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SHOE, THE
$29.95
$7.99
VIVA CASTRO!
$19.95
$7.99
Every night, Soviet tractors comb the coast of Latvia looking for signs of anyone who could have infiltrated the Soviet border from the sea. One morning, three Soviet patrolmen...LEARN MORE. Director Boris Frumin returned to his native Russia after 16 years in exile to make this drama set in a small Russian town in 1965--an era when hard-line communism made a profound impact...LEARN MORE. The familiar tale of an immigrant family's journey to America is turned into a magical mystery tour as seen through the eyes of 11-year old Motl. The boy's imagination spins wildly as he and his family--loaded down with all their worldly goods and their other-worldly "baggage"--make their way from the shtetl to America. Inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall, director Efim Gribov interprets the workings of Motl's imagination via comic and grotesque figures, ghosts from the past, and a dreamy, surreal atmosphere. The film's tragi-comic tone and theme involving the American Dream make for an inspired viewing experience. Also known as My Yedem v Ameriku. In Russian and Yiddish with English subtitles.

Yefim Gribov---Russia---1992---118 mins.
VASYA
$24.95
Rescued from Russian film archives, this was Andrei Tarkovsky's diploma film for the Soviet State Film School. Before this video release, it was largely unseen even by some of the director's most fervent admirers. The story is a warm yet ironic one about the unlikely friendship between a young boy who loves to play the violin and a steamroller driver. In this simple yet deeply affecting early film, you can already appreciate the emerging talent of an artist who would go on to create some of the most profound works of world cinema. The film was co-written by Tarkovsky's fellow student, Andrei Konchalovsky. In Russian with English subtitles.

Andrei Tarkovsky---USSR---1960---43 mins.
Vasiliy Sitnikov was officially declared insane, and he spent his life in and out of mental institutions. Yet, he is the key figure of the non-conformist art movement in the former Soviet Union. "Vasya" left behind astonishing works of art, some of which found their way into the Museum of Modern Art in New York and numerous private collections, yet he remains a compelling, controversial mystery. Who was this incredible artist? Why does his legend still confound those who knew him? In this award-winning film, Andrei Zagdansky combines documentary and dramatic footage to create a riveting portrait of a man, an artist and the society around him. In English and Russian with English subtitles.

Andrei Zagdansky---Russia---2002---60 mins.
In this extraordinary epic--a political thriller in the tradition of Z and Weekend, mixed with acid-sharp humor--Peter Lutsik creates an astounding chronicle of a country in violent transformation. A group of men fight injustice as they try to discover who stole their land. Their hunt for the offenders takes them from the gentle countryside to the halls of power. Hailed at film festivals worldwide as a modern classic, The Outskirts vividly reveals Russia as alternately corrupt, melancholy, dogmatic, romantic, and spiritual. Winner of the FIPRESCI critics' prize at the Chicago International Film Festival. In Russian with English subtitles.

Peter Lutsik---Russia---1998---95 mins.
HAMLET
$29.95
Considered by many the finest screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s greatest work, Grigori Kozintsev’s Hamlet is a spare, haunting interpretation based on a translation by novelist...LEARN MORE. Hailed as one of the best adaptations of this Shakespearean tragedy, Grigori Kozintsev’s King Lear is a striking, epic interpretation based on a translation by novelist Boris Pasternak and...LEARN MORE. Two early short films by Russian auteur Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark) are collected in Elegy of the Land. Both of these moody, melancholy works emphasize the significance of the Russian land to its people on an almost spiritual level. Maria, made in memory of Russian peasant Maria Semionovna Voinova, serves as a requiem for a hard-working woman as well as a lament over the loss of her way of life--after she died, her secrets and work methods died with her. The Last Day of a Rainy Summer, shot in 1978 on a collective farm, captures the daily routines of a community whose lifestyle was fading even as it was being chronicled. In Russian with optional English, French, Spanish, or Italian subtitles.

Alexander Sokurov---USSR---1977-1988---66 mins.
A moving portrait of the extraordinary Soviet poet, Anna Akhmatova. Although her work was banned and went unpublished for 17 years, her poem "Requiem" became the underground...LEARN MORE. This controversial documentary created a storm in Russia by taking the cloak off a violent, repressive period of Soviet history. Filmmaker Semyon Aranovich found the last surviving...LEARN MORE. Semyon Aranovich's documentary is a brilliant assembly of eyewitness testimony and rare archival photographs and materials. The film records the Machiavellian power plays between...LEARN MORE.
Based on the Chekhov short story of the same name, The Lady with the Dog (Dama s sobachkoy) is a forgotten masterpiece from a tense period during the Khrushchev thaw. Told with...LEARN MORE. The film takes a deeper look into Russian anti-Semitism by showing archival accounts of famous Russian actor, Solomon Mikhoels and of Russian Jewish doctors charged for attempting to...LEARN MORE. In this irreverent screwball comedy, Dušan Makavejev revisits the idiosyncratic style that brought him to the forefront of the international art-house community with WR: Mysteries of the Organism and Sweet Movie...LEARN MORE.
"Paradoxically, the two most powerful films of Shakespeare plays were made not in Great Britain but in the Soviet Union" (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe). Three of Russia's legendary artists bring Shakespeare's greatest works to the screen. As directed by Grigori Kozintsev, scripted by Boris Pasternak (Dr. Zhivago), and scored by Dmitri Shostakovich, Hamlet (1964, 140 mins.) and King Lear (1971, 140 mins.) are nothing short of triumphant masterpieces. Kozintsev's spare, haunting style is a perfect visual interpretation of Pasternak's stripped-down translations and Shostakovich's dark, dramatic scores. In Russian with English subtitles.

Grigori Kozintsev---USSR---1964/1971---280 mins.
Overshadowed by the immensity of films like Solaris and Andrei Rublev, here are two lesser known works from Andrei Tarkovsky. Rescued from Russian film archives, The Steamroller and the Violin (USSR, 1960, 43 mins.) was Tarkovsky's diploma film for the Soviet State Film School. The story is a warm yet ironic one about the unlikely friendship between a young   boy who loves the violin and a steamroller driver. At once diary and documentary, travelogue, and art film, Voyage in Time (Italy, 1983, 63 mins.) chronicles Tarkovsky as he scouts locations and explores ideas for his  next feature. Accompanied by Italian screenwriter Tonino Guerra (Red Desert), Tarkovsky explores the countryside and medieval villages of Italy, searching for an internal landscape as much as a literal one. In Russian and Andrei Tarkovsky/Tonino Guerra---USSR/Italy---1960/1983---106 mins. The bold documentaries of Semyon Aranovich created a storm of controversy in Russia by revealing the truth behind a violent, repressive era of Soviet history. This trio of documentaries...LEARN MORE.