The Multimedia Library has recently received a generous donation of twenty-seven Russian and Soviet films from Douglas Heintz. Currently a Stewardship and Donor Relations Specialist in the College of Engineering, Douglas was a former REEEC MA student with a Russian major (2007) and a FLAS recipient (2007-2008). Remember to stay tuned for additional posts on our new acquisitions in May.
Nochnoy Dozor/Night Watch. A film by Timur Bekmambetov, based on Russian fantasy author Sergei Lukyanenko’s trilogy of the same title (2004, PAL, 115 min., col., Russian with English subtitles). See trailer.
Synopsis: In the world that is modern Moscow, there exists a parallel realm known as the Gloom (kind of like the Astral Plane). Certain humans with special powers can pass in and out of the Gloom. They are known as the Others and have co-existed with humans for as long as humanity has existed. The Others are soldiers in the Eternal War, the struggle between dark and light. Light Others protect mankind from Dark Others, most of whom are vampires. Light Others and Dark Others currently live within a Truce. Read more…
Awards: Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film (2005), Golden Eagle Awards, Russia 2004.
Summary and Review: Set in Tsarist St. Petersburg, the film mocks bureaucratic power-tripping and the small-mindedness of the bourgeoisie. What the writer had expressed in words, actors now communicate in off-kilter postures, exaggerated gestures, and striking facial expressions. Men dwarfed by architecture emerge into the foreground from deep, diagonal shots along the bridges and canals of the frozen city. Cameraman Andrei Moskvin preferred to shoot after dark to emphasize the sharp contrast between the snow and the night sky, and much has been made of the influence of German expressionism on The Overcoat. Read more…
Summary: In the village of Malinovka, everyone is tired of Civil War shootings, and is waiting for a wedding of a local couple – Andrejka and Yarinka. But the gang of ataman Gritsian attacks the village. The scared bride escapes to the woods, where the Reds (Bolsheviks) are preparing to strike on the Whites (Gritsian’s gang). Yarinka asks for help, and the Red commander develops a plan to liberate the village. As part of the plan, Yarinka must pretend and wed the ataman. While guests at the wedding are getting drunk, red troops are carrying out the plan… Lots of laughing, singing and dancing. This film is one of the Soviet classics.
Dzhentlmeny udachi/Gentlemen of Fortune. A film by Aleksandr Seryj (1971, NTSC, 88 min., col., Russian, English and French with subtitles).
Summary: The movie follows the story of an amiable kindergarten director named Troshkin, who looks exactly like a cruel criminal nicknamed Docent (Доцент, literally “associate professor“) that has stolen Alexander the Great’s helmet at an archaeological excavation. Docent and his gang are caught by police, but Docent is imprisoned in a different jail than his mates. Since Troshkin looks identical to Docent, the police send him undercover to prison with the real criminals to get information about the stolen helmet. He must pretend to be the real felon Docent so, in order to be convincing, Troshkin, a well-educated and good-natured man, has to learn slang and the manners of criminals.
Summary: Directed by Alexey Uchitel, Progulka (The Stroll) follows two male best friends and the girl who has managed to entrance both of them. When the buxom Olya (Irina Pegova) sets off on her regular stroll through the crowded city streets, the shaggy-haired Alyosha (Pavel Barshak) immediately professes his love for her and pesters his cynical best friend Petya (Yevgeny Tsyganov). The plan backfires, however, as Petya falls for Olya himself. Read more…
Reviews: Kino Kultura
Awards: Cottbus Film Festival of Young East European Cinema 2003, Moscow International Film Festival 2003.
These new titles, along with other holdings of the REEEC Multimedia Resource Library, are intended to assist university faculty and K-12 teachers who are interested in incorporating cinematic and other multimedia materials into their courses and studies. The Center’s policy is to provide access to its collection free of charge to the following: University of Illinois faculty, graduate students, registered student organizations; K-12 instructors and university/college faculty across the United States. In general, first priority is given to University of Illinois faculty teaching Russian, East European, and Eurasian area studies courses. The collection is for educational purposes only. The Center does not lend films to individuals for private viewing.The Center does not lend materials outside the U.S.