchange for his son, who is held by the Russian army, but is defeated by the lackadaisical and inept bureaucracy of the military.

Top

Russian Film Festival: Circus

7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2004
Cornell Auditorium in Matthews Hall
Admission: free

Directed by Alexandrov
1936

Grigori Alexandrov’s daring attempt to import the American musical comedy form into the Soviet Union was conceived by its director as “an eccentric comedy...a real side-splitter.” Its star is an American circus artiste who has a black baby — a daring conceit for 1936! The only way she can find happiness is among the Soviet people.

Top

Russian Film Festival: Commissar

7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004
Cornell Auditorium in Matthews Hall
Admission: free

Directed by Askoldov
1967

One of the most celebrated Soviet films. In 1967, a Soviet filmmaker told a tale of Jewish life, suffering, bravery and fatalism in a movie about a Red Army commissar who finds herself living with a small-town Jewish family while civil war rages around them. The film, an indictment of anti-Semitism, was Askoldov’s first and last feature film. Shortly after its completion, Askoldov was fired and the film locked away. Now finally released, the film’s “artistic and emotional impact is formidable…Askoldov has mastered a poetic style” (Sight and Sound).

Top

Russian Film Festival: Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004
Cornell Auditorium in Matthews Hall
Admission: free

Directed by Menshikov
1980

Vladimir Menshov’s melodrama about the cruel anonymity of city life is structured in two parts. The first half is set in 1958, as Menshov charts the interlocking romantic fates of three Russian girls shunned to a workers’ dormitory. Tonya (Raisa Ryazanova) finds grace and happiness; Ludmila (Irina Muraveva) is trapped in an unhealthy and oppressive marriage; Katerina (Vera Alentova) is cruelly abandoned when her lover discovers she’s pregnant. The second half resumes their stories and lives 20 years later. Winner of the 1980 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Top

Russian Film Festival: My Name is Ivan

7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2004
Cornell Auditorium in Matthews Hall
Admission: free

Directed by Tarkkovsky
1962

A new print of the first feature film directed by the great Andrei Tarkovsky. This beautiful work, filled with poetic flourishes and an overriding sense of melancholy, immediately placed him in a position of leadership among the young Soviet filmmakers of his era. Set during WW II, it is the story of a young boy who is deprived of his childhood and struggles with the brutal realities of war. The film contains many images that would later become Tarkovsky’s trademark, and is a brutally poetic evocation of innocence lost in the face of war.

Top

Russian Film Festival: Window to Paris

 Russian Film Festival: Window to Paris7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2004
Cornell Auditorium in Matthews Hall
Admission: free

Directed by Mamin
1995

This wonderfully inventive, wildly hilarious comedy from Yuri Mamin starts in St. Petersburg, where an impoverished music teacher finds that the closet door of his new one-room apartment opens onto a window on the other side of which lies…Paris! Soon the denizens of the Russian flat are busy transporting themselves (and all the goods they can find) over the Paris rooftops into their St. Petersburg apartment. Window to Paris is a sharp, witty, and totally original satire.

Top

Russian Film Festival: The Cranes are Flying

 Russian Film Festival: The Cranes are Flying7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2004
Cornell Auditorium in Matthews Hall
Admission: free

Directed by Kalatozov
1957

A film that marked a radical opening for Soviet cinema. The romantic, lyrical story concerns a beautiful young girl (Tatiana Samoilova) caught up in the horrors of war. When her fiance (Alexei Batalov) goes off to war, she marries a man whom she does not love and who raped her, is evacuated to Siberia and, after the war, learns of her fiance's death. But she refuses to believe it and waits for his return. A great international success, which won the Palme d'Or and Best Director and Best Actress honors at Cannes.

Top

Russian Film Festival: Burnt By the Sun

 Russian Film Festival: The Cranes are Flying7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2004
Cornell Auditorium in Matthews Hall
Admission: free

Directed by Mikhalkov
1994

This Academy Award-winning feature (Best Foreign Language Film) is a wonderfully intimate, Chekhovian idyll set in Stalinist Russia, which, at its conclusion, packs an explosive political climax. Director Nikita Mikhalkov plays a legendary revolutionary hero living in a dacha outside Moscow with family and friends. Most of the film’s complex relationships are seen through the innocent eyes of Mikhalkov’s (and the hero’s) beautiful daughter in a film that gently reveals the tragedy of living under Stalinism.

Top

Russian Film Festival: Alexander Nevsky

 Russian Film Festival: Alexander Nevsky7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004
Cornell Auditorium in Matthews Hall
Admission: free

Directed by Eisenstein
1938

With its magnificently realized battle sequences (including the famed “Battle on the Ice” climax) and Sergei Prokofiev’s masterful score, Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky remains a classic of epic filmmaking, one the true masterpieces from one of the most important filmmakers in history.

Top

Russian Film Festival: Brother

 Russian Film Festival: Brother7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2004
Cornell Auditorium in Matthews Hall
Admission: free

Directed by Balabanov
1997

A simple man returns from his army service, coming home to St. Petersburg, where he finds his brother is now a contract killer for the Russian mob. Soon, both brothers are in the service of organized crime and they team up to kill a Chechen mafia boss. This riveting crime film addresses the social breakdown and accepted grimness of city life in the former Soviet Union. Lead actor Sergei Bodrov Jr.’s superb performance won him well-deserved honors around the world, including the award for Best Actor at the 1997 Chicago International Film Festival. “A wonderfully mordant excursion through the new Russian thugocracy...the best Russian movie I've seen in years” (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice).

Top

©