Monday, 21 April 2008

Faina Ranevskaya in Cinderella - Золушка (1947)

Director: Hope Kosheverova, Michael Shapiro
Actors: Janina Jeimo, Alexei Konsovsky, Erast Garin, Vasiliy Merkur'ev, Faina Ranevskaya, Helen Junger, Barbara Myasnikov, Klimenkov Igor, Sergei Filippov, Rumnev etc.

Faina Ranevskaya
August 27, 1896 – July 19, 1984

If you ask in any street of any Russian town who Ranevskaya was, in 99 per cent of cases you’ll hear, “She was a legendary actress, of course!”, and only a tiny 1 per cent will remember that’s also the name of a Chekhov character. Her talent, charm, wit, sharp tongue and – for the time – unbelievable straightforwardness earned her the absolute love and adoration of the public. She never played a single leading role in a play or a movie, but she was so brilliant even in her cameo appearances that generation after generation remember Faina, while the faces of those in the leading roles faded from people’s memories decades ago. ...

Friday, 11 April 2008

Vladimir Menshov's Oscar-Winning film “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears” to be Continued

Film director Vladimir Menshov is thinking about a new film project, namely the sequel of his much-spoken-of and Oscar-winning lyrical comedy Moskva slezam ne verit (aka Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears) (1980).
As the director says, there is some entrepreneur who is willing to finance the film under the title "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears - 2". Mr. Menshov has already given his tentative agreement.
“I am pleased that the picture is so popular that it is even becoming a legend - Vladimir Menshov said - It is nice that people are waiting for it to be continued”.
Москва слезам не верит went on general release in 1979 and still remains a cult movie. After all, the potential viewers are bound to be attracted to the same-name would-be sequel.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Cult Actress Nadezhda Rumyantseva Passes Away

People’s Artist of Russia Nadezhda Rumyantseva has died, aged 78, in Moscow. Her wonderful charm, humour and inimitable sincerity had created favourite characters for many admirers of Russian cinema.

Nadezhda Vassilyevna Rumyantseva was born on September 9, 1930, in Potapovo Settlement of Smolensk Region. After school she entered Lunacharsky State Theatre Arts Institute and then the All-Union State Cinema Institute. The small height of the actress at once determined her type as a travesty.

From 1948 to 1950 Rumyantseva played onstage of the Central Children’s Theatre. In that period she also filmed in Navstrechu zhizni (The Encounter of a Lifetime) (1952) and Alyosha Ptitsyn vyrabatyvaet kharakter (Alesha Ptitsyn Cultivates His Character) (1953). In 1955 Nadezhda Rumyantseva got engaged in Theatre Studio of Film Actor.

The image of Tosya in the famous lyrical comedy Devchata (The Girls) (1961) by director Yuri Chulyukin became the hallmark of the actress. No less successful was the film Koroleva benzokolonki (Queen of a Petrol Station) (1963).

Along with cinema she also succeeded as a TV host of children’s programmes. Characters of numerous popular animations speak with the voice of Nadezhda Rumyantseva.


Saturday, 5 April 2008

Analysis Of The Movie Gloss


A Mosfilm, Andrei Konchalovsky Production Center (Russia)/Studio Canal, Cadran Prod. (France)/Motion Investment Group (Belgium) production, in association with Backup Films. (International sales: Fortissimo Films, Hong Kong.) Produced by Jeremy Burdek, Nadia Khamlichi, Adrian Politowski. Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. Screenplay, Konchalovsky, Dunya Smirnova.

