The Peasant Women Of Ryazan (1927)

IVAN PRAVOV, OLGA PREOBRAZHENSKAYA Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5 Original Title: Baby ryazanskie Alternate Titles:  Women Of Ryazan USSR, 1927. Sovkino. Screenplay by Boris Altshuler, Olga Vishnevskaya. Cinematography by Konstantin Kuznetsov. Music by Sergey Dreznin. Production Design by Dmitri Kolupayev. Melodrama at its finest in this powerful tale of women surviving the roles they are…

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The Stone Flower (1946)

ALEKSANDR PTUSHKO Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  Original title: Kamennyy tsvetok USSR, 1946 .  Mosfilm.   Screenplay by Pavel Bazhov, Ivan Keller.  Cinematography by Fyodor Provorov.   Music by Lev Shvarts.  Production Design by Aleksandr Ptushko.  Costume Design by Olga Kruchinina.   Film Editing by M. Kuzmina.  Soviet producers draw homegrown audiences away from the lure of…

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The Mirror (1975)

ANDREI TARKOVSKY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.   Original title:  Zerkalo USSR, 1975.  Mosfilm. Screenplay by Andrei Tarkovsky, Aleksandr Misharin.  Cinematography by Georgi Rerberg.  Produced by Erik Waisberg.  Music by Eduard Artemev.  Production Design by Nikolay Dvigubskiy.  Costume Design by Nelli Fomina.  Film Editing by Lyudmila Feyginova. This one is Andrei Tarkovsky for advanced students.  A non-linear narrative structure, little explanation of context for many…

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The Blue Bird (1976)

GEORGE CUKOR Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.  USA/Soviet Union, 1976.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Lenfilm Studio, Edward Lewis Productions, Sovinfilm, Tower International. Screenplay by Hugh Whitemore, Alfred Hayes, Aleksei Kapler, based on the play by Maurice Maeterlinck.  Cinematography by Jonas Gricius, Freddie Young.  Produced by Paul Maslansky, Harry N. Blum, Robert H. Greenberg.  Music by Irwin Kostal.  Production Design…

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The Colour of Pomegranates (1969)

SERGEI PARAJANOV Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Original title:  Sayat Nova Soviet Union/Armenia, 1969.  Armenfilm.  Screenplay by Sergei Parajanov, based on the poems of Sayat Nova.  Cinematography by Suren Shakhbazyan.  Music by Tigran Mansuryan.  Production Design by Stepan Andranikyan.  Costume Design by Elene Akhvlediani, I. Karalyan, Zh. Sarabyan.  Film Editing by Sergei Parajanov, M. Ponomarenko, Sergei Yutkevich.   Sergei Parajanov’s trip through the life…

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October 1917 (1928)

GRIGORI ALEKSANDROV, SERGEI M. EISENSTEIN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Alternate title:  Ten Days That Shook The World USSR, 1928.  Sovkino.  Screenplay by Sergei M. Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov, intertitles by Boris Agapow, based on the book by John Reed.  Cinematography by Eduard Tisse.  Music by Edmund Meisel, Dmitri Shostakovich.  Production Design by A. Alekseev, Vasili Kovrigin.  Film Editing by Esfir Tobak….

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Battle Beyond The Sun (1959)

MIKHAIL KARZHUKOV, ALEKSANDR KOYZR, FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  Original title:  Nebo Zovyot USSR, 1959.  A.P. Dovzenko Filmstudio, Mosfilm.  Screenplay by Mikhail Karzhukov, Yevgeni Pomeshchikov, Aleksey Sazonov.  Cinematography by Nikolai Kulchitsky.  Produced by Roger Corman.  Music by Carmine Coppola, Yuli Meitus.  Production Design by T. Kulychichkaya.  Film Editing by L. Mkhitaryyanch.   Francis Ford Coppola was assigned the task of taking…

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Ashik Kerib (1988)

SERGEI PARAJANOV Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  Original title:   Ashug-Karibi Soviet Union, 1988.  Qartuli Pilmi.  Screenplay by Gia Badridze, based on the story Ashik Kerib the Lovelorn Minstrel by Mikhail Lermontov.  Cinematography by Albert Yavuryan.  Music by Dzhavanshir Kuliyev.  Production Design by Gogi Aleqsi-Meskhishvili, Shota Goglashvili, Sergei Parajanov, Niko Zandukeli.  Costume Design by Eka Magalashvili.   Beautifully executed fable that marks the end…

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Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears (1979)

VLADIMIR MENSHOV Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  Original title:  Moskva Slezam Ne Verit USSR, 1979.  Mosfilm, Vtoroe Tvorcheskoe Obedinenie. Screenplay by Valentin Chernykh, Vladimir Menshov.  Cinematography by Igor Slabnevich.  Music by Sergey Nikitin.  Production Design by Said Menyalshchikov. Costume Design by Zhanna Melkonyan.  Film Editing by Yelena Mikhajlova.   The lives of three young women in contemporary Soviet Russia are examined in…

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Viy (1967)

GEORGI KROPACHYOV, KONSTANTIN YERSHOV Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USSR, 1967.  Luch, Mosfilm.  Screenplay by Konstantin Ershov, Georgi Kropachyov, Aleksandr Ptushko, based on the story by Nikolai Gogol.  Cinematography by Viktor Pishchalnikov, Fyodor Provorov.  Music by Karen Khachaturyan.  Production Design by Nikolay Panasev.  Costume Design by Roza Satunovskaya.  Film Editing by R. Pesetskaya, Tamara Zubova.   Classic Soviet horror film features an Orthodox…

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Agony: The Life And Death Of Rasputin (1981)

ELEM KLIMOV Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.5.  Original title:  Agoniya Alternate title:  Rasputin USSR, 1981.  Mosfilm.  Screenplay by Semyon Lungin, Ilya Nusinov.  Cinematography by Leonid Kalashnikov.  Music by Alfred Shnitke.  Production Design by Shavkat Abdusalamov, Sergey Voronkov.  Costume Design by Tatyana Vadetskaya.  Film Editing by Valeriya Belova.   Agony is what some audience members might be feeling should they be subjected to the…

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The Cranes Are Flying (1957)

MIKHAIL KALATOZOV Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB Original title:  Letjat Zhuravli USSR, 1957.  Mosfilm.  Screenplay by Viktor Rozov, based on his play.  Cinematography by Sergey Urusevskiy.  Produced by Mikhail Kalatozov.  Music by Moisey Vaynberg.  Production Design by Evgeniy Svidetelev.  Costume Design by Leonid Naumov.  Film Editing by Mariya Timofeeva.   Imagine if The Umbrellas of Cherbourg wasn’t a musical and was photographed in dreamy…

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