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Movie fest lines up classics from Soviet treasure trove

Classics never go out of fashion,especially when they are films coming out of the former Soviet Union...

Written by Debesh Banerjee | New Delhi |
February 7, 2009 12:41:05 am

Classics never go out of fashion,especially when they are films coming out of the former Soviet Union. Starting today,cine fans can feast on some of the greatest films ever made in the 50s to 70s former Soviet Republic.

A four-day festival titled “Days of Mosfilm”,on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the Mosfilm Studio,Russia,is being held by the Russian Centre for Science and Culture from February 6 to 9. The fest will screen,for the first time in the Capital,four classics from the glorious days of the Soviet filmmaking factory. Mosfilm Studio is recognised as one of the largest and oldest films studios in Europe,producing films since early 1920s with world-renowned filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovsky and Sergei Eisenstein associated with it.

“I think youngsters and film-lovers should be given a glimpse into treatment of films at a time when there were hardly any technological advancements. There were also not many distractions that hampered the vision of filmmakers,” says Anwar Jamal,National Award-winning filmmaker who is also managing trustee of the Film Trust of India.

For Jamal,the film festival offers an insight into the life of people of an era bygone,which serves as an inspiration for filmmakers even today. The fest kicks off with the classic Soviet war film,Mikhail Kalatozov’s The Cranes are Flying (1958),which captures the futility of war and its impact on the psyche of the Soviet people. The film won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1958. “We wanted to showcase four highly acclaimed films of the Mosfilm studio in Delhi. It’s the first time these films would be screened in India,” says Sergei Cherkas,deputy director,Russian Cultural Centre,who was instrumental in bringing these prints to India. “Mosfilms evokes the same emotions among Russians as Bollywood does in India. The studio produced over 3,000 films in Russian and various other languages during the 60-70s,” he adds. Back home,Cherkas says,the anniversary would be marked by discussions and film screenings of epic movies from the stable.

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The highlights of the four-day festival will be Tarkovsky’s science-fiction epic,Solaris (1972) based on the emotions of characters onboard a space station,which won the Grand Jury award at the 1972 Cannes and was remade by Hollywood director Steven Soderberg in 2002. Cherkas plans to continue celebrations by hosting a film festival on contemporary Russian cinematography in March.

Itinerary: When

Friday,Feb 6,6.30 pm:
The Cranes are Flying (1958);
Director: M Kolatozov

Saturday,Feb 7,6.00 pm: Anna Karenina (1967),
Director: A Zarkhi

Sunday,Feb 8,6 pm:
Solaris (1972),
Director: A Tarkovsky

Monday,Feb 9,6 pm:
The Rider Named
Death (2004),
Director: K Shakhnazarov

Russian Centre of Science & Culture,24,Ferozeshah Road

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