There are prizes and reprint opportunities galore. The details are in the link. Enjoy!
First of all, let me say that I have returned to the land of the living! So, what’s the first thing I want to do? Host a blogathon, of course!
This idea has been rattling around my head for a while. I hope you like it. You see, I am a longtime Russophile. I am crazy about Russian culture and have been ever since I can remember. Russia and the Russians have done a ton to contribute to the richness of world cinema so let’s give them their due.
Do you think Russian films are all long, depressing and dark? Think again! While there are certainly serious films, Russians also have a wonderful sense of humor and I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised by some of their lighter offerings. If your only experience with Russian film is the interminable and decidedly un-Russian Doctor Zhivago, oh honey, let us guide you to the promised land!
Here are the basics:
All non-Russian productions must have been made in or before 1970. In order to encourage more Russian entries, I am doing something a little different: There is no date limit on films made in Russia.
No duplicates, please!
Grab a banner (they’re down at the bottom of the post) and spread the word.
(If you have any questions, don’t be shy! Ask away. Here are some tips for blogathon participation.)
Here is what you can cover:
Any movie made in Russia
Any Hollywood (or otherwise non-Russian film industry) movie that is set in Russia or features Russian characters
Any talent (before or behind the camera) who was born in Russia
Any movie made outside of Russia by expats (for example, the Albatros films)
My talent of choice was born in Ukraine/Belarus/Moldova/Georgia, do they count?
The borders of Russia have always been incredibly fluid. Still are, as recent events show. Therefore, if your talent was born in a country that was part of the Russian Empire or the USSR, no worries. Ask if you have any questions.
What about Red Scare films?
While the purpose of this event is cultural exchange, I do recognize that Red Scare films did much to form the popular view of Russians. Feel free to select a title from this genre.
My movie of choice has no Russians and is not set in Russia but some of the characters are Russian. Does this count?
Yes! Lots of Hollywood films (and the films of other countries) featured Russian characters. Your movie is welcome.
My movie of choice is not set in Russia but there is a Russian in the cast. Can I cover it?
Yes! Movies like The Magnificent Seven and My Man Godfrey, which do not cover Russian subjects, are more than welcome because major cast members were born in Russia.
My movie of choice is a co-production between Russia and another country. Is this okay?
Yes, co-productions are quite welcome and they do not have to observe to 1970-or-before date limit. Choose any film you like!
Can I write about Czar Nicholas and Anastasia?
No. Not unless you cover a film on the subject. However, I am hoping at least some participants will select films made in Czarist Russia.
Movies Silently | The Cameraman’s Revenge (1912, Russia), La Maison de Mystere (1921-23, France) and The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming! (1968, USA)
Sister Celluloid | The singing career of George Sanders and The Burning Crucible
The Movie Rat | Peter and the Wolf (1946, USA)
Flights, Tights & Movie Nights | Black Lightning (2009, Russia Чёрная Молния)
totally filmi | Mera Naam Joker (1970, India)
The Great Katharine Hepburn | Anna Karenina (1935, USA)
A Person in the Dark | The Last Command (1928, USA)
Mildred’s Fatburgers | The Brothers Karamazov (1958, USA) and Adventures of Mowgli (1973, Russia Маугли)
Shameless Pile of Stuff | Dersu Uzala (1975, Russian-Japanese co-production Дерсу Узала)
Cinematic Catharsis | Come and See (1985, Russia Иди и смотри)
Caftan Woman | A piece on Maria Ouspanskaya
Cinematic Scribblings | The Cranes are Flying (1957, Russia Летят журавли)
