July Rain marked the beginning of a different cinema, far less joyful and optimistic, which lost (or was loosing throughout the decade) illusions and light ideas about reality, cinema ruthless to any illusions and ideas of yesteryear. This cinema was hiding the pungency of its social diagnosis under situations that, on the surface, seemed trivial, everyday, and neutral. Continue reading “July Rain – Marlen Khutsiev”
after the Battle of Stalingrad, Lopatin, a Soviet Army veteran and writer, travels home to Uzbekistan discovers how even the false peace of a remote civilian village can be disturbed by the silent echoes of distant battle. Continue reading “20 Days Without War”
The films of Ukranian director Sergei Loznitsa (b. 1964) are rooted in the rich tradition of avant-garde documentary so central to the history of Soviet cinema. After graduating in 1997 from the intensely selective Russian State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, Loznitsa directed a series of striking and celebrated short films as a member of the legendary St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio.
Free of any kind of voice over or explanatory devices, Loznitsa’s short documentaries are instead pure cinematic poems whose subtle arguments are made through careful montage and arresting imagery which captures both the quickening pulse of Russia in the midst of the profound political and socio-cultural transition, and the deeper echoing rhythms of history.
Please visit Sergei Loznitsa’s website for more details on the movie.
Our first film in the series of monthly Saturday screenings of Russian films (with english subtitles), with introductions and discussions in Russian and English.
Natalia Rubinstein, journalist and literary critic, tells about the siege of Leningrad as a phenomenon of the post-war consciousness of Russians and its numerous reflections in literature and cinema. Translation in english: Lyudmila Razumova.