On April 26th, 1986, reactor four at Chernobyl nuclear power station explodes, sending an enormous radioactive cloud over Northern Ukraine and neighbouring Belarus. The danger is kept a secret from the rest of the world and the nearby population who go about their business as usual. May Day celebrations begin, children play and the residents of Pripyat marvel at the spectacular fire raging at the reactor. After three days, an area the size of England becomes contaminated with radioactive dust, creating a ‘zone’ of poisoned land.
On Atomic TV ⇒
On Youtube ⇒
Continue reading “HEAVY WATER – Mario Petrucci”
”Repentance,” a complex, coherent metaphor of the evil of tyranny, is the creation of Tengiz Abuladze, a Soviet Georgian film maker. His attack on Stalinism and the heirs of Stalin has been seen by millions of people in the Soviet Union, and ”Repentance” was the country’s nominee for an Academy Award for best foreign film.
Continue reading “Repentance – Покаяние”
The tale of an ageing monarch
descending into madness
following the division of his kingdom is filtered through a Communist perspective by Russian director Grigori Kozintsev in the latter’s final film.
Continue reading “Kozintsevs KING LEAR”
We are happy to announce
that the performance of this heartily acclaimed piece is coming back on stage soon. With our original cast working on the material since our first run, new faces, a musical score to complement it.
If you were there, you’ll want to see it again. And if not, this is the version that we have all been waiting for. This time around, the stage is set in the red velvet twilight of our Sands Films cinema. Continue reading “MARINA TSVETAEVA’S КРЫСОЛОВ – THE RATCATCHER”
.. have another ‘double-feature’ for you, this time with Shakespeare
With the Kozintsev rendition of King Lear to be announced later
in April, for our next screening we give you Kozintsevs
(Soviet Union, 1964)
Continue reading “Hamlet with Russian Eyes”
Soviet Union in the 1920s. Ippolit (Ron Moody), an impoverished aristocrat, now village bureaucrat, is summoned to the deathbed of his mother-in-law. She reveals that a fortune in jewels had been hidden from the Bolsheviks in the cushion of one of the twelve chairs from the family’s dining room set.
Continue reading “A ‘double take’ – Twelve chairs”
a classic satirical novel (read it here) that sees its anti-heroes in
“a series of comic adventures, including living in a students dormitory with plywood walls, posing as bill painters on a riverboat to earn passage, bamboozling a village chess club with promises of an international tournament, and traveling on foot through the mountains of Georgia.”
– from Wikipedia
Continue reading “A ‘double take’ – Двенадцать стульев”
When Nikita Khrushchev in 1956 proclaimed the end of the personality cult of Joseph Stalin, he started a process of political and cultural renewal in the country. Even though animators still needed a while to free themselves from the long tradition of “Éclair”, from the 1960s onwards, animation films gain completely new qualities..
Young animation directors developed their own distinctive styles and approaches in the following years. One of the most political was Andrei Khrzhanovsky, whose surrealist film The Glass Harmonica (1968) was severely cut by censors, but shelved nevertheless. Anatoly Petrov is known as the founder of the cinema journal Vesyolaya Karusel (click for Youtube search) that gave an opportunity to many young directors to make their first own films
(an excerpt from wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Russian_animation)
We recommend the article at
Russia beyond the headlines,
with some of our favourites.
Together with Alex Desyatnik, we have chosen a surprise selection for you. Ranging from artful folly to profound, and sometimes propaganda. Not as crude as Disney, mind. The screening includes about half a dozen short movies, with an introduction and the opportunity for debate between them. Where necessary, the cartoons are subtitled. If you have your own fond memories to contribute, share them with us. We may include them for the next episode.
“If the silent period showed the flashes of brilliance as well as the unevenness of Barnet’s talent, the next few years would see him produce two worldwide masterpieces that place him as a precursor of French Poetic Realism and the work of Jean Renoir, as well as an influence on the French New Wave through the works of Truffaut, Godard, and Rivette.”
Continue reading “Whistle Stop – Boris Barnet”