Big V Riot Squad | Departure of a Grand Old Man (1912, Russia Уход великого старца)
Once Upon a Screen | Chess Fever (1925, Russia Шахматная горячка)
wolffian classic movies digest | Jolly Fellows (1934, Russia Весёлые ребята)
Carey Grant Won’t Eat You | Volga Volga (1938, Russia Волга-Волга)
Portraits by Jenni | Knight Without Armor (1937, USA)
In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood | Anastasia (1956, USA)
The Vintage Cameo | Hipsters (2008, Russia Стиляги)
Silents, Please! | The Happiness of Eternal Night (1915, Russia Счастье вечной ночи)
Moon in Gemini | The Twelve Chairs (1970, USA)
Coolsville | Nostalghia (1983, Russian-Italian co-production)
Girls Do Film | Piece on Sonia Delaunay
MIB’s Instant Headache | Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924, Russia Аэлита) and Vasilisa the Beautiful (1939, Russia Василиса Прекрасная)
The Hitless Wonder | The Scarlet Empress (1934, USA)
Filmi~Contrast | The Forty-First (1956, Russia Сорок первый)
Pre-Code.Com | Rasputin and the Empress (1932, USA)
100 Films in a Year | The Hound of the Baskervilles (1981, Russia Приключения Шерлока Холмса и доктора Ватсона: Собака Баскервилей)
Silver Scenes | Pieces on Leonid Kinskey and Felix Bressart (Bressart is often listed as German but his birthplace falls within the borders of Russia)
Now Voyaging | Berlin Express (1948, USA)
Critica Retro | Ivan the Terrible (1944 & 1958, Russia Иван Грозный)
Silent Volume | Earth (1930, Ukraine Земля)
filmscreed | Bed and Sofa (1927, Russia Третья Мещанская)
Timeless Hollywood | The Eagle (1925, USA)
TBD | Office Romance (1977, Russia Служебный роман) and The Irony of Fate (1976, Russia Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром!)
Speakeasy | Scarlet Dawn (1932, USA)
Classic Reel Girl | Silk Stockings (1957, USA)
Silver Screen Pix | British Agent (1934, USA)
Ramblings of a Cinephile | Ivan’s Childhood (1962, Russia Ива́ново де́тство)
Silver Screenings | Man with a Movie Camera
Century Film Project | Piece on Evgeni Bauer
Marlene Dietrich: The Last Goddess | Russians and Russian characters in the films of Marlene Dietrich
Movie Classics | Piece on Anna Sten
The Cinematic Frontier | Battleship Potemkin (1925, Russia)
Film Grimoire | Stalker (1979, Russia)
Silver Screen Modes | Crime and Punishment (1935)
I Love Terrible Movies | Piece on select Red Scare films
Random Pictures | Aelita: Queen of Mars and The House on Trubnaya Square
Phyllis Loves Classic Movies | The Emperor’s Candlesticks (1937)
MovieFanFare | Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965, Ukraine)
Silent-ology | Piece on Soviet film posters
Bunnybun’s Classic Movie Blog | Piece on Tom Conway
Want to participate but don’t know what to cover? Well, Russia’s most famous studio, Mosfilm, has made many of their classics available for free and legal viewing on their YouTube channel, many with English subtitles.
Or check out…
My Wish List
Films and personalities I would most like to see covered.
Miss Mend (1926) | An American serial– Russian style!
The Forty-First (1927
or 1956 versions) | She’s a Bolshevik sniper, he’s a Czarist officer. Romance?
Alexander Nevsky (1938) | The movie that invented the modern battle scene.
Destiny of a Man (1959) | Smile through the tears with the WW2 POW drama
The Ascent (1977) | A brilliant masterpiece of war and Passion (note capitalization) directed by (gasp!) a woman.
Hollywood Films set in Russia
(Remember, there is a pre-1970 date limit on non-Russian productions)
The Scarlet Empress (1934)
From Russia with Love (1963)
The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
The Eagle (1925)
Knight Without Armor (1937) Peter and the Wolf (1946) Anastasia (1956)
The Expat Productions
The Burning Crucible (1923)
The Late Mathias Pascal (1926)
Michael Strogoff (1926)
George Sanders (Huh? Well, technically…)
But all Russian movies are dreary…
Well, try these, dearie!
House in Kolomna (1913)
Chess Fever (1925)
Lieutenant Kije (1934)
Volga Volga (1938)
Cinderella aka Zolushka (1947)
Film Film Film (1968)