In Saint Petersburg in Russia, there still exists communal apartments, vestiges of the Soviet system. People from all backgrounds and social classes are gathered together here, due to circumstance. They form a cross-section of Russian society grouped together in the same place. Kommunalka is a-slice-of-life portrait of a communal apartment in Sovetskaya Street.
Tag Archives: russian
Vasilisa prekrasnaya / Vasilisa the Beautiful (1940) Aleksandr Rou, Georgiy Millyar, Sergei Stolyarov, Lev Potyomkin, Family, Fantasy
Based on a Russian folk tale, Vasilisa Prekrasnaya (Vasilisa the Beautiful) is about a father whose three sons go out to finds themselves brides. Two of the boys come home with perfectly normal girls, but the youngest brother, Ivanushka, brings home a frog from the marshes. His father finds this most curious, but what he does not know was that the frog was actually a beautiful girl named Vasilisa who was cursed by a magical serpent whom she refused to marry. Now Ivanushka must overcome tremendous obstacles to restore Vasilisa to her true form and free her from the serpent’s spell.
Neokonchennaya povest / Unfinished Story (1956) Fridrikh Ermler, Elina Bystritskaya, Sergey Bondarchuk, Sofiya Giatsintova, Drama, Romance
The local doctor Yelizaveta Maximovna sees and restores to health lots and lots of patients. The talented shipbuilder Yershov afflicted by the misfortune of leg paralysis proves to be the most “difficult” one yet. Consistently trying out various treatment courses she strives to help Yershov, who falls in love with his physician. Yershov’s mother and Doctor Aganin, who is in love with Yelizaveta Maximovna, put obstacles in the path of their happiness…
Karnavalnaya noch / Carnival in Moscow (1956) Eldar Ryazanov, Igor Ilyinsky, Lyudmila Gurchenko, Yuri Belov, Comedy, Musical, Romance
This Russian musical manages to satirize Soviet life without ever offending the Politburo. The story concerns a group of young stage performers who, in true Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland fashion, wanna put on a swell show. Trouble is, the hidebound Ministry of Culture expects the kids to do a propaganda piece. Undaunted, our heroes and heroines stage the show their way, finding fun and romance along the way. One of the best bits involves a jazz band which disguises itself as a long-haired classical orchestra in order to sneak by the cultural watchdogs.
Plokhoy khoroshiy chelovek / The Duel (1973) Iosif Kheifits, Oleg Dal, Vladimir Vysotskiy, Lyudmila Maksakova, Drama, History
Dramatic story about two young men, two intellectuals of the 1890th. It is a story about a complex human character. Being tortured by ignorance and boredom of life, clerk Laevsky is longing to break the depraved circle of his existence. His moral antipode, naturalist Von Coren is sure that people like Laevsky are worth being destroyed. But regardless characters’ will and desires, providence deals with their lives in its own way…
Boris Godounov (1989) Andrzej Zulawski, Ruggero Raimondi, Kenneth Riegel, Pavel Slabý, Musical, Drama
The film is based on the musical recording of the famous opera by Modest Mussorgsky about the tragic events surrounding the ruling of the Russian tsar Boris in the early 17th century. The recording was actually made two years before the filming with the participation of the Washington Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich) and several opera stars (the part of Marina is sung by Galina Vishnevskaya). Zulawski made the film just as we would be watching the theatrical performance. Then we are going through the sets and, finally, we notice the film crew. The director deliberately filled the picture with a plenty of anachronisms making the implications on the Soviet history and the other dictatorships of the 20th century.
Russian Lolita / Russkaya Lolita (2007) Armen Oganezov, Valerja Nemchenko, Vladimir Sorokin, Marina Zasimova, Romance, Erotic
The action of a controversial novel ”Lolita”, of the famous Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov, reset to present day Russia. A mother and her daughter are running short of money and are thankful that they could rent a room to a writer (Gennady Petrovich). The mother is lonely and the daughter is coming of age. The mother immediately gets in love with him, which causing to the daughter a terrible jealousy. And then the daughter chooses the most unfailing weapon – she tries to discourage him from her mother. She tries to get his attention by parading around without panties, asking his help with her shower, and rubbing up against him and flashing him whenever her mother is not looking. She is even trying to convince her mom, that since she is becoming a woman, that he should teach her some of the finer points of love. Could the grown man resist the charms of a 14 year-old nymphet? You have got to see the ending as well!!!
The Dry Valley / Sukhodol (2011) Aleksandra Strelyanaya, Yana Esipovich, Oleg Garkusha, Elena Kalinina, Drama, Romance
This story unites the destinies of the landowners and their servants, and is considered to be one of the most complete portraits of the Russian life in the late XIX century. It takes place in Dry Valley, a village owned by the noble family of Khrushevs. The story tells about Natalia, a young and naive girl who serves in their country house. We see and experience her love, dedication to her masters, mysticism, exile, betrayal and faith, while the Dry Valley is falling to pieces, slowly but inevitably, as well as the lives of its inhabitants.
The film is an almost impressionistic adaptation of the source material with very striking baroque magery.
Man from the Restaurant / Chelovek iz restorana (1927) Yakov Protazanov, Michael Chekhov, Mikhail Klimov, Mikhail Narokov, Drama
An elderly man works as a waiter at a luxurious restaurant. He’s content and full of hope, and treasures his family more than anything. But it’s time of the First World War and news from the front change his life.
The Captivating Star of Happiness / Zvezda plenitelnogo schastya (1975) Vladimir Motyl, Irina Kupchenko, Aleksey Batalov, Natalya Bondarchuk, Biography, Drama, Romance
On December 14, 1825 the military units of the Russian army were supposed to swear their allegiance to the new czar, Nicholas I. But the young officers, the most liberal-minded people of their time, who abhorred the terrors of serfdom, decided to raise their regiments against the autocracy and bring democracy to the country. That was a great heroic feat of the best sons of Russia. However, the revolt had been brutally crushed. Some of its inspirators were executed, many sent to hard labor in Siberia. Following the convicted officers to Siberia were their wives who had left their aristocratic families and comfortable lifestyles. The film is dedicated to those remarkable Russian women.