Russian Inferno: The Films of Alexei Guerman

7/29/12 to 8/23/12

Russian filmmaker Alexei Guerman, born in 1938 in Leningrad, has achieved cult status among many enthusiastic cineastes. Guerman's aim is to portray the historical truth of an era, which he achieves with visually stunning films that boast long, elaborate tracking shots and crisp black-and-white cinematography. This touring series, judged by Artforum to be “among the most important retrospectives in years,” presents all of Guerman's features.

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Past Films

  • The Fall of Otrar

    • Thursday, August 23 7 pm

    Ardak Amirkulov (Kazakhstan, 1990). "A pageant of medieval delirium in which the great Khan extinguishes an entire civilization the way a CEO would downsize a corporation,” Amirkulov's epic (cowritten by Guerman), “is shot through with the strangest kind of melancholy, brought on by the knowledge that an entire way of life is going to disappear" (Film Comment). (165 mins)

  • Khrustalyov, My Car!

    • Saturday, August 18 6 pm

    Alexei Guerman (U.S.S.R., 1998). Guerman's notorious film maudit, set during the infamous “Doctor's Plot” Stalinist purge, is “an orchestrated cataclysm, a narrative inferno that demands to be inhabited rather than decoded; it is Russian cinema's answer to Finnegan's Wake” (Jonathan Romney, Sight & Sound). (137 mins)

  • Trial on the Road

    • Thursday, August 16 7 pm

    Alexei Guerman (U.S.S.R., 1971/1986) New Print! A former Nazi collaborator rejoins his Russian brethren to fight against the Germans in this WWII war film/philosophical treatise, banned for fifteen years for “de-heroicizing” Soviet history. “A bleak description of war that ranks with the stories of Solzhenitsyn and Isaac Babel”(Jonathan Romney, Sight & Sound). (98 mins)

  • Twenty Days Without War

    • Thursday, August 9 7 pm

    Alexei Guerman (U.S.S.R., 1976). A writer/soldier is given a brief leave from the front in Guerman's most tender film, written by Soviet war poet Konstantin Simonov. Having survived the Battle of Stalingrad, Lopatin (Yuri Nikulin) returns to Tashkent, and bears silent witness to his fellow travelers' sorrows and desires. (100 mins)

  • My Friend Ivan Lapshin

    • Saturday, August 4 6 pm

    Alexei Guerman (U.S.S.R., 1984). The adventures of the varied inhabitants of a 1930s communal flat reveal a world still optimistic about Communism, yet poised to be devoured by Stalinism. Simultaneously hopeful and mournful, realist and fabulist, Lapshin was named the best Soviet film of all time in a 1987 poll of Russian critics. (100 mins)

  • The Seventh Companion

    • Sunday, July 29 5 pm

    Alexei Guerman/Grigori Aronov (U.S.S.R., 1967). New Print! Set during Russia's Red and White Terrors, Guerman's first film follows a former tsarist officer turned Revolutionary sympathizer who finds himself adrift between both worlds. (89 mins)