Ruslan and Ludmila, August 19|
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.
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
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
"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.
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.
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.
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
Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Class warfare extends to outer space in this silent saga, famed for its outlandish Constructivist production design.
A glorious excursion into Technicolor fantasy, based on a story by Gogol. With Vertov short Soviet Toys. Musical Accompaniment by Damon Smith, Double Bass.
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.
"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