Russian Films

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Jack Scorpion, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

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    I'm a big movie buff who has written and overwritten the hard drive space on my TiVo with countless hours of TCM. I've spent beyond my budget on DVD's off amazon, monthly accounts with Netflix and rare finds at the local indie rental store. And most of this obsession has been an extension of my long-time interest in American 20th century cultural history.

    However, I did live in Moscow for four months and I did take a class on Russian film, so every once in awhile, my not-so-precious time will take a break from American movies 1940-1980 and revisit Russian cinema. I have a number of favorite flicks that a lot of Americans may never have even heard of, so I would like to share a short list of those favorite Russian flicks here:

    The Cuckoo (2002) - cute drama
    Prisoner of the Mountains (1996) - hostage drama
    Burnt by the Sun (1995) - heart-touching drama
    Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1979) - "life in the soviet union" epic
    Stalker (1979) - cinematic and science-fiction masterpiece
    The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath (1975) - New Years romantic comedy
    Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future (1973) - classic comedy
    Gentlemen of Fortune (1972) - classic comedy
    Diamond Arm (1968) - classic slapstick/satirical comedy
    White Sun of the Desert (1970) - eastern

    (To learn more about White Sun of the Desert and transplanted American westerns in general, read my review of the film at It's Okay With Me.)

    Can anyone recommend me any other Russian films from any decade? ("12" from last year is still on my list. It's a remake of 12 Angry Men, which I loved, about the Cheshnya conflict.)
     
  2. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    I think Cranes are Flying is supposed to be a classic.
     
  3. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

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    "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors"
    "Waiting for Gavrilov"

    Plus I once saw a wonderful/terrible Russian Sci Fi flick that took place on the moon. The plot thickens when somebody gets a monopoly on air, and starts selling it at exhorbitant prices. Pretty hilarious excoriation of capitalism. But still a cool flick in its own moronic way.

    Oh, and I recently saw a horrifically realistic film about German genocide in Byelorus in 1943, called "Come and See".
    Ohhh . . . and a bizarre flick, I think called "Brother". It's about a guy in the early 1990's who becomes a gangster during the anarchic days following the fall of Communism. It sort of glorifies some pretty egregious violence, but it's apparently a cult classic in Russia.

    It's hard for us westerners to grasp how different life is in the former eastern bloc countires. Some of these films make up for that, if only somewhat.
     
  4. ukali1066

    ukali1066 Practically Family

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    Not Russian but here's a Polish film you'd find interesting

    Ogniem I Mieczem

    It's about the Ukrainian Cossack uprising against the Polish/Lithuanian magnates in the 17th century.

    When it was released this film beat Titanic in sales in Poland !

    Lovely costumes, great characters and well done battle scenes

    I found an original DVD on ebay with English subtitles, great quality...I've heard the US import version is poorer quality though...
     
  5. lolly_loisides

    lolly_loisides One Too Many

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    One of my favourite modern Russian movies is Vor (The thief) made in 1997. It's a wonderful movie, incredibly moving - although it was quite possibly the most inappropriate first date movie ever (however I ended up marrying the date, so that was ok).
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0124207/
     
  6. sci fi

    It's a long time since I saw it, but the STALKER was pretty impressive, although as far as classic cinema goes Alexander Nevsky still stands tall.
    Modern ones?...THE RETURN was great...if bleak.
     
  7. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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  8. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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    1612 - Poles march on Moscow. Epic.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAKzvY6HGZ4&feature=fvw
     
  9. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

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    I saw this in theaters in Murmansk. It had no subtitles, but I think I got the gist of it. Enjoyed.
     
  10. LadyStardust

    LadyStardust Practically Family

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    To be honest, you have listed all the most classic Russian films. :) I would say Russia specializes more in TV serials, at least it seems to me there is a greater quantity of those than movies. Examples include Brigada, Esenin, Sherlock Holmes, Master & Margerita, Ten Little Indians. You may look into those, if such a thing is of interest. :)
     
  11. Unlucky Berman

    Unlucky Berman One of the Regulars

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    Did someone see Solaris in its original russian 1970s version? I liked it in a strange kind of way. Its not much action but much more like the novel from Lem. Something philosophic and a kind of thinking about what reality is and how we define our own kind of it.
     
  12. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

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    I want to see more of those. I wonder how best to find them?

    I own the miniseries of The Idiot, but I would be really interested in seeing herlock Holmes, Master & Margerita, The Brothers Karamazov... and I think there is one based off all Gogol's short stories.
     
  13. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

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    Eastern bloc

    Could we broaden this to include eastern bloc, former Warsaw Pact, whatever countries? I would toss into that category a Czech film from the 60's called "Lemonade Joe", a Yugoslav film called "While Father Was Away on Business", and a Hungarian film about the 50's called "Time Stands Still".
     
  14. TM

    TM A-List Customer

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    Stalker? I remember watching that on VHS - in fast forward - and it was still slow!

    Tony
     
  15. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

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    Emir Kusturica films. Underground blew me away.
     

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