Monday, May 9, 2011

Best 10 Films of Russia

  1. Man With the Movie Camera (1928) USSR, bw/silent [photo top]
  2. The Cuckoo (2002) Russia
  3. Mongol (2007) Russia
  4. Come and See (1985) Russia
  5. The Battleship Potemkin (1925, Eisenstein) USSR, bw
  6. Ballad of a Soldier (1959) Russia, bw
  7. War and Peace (1968) Russia
  8. Andrei Rublev (1966, Tarkovsky)
  9. Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)
  10. Alexander Nevsky (1938, Eisenstein)
  11. I Am Cuba (1964) Cuba-Russia, bw
  12. Ivan's Childhood (1962) Russia, bw
  13. The Cranes Are Flying (1957) Russia
  14. The Italian (2005) Russia [photo below]
  15. Siberiade (1979) Russia

Photo from Sergei Bondarchuk's War and Peace, which used
over 250,000 extras and ran 7 hrs in length
It was first seen in the west on 4 nights on PBS

Dziga Vertov's Man With the Movie Camera, even though silent, still looks modern today, using superimposed images, rapid edits, moving cameras.. the theme and subtitle was "A day in the life of the USSR" - now that hasn't been copied much through the decades!

All Sergei Eisenstein films are brilliant, I just happen to like Battleship Potemkin and Alexander Nevsky the most..

I need to rewatch Ivan the Terrible, it's been decades.. that's why it's not on here..

Come and See is a terrific holocaust film; the German invasion of Byelorussia and the scorched earth policy..

The War and Peace directed by Sergei Bondarchuk was the most expensive film (100 m. estimated in 1968) of it's era, and they used 250,000 members of the Red Army free of charge.. costumes must have been a real nightmare!

Andrei Tarkovsky is really a Jekyll and Hyde.. The Mirror is another good one, along with Andrei Rublev, but the others are painful to bear.. I would skip The Sacrifice, Solaris, and Stalker, unless you're a masochist

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"war and peace" 1968, from russia is easily,without any shadow of a doubt, the greatest motion picture ever made !!! i've watched it 3 or 4 times ,i always see something new and it never ceases to amaze,the fact that sergei bondarchuk was able to pull it all together,as director, also playing the lead role and adapt the screenplay, is an awesome achievement,i never see this film in any best film books and lists why!?!?!? i think because it crushes any and all hollywood epics...really the only movies that come close to it are david leans... lawrence of arabia and doctor zhivago,yet both of these films combined would not be better than war and peace! a luminous!shimmering!mind blowing!sense staggering! work of art thats equally great in its intimacy and panoramic vistas of sight, sound and color ,if only i could see it on a theatre size screen!!!!!!!!!!!