Festival of Soviet cinema of the sixties

Kino Klassika Foundation in partnership with the Institut Français launch Soviet 60s: A Turning Point in Cinema, a monthly in-cinema film series spotlighting a selection of films from the decade that changed both cinema and the world. Afisha.London magazine presents films, which will be shown on the big screen for the first time: from beloved Soviet comedies to rarely-screened New Wave classics.

 

For the Soviet Union the Sixties are synonymous the world over with rebellion and reaction. In the post-war and post-Stalin decades, the power was on the brink of change and reckoning anew with its place in the world — caught between the Thaw and Stagnation, optimism and pessimism, liberalisation and repression. These changes were reflected in the domestic cinema as well.

Every month for six months at the Ciné Lumière cinema, the Kino Klassika Foundation and the Institut Français will show the best Soviet films of this era, accompanied by live performances by invited guests. Films will be screened in Russian with English subtitles.

 

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Beware of the Car

The iconic film directed by Eldar Ryazanov tells the story of an unassuming insurance agent and amateur theater actor Yuri Detochkin. Frustrated with the corruption and lassitude of the Soviet elite, Detochkin plays Robin Hood, stealing cars and donating the proceeds from their sales to orphanages. However, a struggle for justice quickly gets out of control when this case is handed over to the investigator Podberezovikov, an actor in the same theater. One of the most popular Soviet films blends sharp satire with affectionate nods to various cinematic traditions, from film noir to the silent comedies of Lloyd and Keaton.

When: January 18, 6:00 pm

Find out more: details and tickets

 

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Nine Days in One Year

The action of the film takes place in the sixties of the twentieth century. In a secret research facility somewhere in Siberia, young nuclear scientists and longtime friends are working — the obsessed experimenter Gusev and the skeptical theoretical physicist Kulikov. However, Gusev conducts dangerous scientific research that endangers not only friendship with Kulikov and his marriage, but also his life. Alternating between high-tech expressionism and tender human drama, Mikhail Romm’s scientific odyssey taps into the hope and the fear of the post-war nuclear age.

When: February 15, 6:00 pm

 

Stills from the films “Wings” and “Nine days of one year”

 


Wings

Nadezhda is a former pilot, who is struggling to adapt to a new reality, post-war life. The years of the war were filled with true meaning for her, and now she is dissatisfied with her lot as a headteacher, hapless in romance and drifting apart from her daughter. Having survived the battle, can she make peace with a world that is shifting beneath her feet? A deft exploration of generational conflict and the burdens of the past, the film established Larisa Shepitko as the Soviet Union’s most celebrated female director.

When: March 15, 6:20 pm

 

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Walking the Streets of Moscow

George Danelia’s film is an answer to French New Wave classics like Cléo from 5 to 7 and Jules and Jim. The film, filled with youthful abandon and melancholy at the same time, tells about the adventures of Kolya (Nikita Mikhalkov) and his friends, which happened to them on one spring day. The lyrical comedy was filmed by Tarkovsky’s regular cinematographer Vadim Yusov and based on a script by Gennady Shpalikov.

When: April 2022

 

Still from the film “Walking the Streets of Moscow”

 


We and Our Mountains

Once high in the mountains of Armenia, four shepherds feasted on the neighboring sheep that had strayed to their flock. They easily manage to negotiate a “ransom” with their former owner, but the long arm of the law — a serious young policeman, who starts a case of embezzlement of sheep — interferes with a profitable deal. The cult satire of Henrikh Malyan demonstrates that it was not just in Russia, and not just in the cities, that the Sixties debates about authority and rebellion raged. A splendid example of the poetry and humour of the Armenian screen tradition, which remains relatively unknown abroad.

When: May 2022

 

Stills from the films “July Rain” and “We and Our Mountains”

 


July Rain

A chance encounter at a bus stop triggers a crisis of confidence for bride-to-be Lena in Marlen Khutsiev’s wistful portrait of the post-war generation. Mixing sweeping tracking shots of Moscow with moments of stark intimacy, Khutsiev reveals that the personal and the public are not easily disentangled. Cynicism and romanticism jostle for space in the definitive artistic statement from the “godfather of the Soviet New Wave”, endlessly imitated but never equalled.

When: June 2022

 

 

Cover photo: poster “Beware of the Car”

 

 


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