With: Yuliya Vysotskaya, Ilya Isaev, Irina Rozanova, Olga Arntgolts, Yefim Shifrin, Andrei Noskov, Aleksandr Domogarov, Ela Sanko, Yuris Lautsinsh.
(Russian, English dialogue)

Nothing succeeds like excess in "Gloss," a pointed, if overlong, contempo fairy tale by 70-year-old Russian vet Andrei Konchalovksy about the victory of style over substance. Pic entertainingly charts the rise and rise of a plucky seamstress from provincial Russia through the labyrinthine and equally flashy worlds of fashion, politics and crime. Helmer's name no longer has the cachet it radiated back in the '80s, but still has enough to attract fest allure. International commercial prospects would be increased by a 15-minute trim.
In the town of Rostov, ambitious seamstress Galya (Yuliya Vysotskaya) works in a clothing factory. As the story begins, her photo has just appeared in a local newspaper's sexy advertisement. Dreaming of becoming a supermodel and living a fantasy life of tropical islands and lingerie, Galya taps her thuggish b.f., Vitya (Ilya Isaev), for train fare and heads to Moscow.

There, Galya marches into the offices of Top Beauty magazine, run by an editor (Irina Rozanova) who makes Meryl Streep's character in "The Devil Wears Prada" look like Shirley Temple. While admiring Galya's chutzpah and her gifts of lobsters and handicrafts, the editor gives a withering appraisal of the wannabe's chances before ignoring her....

Friday, 4 April 2008

Nikita Mikhalkov: Oblomov (Several Days in the Life of I. I. Oblomov) - Несколько дней из жизни И. И. Обломова (1979)

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Script: Alexander Adabashian, Nikita Mikhalkov
Camera: Pavel Lebeshev
Music by: Eduard Artemyev
Cast: Oleg Tabakov, Yuri Bogatyryov, Andrei Popov, Yelena Solovey, Avangard Leontiev, Andrei Razumovsky, Oleg Kozlov, Yelena Kleshchevskaya, Galina Shostko, Gleb Strizhenov, Yevgheny Steblov, Yevghenia Glushenko, Nikolai Pastukhov, Fedya Stukov, Anatoly Romashin

Oxford’s Golden Shield for Best Directing (Nikita Mikhalkov) at the Oxford IFF, 1980
Oxford’s Silver Shield for Best Actor (Oleg Tabakov) at the Oxford IFF, 1980
Oxford’s Silver Shield for Best Actress (Yelena Solovey) at the Oxford IFF, 1980
Oxford’s Silver Shield for Best Photography (Pavel Lebeshev) at the Oxford IFF, 1980
First Prize at the International Week of Authors Films in Benalmaden, 1982
Best Foreign Film of 1981, by the decision of U. S. National Council of Film Critics, 1981

The Russian film version of Ivan Goncharov's 1859 novel, ''Oblomov,'' begins and ends with the sight of a child running rapturously in search of his mother, even though the book's bestknown image is that of a grown man who won't get out of bed. The shift is most appropriate, because Nikita Mikhalkov's film places its chief emphasis on the innocently dreamlike aspects of the story.

Sections of Goncharov's novel can be read as social satire - the title character is a wealthy landowner, and his laziness is legend. And yet it is the book's rambling fantasy passages that sound its most eloquent note, as the sweet, sluggish Oblomov imagines the possibilities life might hold for him if ever he could shake off his torpor. While Goncharov left no doubt about the essential goodheartedness of this becalmed character, Mr. Mikhalkov makes the point even more strongly. His Oblomov is as gentle and guileless as a child. ...

Roman Prygunov: Indigo - Индиго (2008)

Indigo (2008)

Director: Roman Prygunov
Cast: Ivan Yankovsky, Mikhail Efremov, Maria Shukshina, Artem Tkachenko, Elena Drobysheva, Gosha Kutsenko, Anastasia Ricci, Roman Shmakov, Pavel Sliva, Marius Standel, Pavel Yasenok, Petr Skvortsov, Ivan Mudrov

Indigo is an adventure thriller about ordinary, urban teenagers. But they also are Indigo - people of the future. They feel danger, understand language of animals, read thoughts, and remember their previous reincarnations. But suddenly these children begin to vanish mysteriously, one by one. Their ominous enemies have their own plans for the future. Indigo should fight for their freedom.

Official site here.