Thursday, 3 March 2011

Mikhail Romm: Lenin in 1918 - Ленин в 1918 году (1937)

Directed by Mikhail Romm with E. Aron and I. Simkov as co-directors.
Writer: Aleksei Kapler
Stars: Boris Shchukin, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Vasili Vanin

The great Russian film director Mikhail Romm lived and worked in hard and troubled times of the Soviet regime. A man of iron will and indomitable perseverance he was a very kind person. He brought up a whole galaxy of brilliant film-directors, including Andrei Tarkovsky, Grigori Chukhrai, Vasili Shukshin, Nikita Mikhalkov, Georgi Daneliya, Aleksandr Mitta, Igor Talankin, Rezo Chkheidze, Gleb Panfilov, Vladimir Basov, Tengiz Abuladze, and many others.

Poster by: Anatolii Bel'skii
Film directed by Mikhail Romm 1939

Mikhail Ilyich Romm was born on January 11, 1901 in Irkutsk where his father, a social democrat, had been exiled to. His mother was a passionate theatre lover and imparted her love for art to her children.
«From the age of nine I grew up in Moscow, —Mikhail Romm writes — I graduated from gymnasium in 1917 and entered the Moscow College for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. I decided to become a sculptor. However it did not prevent me from developing in the field of theatre, as an actor».
In the hard years of the so-called ‘war communism’ Romm found himself in the Red Army, as a soldier, then a telephone operator, and even an inspector.
In 1925 he graduated from the Faculty of Sculpture. Literature was another passion of his. In the 1920s Romm translated the French classics: Flober, Maupassant, and Zola. Moreover, he wrote novels, stories and short stories himself.
In the early 1930s Romm started working as an assistant of director. Later he was offered to direct a film himself, but under severe conditions. The result was Romm’s Boule de suif (Pyshka (1934)). This movie initiated Romm’s collaboration with cameraman Boris Volchek (1905—1974). ... more

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