• My Grandmother
  • My Grandmother
  • Chess Fever

schedule

My Grandmother

(Moya babushka / Chemi bebia)

BAMPFA Collection

  • Lecture

    Peter Bagrov is a curator of the moving image department at the George Eastman Museum and an expert on Russian and Soviet film history.

featuring

Aleksandre Takaishvili, Elena Chernova, Evgenii Obanov, Akakii Khorava,

Gogol meets Charlie Chaplin in this riotous, scathingly antibureaucratic satire. My Grandmother is a genuine piece of grotesquerie descended from the Soviet Eccentric Cinema (FEKS) of the twenties. For invention, it matches any film of the French avant-garde, taking in all kinds of advanced filmic devices such as stop-motion, bits of puppetry, and animation, as well as expressionist decor and camera angles. The energetic music track will have you dancing a Soviet-style Charleston along with the film’s most memorable character, a wide-eyed, wild-haired bureaucrat’s wife who is caught up in a frenzy of bourgeois living. Her equally comic husband personifies the indolence, irrelevance, and obduracy of a state system that resembles nothing so much as a giant scoreboard, winding down. When he loses his job, he learns the true value of a “grandmother”—a slang term for the patronage and privilege that keep the machine greased. What are we to think when, at the film’s end, he is reprimanded by a Lenin-like worker, shot from the ground so that he looks ten feet tall? Suppressed for half a century, this irreverent blast has lost none of its immediacy.

FILM DETAILS 
Screenwriter
  • Kote Mikaberidze
  • Giorgi Mdivani
  • Siko Dolidze
Cinematographer
  • Anton Polikevich
  • Vladimir Poznan
Language
  • Russian intertitles
  • with English electronic titling
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 65 mins
Source
  • BAMPFA
Additional Info
  • Silent with music track
Preceded By

Chess Fever
(Shakhmatnaya goryachka)

Vsevolod Pudovkin, Nikolai Shpikovsky, USSR, 1925

FEATURING
Vladimir Fogel
Anna Zemtsova
José Raúl Capablanca

Judith Rosenberg on piano.

In a smiling salute to his master Lev Kuleshov, Vsevolod Pudovkin employed the Kuleshov cutting method to turn an international chess tournament in Moscow into the stuff of hilarious satire.

FILM DETAILS 
Screenwriter
  • Nikolai Shpikovsky
Cinematographer
  • Anatoli Golovnya
Language
  • Silent
  • with Russian intertitles and English electronic titling
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 28 mins
source
  • BAMPFA