The New Moscow

Little known even inside Russia-the film was never properly released-The New Moscow is an eye-popping amalgamation of country comedy, musical romance, and science fiction. Alyosha, a young designer working on a construction site somewhere in Siberia, comes up with a living model that will allow the world to see what the capital city will look like in the future imagined by Stalin. He sets off for Moscow and is quickly overwhelmed by the city's energy, enormity, and then-brand-new subway. After a series of comic mishaps, the great day arrives. Alyosha stands at a podium in the Great Hall of the People, a dial in each hand, as his vision of an extraordinarily futuristic city rises up before a packed crowd of awestruck onlookers. As in his earlier Happiness, Medvedkin shocks through the sheer audacity of his project. His willingness to mix popular culture with avant-garde techniques looks back to an earlier period of Soviet life and politics even as the film envisions an impossibly bright, technologically advanced future for all.

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