Thursday, 8 July 2010

Mosfilm: the rebirth of Russian movie magic

While the Soviet Union's most famous film studio has bounced back after the crisis, it nevertheless remains in need of new talent.
To count the number of movies made and produced at Mosfilm is a challenge. From Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin and Romm's Pyshka, to Chukhrai's Clear Sky, Konchalovsky's Uncle Vanya , and Tarkovsky's Solaris, Mosfilm holds a place at the top of the cinematographic world. The experimental workshop, founded in 1924, had by the start of the Second World War become the first complete studio in Europe, being both a cinematographic village and a production company.
With the demise of the Soviet Union, the powerful national cinematographic industry, already dying, was also dragged down. It was only at the turn of the century that Russian cinema began to revive, while Mosfilm was undergoing a complete modernisation.
"Not a single sector escaped from a drastic levelling of standards," says Karen Shakhnazarov, the president of Mosfilm.
Since the beginning of the crisis, annual production has not exceeded 40-50 films. And there is another problem: "Today's Russian cinema does not generate artistic ideas as powerful as those of the Soviet era," Shakhnazarov explains ruefully.
Even if there are young and talented scriptwriters, one cannot yet characterise them as a new wave.
The different recording and soundtrack mixing studios (one of which can accommodate a 150-strong orchestra) were designed by European specialists and equipped with the latest technology. This enabled a diversification beyond the cinema. "Fifty pc of our work is recording music albums," says Andrei, a sound engineer.
A jewel in Mosfilm's crown is the recreation of a Moscow district at the end of the 19th/beginning of 20th century that includes paved streets, stone and wood façades, lampposts and period street signs.

1 comment:

Jorge said...

That´s great news, I wanted to go to the studio´s museum last year but i couldn´t ... maybe next time.