The Cigarette Girl from Mosselprom

(Papirosnitsa ot Mosselproma)

Copresented by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

  • Judith Rosenberg
    On Piano

Yuliya Solntseva, Igor Illinsky, Anna Dmokhovskaya, Nikolai Tseretelli,

Shot cheerfully in the streets, The Cigarette Girl from Mosselprom has the freshness of the American silent comedies and the intelligent inanity characteristic of the Russian Eccentrics: it makes its points physically with a brilliant use of shots, props, and postures. An iris frame introduces Yuliya Solntseva, with her Aelita eyes, as the eponymous tobacco vendor who unwittingly attracts the love of three men: a hapless scribe straight out of Gogol (Igor Ilinsky), an overstuffed American capitalist, and a wayward cinema cameraman (Nikolai Tseretelli). Solntseva’s solemn beauty is the perfect foil for her comic talents, much like Garbo amid the Commissars in Ninotchka. The plot is a spiraling, self-reflexive satire as a film crew experiences the perils and scams involved in shooting in the streets. A documentary on “Everyday Life in the New Moscow,” which our cameraman-hero turns into a Kino Eye exposé, actually provides an extremely valuable look at the old Moscow before it was destroyed during the Stalin period.

—Judy Bloch

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  • Alexei Faiko
  • Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky
  • Silent
  • with Russian intertitles and English electronic titling
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • Silent
  • 105 mins