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Landmarks of Early Soviet Film: 8 Groundbreaking Films 1924 - 1930
This groundbreaking collection features eight seminal films from the Soviet silent era. Sergei M. Eisenstein's last silent and seldom seen Old and New (1929); Dziga Vertov's Stride, Soviet (1926); Victor Turin's Turksib (1930); Esther Shub's The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (1927); Boris Barnet's The House on Trubnaya (1928); Lev…
Old and New
Sergei M. Eisenstein's last silent and seldom-seen attempt to bring visual poetry to the collectivization of agriculture. 100.000.000 peasants - illiterate, poor, hungry. There comes a day when one woman decides that she can live old life no longer. Using ways of new Soviet state and industrial progress she changes…
Miss Mend
Miss Mend, an action-packed adventure serial in three feature-length episodes, was produced in Russia with the goal of rivaling, and possibly even surpassing, the most entertaining American movies of the 1920s. Instead of the avant-garde works of Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, Russian audiences were enchanted by fast-moving American films…
Turksib
TURKSIB set itself the modest goal of educating the Soviet public about the need for a railroad connecting Siberia and Turkestan. Although the film was released before construction of the railroad was completed, which would not be until 1931, the dynamic finale of the locomotive reaching the nomads reenacts a…
The House on Trubnaya Square
THE HOUSE ON TRUBNAYA was Boris Barnet's fourth production and a great hit with audiences. With its vibrant humor and a clever commentary on the historical moment, this film was unusual for the 1920s Soviet cinema. Barnet's heart lay in stories about regular people coming to terms with historical changes.…
The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks
The film is a broad satire of American ignorance of the Soviet Union. The naive American, Mr. John West, played by Porfori Podobed as a Harold Lloyd type (complete with enormous round glasses), is a YMCA president who is planning a trip to the newly founded Soviet Union to spread…
The Holy Mountain
A strange and beguiling romance that launched the career of Leni Riefenstahl, The Holy Mountain is the greatest of Arnold Fanck's legendary "mountain films," in which dramatic intrigues are played out against the breathtaking backdrop of the German Alps. Enthralled by the scenic majesty and heaving power of nature, an…
La Roue
Taken to its bare bones, the story deals with Sisif, a locomotive engineer who saves Norma, an infant girl, from a train wreck and raises her as his adopted daughter. Norma thinks Sisif's son Elie is her brother, and when the two fall in love, she leaves to marry a…
Keita - the Heritage of the Griot
Part of the Series: The Library of African Cinema
Keita creates a unique world where the West Africa of the 13th Century Sundjata Epic and the West Africa of today co-exist and interpenetrate. Director Dani Kouyati's frames his dramatization of the epic within the story of Mabo Keita, contemporary boy from Burkina Faso, learning the history of his family.…
Cigarette Girl Of Mosselprom
Exploding the myth that the Soviet silent cinema was limited to political propaganda, Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky's THE CIGARETTE GIRL OF MOSSELPROM is a playful romantic comedy set on the streets of 1924 Moscow, occasionally peeking behind the scenes of the Mezhrabpom-Rus Studios. Yuliya Solntseva stars as a tobacco vendor on the…
Berlin, Symphony of a Great City
At once an invaluable photographic record of life in Weimer Berlin and a timeless demonstration of the cinema's ability to enthrall on a purely visceral level, Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (Berlin, die Symphonie der Grosstadt) offers a kaleidoscopic view of a single day in the life of a…
Hipsters
Moscow 1955. Stalin has been dead two years, but not even Khrushchev's thaw can prevent Komsomol shock troops from hounding hipsters (stilyagi), fans of American jazz, culture and fashion. The student Mels, a Komsomol member, meets Polya, a hipster, while conducting a raid on a hipster hangout. Mels falls in…