Category: Soviet Era

Soviet Film Wednesday: Children and Matches

Yuri Norstein gives us a clever, stylized public service message in this 1969 short cutout animation, Children and Matches.

Soviet Film Wednesday: Walking the Streets of Moscow

Walking the Streets of Moscow (Я шагаю по Москве, Ya shagayu po Moskve) is a lighthearted look at everyday city life in Moscow for youth in the ’60s. We see an opening scene in the airport, city sidewalks in the rain, taxi rides through the streets, evening traffic flows, and a concert in Gorky park. …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Ivan’s Childhood

Ivan’s Childhood (aka My Name is Ivan) was made in 1962, and is widely regarded as one of the most skillfully crafted films of all time. It is directed by Andrei Tarkovsky and stars a young Nikolay Burlyaev. The film delves into the impact of war on young Ivan, a twelve year old orphan who befriends …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Hedgehog in the Fog

Today we have another wonderful Yuri Norstein film, Hedgehog in the Fog.  Norstein is best known for this animation, as well as his Tale of Tales.  Hedgehog in the Fog was directed by Norstein, written by Sergei Kozlov, with music by Mikhail Meyerovich.  It was produced by Soyuzmultfilm in 1975. It is the story of a hedgehog and a bear cub who …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Stalker

The enigmatic sci-fi film Stalker, released October 20, 1982, is arguably Andrei Tarkovsky’s most haunting piece. It’s a quiet, slow drip of a film that was based on the 1972 short story Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. In an unknown place and time lies a heavily guarded desolate wasteland, shrouded in secrecy, called The …

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Through the Looking Glass with Andrei Tarkovsky

Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky was born on April 4, 1932, in Zavrazhye, Soviet Union. His mother, Maria Vishnyakova, attended the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute and worked as a corrector, and his father was the renowned poet Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky. Andrei Tarkovsky is well known for his reflective, natural, and dreamlike themes and sequences, as well …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Thank You

Thank You (Spasibo, Спасибо) is a hand-drawn 1973 animation directed by Vladimir Tarasov, who is best known for his Soviet science fiction films Contact (1978), Contract (1985), and The Pass (1988). In Thank You, a group of polite children take a field trip to learn about airplanes. Click the “cc” icon for subtitles.

Soviet Film Wednesday: Bashō

“Bashō” was animated by Soviet-born artist Yuri Norstein (revered director of Seasons, Hedgehog in the Fog, and Tale of Tales) using cut-out animation. It is a segment of the film Winter Days (originally 冬の日 Fuyu no Hi), which is a collage of animated short films comprised of mostly Japanese pieces, directed by Kihachirō Kawamoto. Winter Days is based …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: The Mitten

While Rankin & Bass were celebrating wintertime with their cute 1960’s stop-motion animations for Americans, including the beloved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Soviet animator Roman Kachanov was making his own very cute stop-motion films, including the Cheburashka children’s series. Kachanov has worked on many films, and was an animator for our recent feature, The Night …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: A New Year’s Wind

Today we have a spectacular winter animation from Soyuzmultfilm, A New Year’s Wind, made in 1975. It was directed by Michael Kamenetsky and Vyacheslav Shilobreev. Happy New Year! If subtitles do not appear, click the “CC” button at the bottom to view them.