From the Tsars to the Stars: A Journey Through Russian Fantastik Cinema

8/10/07 to 8/31/07

This compendium of rare works showcases the startling imagination and agitprop fascination of Russian science fiction and fantasy cinema. "An uncommonly bold blend of curatorial adventurousness and cultural excavation . . . sure to expand even the most hard-core avant-geek's horizons."-Time Out New York. "This is why we have retro houses-to unleash . . . the secret cinemas of the global past."-Village Voice

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  • Ruslan and Ludmila, August 19|

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Past Films

  • The Heavens Call

    • Friday, August 31 7:00pm

    This tale of two rival space probes that crash-land on an asteroid features spectacular spacescapes, as well as a prescient visualization of Earth's orbit cluttered by man-made satellites.

  • Zero City

    • Friday, August 31 8:45pm

    Karen Shakhnazarov's Perestroika-era fantasy is a "deliciously cheerful satire about the legacy of Stalin, personal identity, and the political importance of rock-and-roll."-N.Y. Times

  • Solaris

    • Sunday, August 26 6:00pm

    In Andrei Tarkovsky's influential 1972 masterwork, based on a famous novel by Stanislaw Lem, "the alien world is one immense ocean, the ocean is a brain, and the brain may be our own."-Village Voice

  • First on the Moon

    • Friday, August 24 7:00pm

    "Alexei Fedorchenko combines artfully distressed 'documentary' footage and actual Stalin-era propaganda to tell the tale of a lost 1938 space flight. . . . Eccentric and wistful."-Village Voice. With short Interplanetary Revolution. Soundscape by Robbie Crabtree.

  • To the Stars by Hard Ways

    • Friday, August 24 8:45 pm

    Cosmonauts discover a female humanoid on an abandoned spacecraft, the sole survivor of a civilization devastated by ecological disaster (and the evils of capitalism), in Richard Viktorov's visually ravishing film.

  • Ruslan and Ludmila

    • Sunday, August 19 6:00pm

    Aleksandr Ptushko's epic fantasy transforms a Pushkin poem into a mad, enchanted combination of The Wizard of Oz, Die Nibelungen, and The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.

  • Stalker

    • Tuesday, August 14 7pm

    In Andrei Tarkovsky's last Soviet film, a writer, a scientist, and their "stalker" guide venture into a mysterious wasteland known as the Zone. "A dense, complex, often contradictory, and endlessly pliable allegory about human consciousness, the necessity for faith in an increasingly secular, rational world, and the ugly, unpleasant dreams and desires that reside in the hearts of men."-Slant

  • Aelita, Queen of Mars

    • Sunday, August 12 4:45 pm

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Class warfare extends to outer space in this silent saga, famed for its outlandish Constructivist production design.

  • Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka

    • Sunday, August 12 7:00pm

    A glorious excursion into Technicolor fantasy, based on a story by Gogol. With Vertov short Soviet Toys. Musical Accompaniment by Damon Smith, Double Bass.

  • Planet of Storms

    • Friday, August 10 7:00 pm

    Pavel Klushantsev's tale of a voyage to Venus is rich in poetic effects. With Ladislaw Starewicz animation The Cameraman's Revenge. Greg Goodman on Piano.

  • The Amphibian Man

    • Friday, August 10 9:00pm

    "A dizzy morph from a Creature from the Black Lagoon template to a forecast of Edward Scissorhands, all shot in rich tropical greens . . . and fueled by mad-scientist ideas of a class-free 'underwater republic.'"-Village Voice