Favorite Soviet Films (2 replies)
I know that when film lovers immediately refer to the films of Tarkovsky and Eisenstein when they think about Soviet cinema, but what are some of your favorite Soviet films that might not be as well known?
To start, I just watched a film Elem Klimov titled 'Welcome, or No Tresspassing'. It's a wonderfully delightful comedy about kids at a summer camp fighting against the strict rules placed by the head counselor, in what can be viewed as allegory against the Soviet government. It's a bit sad that this tends to be overshadowed by 'Come and See'.
You might try Klimov's 'Rasputin' and, if you do, I would like to hear your reaction.
I sometimes go to the web site 'Soviet and Russian Films', which has about anything you would want. I love 'Trial on the Road' by Aleksey German. He was an interesting director. Also 'Visitor of a Museum' by Lobushanskiy and 'Letter's from a Dead Man' by that same director.
KurosawaWorld, It’s interesting that you note the lightheartedness of Klimov’s earlier work.
In a documentary included in Criterion’s restoration of “The Ascent,” Klimov was described by his brother as a comedian with a great sense of humor. Understandably, he was profoundly affected by the death of his director wife, Larisa Shepitko. His brother observed: “Unfortunately, he became stuck in this tragedy period, which also affected his personality and his view of the world. It cast a gloomy shadow over him. Living in this world became unbearable to him.”
Roger, have you seen the “The Chekist”? It’s about the Bolshevik Secret Police purging the country of its “enemies.” I found the film exploitative as it revelled in showing the endless parade of naked victims on the execution line. Maybe the point was to numb the viewer by showing how routine these killings were. Its supporters defend the film as a brutally honest look at an ugly period in Russian history. You can watch the full movie here: