Bizarre

PERVOROSSIYANE (1967): an eccentric take on early Soviet history “unshelved” only in 2009

Year 1967. On the wave of Khrushchev’s Thaw, a lot of filmmakers were eager to push the boundaries of the acceptable, and the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution seemed like an appropriate reason for drawing inspiration from the revolutionary avant-garde.

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PERVOROSSIYANE (1967): an eccentric take on early Soviet history “unshelved” only in 2009

Year 1967. On the wave of Khrushchev’s Thaw, a lot of filmmakers were eager to push the boundaries of the acceptable, and the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution seemed like an appropriate reason for drawing inspiration from the revolutionary avant-garde.

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Juraj Herz’s SPALOVAČ MRTVOL (1968): The Psychological Horror of Totalitarianism

This article on Czechoslovak dark drama film Spalovač mrtvol (The Cremator) is courtesy of our today’s special guest writer David A.J. Reynolds. David is a British writer, editor, and teacher. Currently based in Illinois, he has lived and taught in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

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Juraj Herz’s SPALOVAČ MRTVOL (1968): The Psychological Horror of Totalitarianism

This article on Czechoslovak dark drama film Spalovač mrtvol (The Cremator) is courtesy of our today’s special guest writer David A.J. Reynolds. David is a British writer, editor, and teacher. Currently based in Illinois, he has lived and taught in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

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Russians are shooting VIY II in China, and Jackie Chan stars in it

After the financial success of the film Viy 3D (2014), director Oleg Stepchenko and his team have decided to shoot a sequel that will hit the big screen in 2016. The whole thing is planned as an ‘epic horror trilogy akin to Indiana Jones‘. 

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Russians are shooting VIY II in China, and Jackie Chan stars in it

After the financial success of the film Viy 3D (2014), director Oleg Stepchenko and his team have decided to shoot a sequel that will hit the big screen in 2016. The whole thing is planned as an ‘epic horror trilogy akin to Indiana Jones‘. 

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BFI London Film Festival: Hard to be a God / Trudno byt’ Bogom (2013)

This insightful review of Aleksei German’s Hard to be a God is courtesy of our today’s special guest writer John A. Riley, Woosong University. Originally published in SLOVO, vol. 26, no. 2 (Autumn 2014), 29-30.

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BFI London Film Festival: Hard to be a God / Trudno byt’ Bogom (2013)

This insightful review of Aleksei German’s Hard to be a God is courtesy of our today’s special guest writer John A. Riley, Woosong University. Originally published in SLOVO, vol. 26, no. 2 (Autumn 2014), 29-30.

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OBSKURA FILM EVENT: Screening of rare and unpublished Latvian horror film The Spider

The Spider (Zirneklis, 1991, directed by Vasili Mass) could be one of the rarest gems in Latvian national film heritage. Despite its cinematic qualities and historical relevance, this film, made in the turning point of Latvian history, remained unpublished and largely unavailable for the wide audience.

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OBSKURA FILM EVENT: Screening of rare and unpublished Latvian horror film The Spider

The Spider (Zirneklis, 1991, directed by Vasili Mass) could be one of the rarest gems in Latvian national film heritage. Despite its cinematic qualities and historical relevance, this film, made in the turning point of Latvian history, remained unpublished and largely unavailable for the wide audience.

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Creepy and erotic Russian film posters of the Imperial era

Married by Satan (1917) Director: Viacheslav Viskovskii A witch helps Elena to bewitch a beloved man, and Satan marries them.

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Creepy and erotic Russian film posters of the Imperial era

Married by Satan (1917) Director: Viacheslav Viskovskii A witch helps Elena to bewitch a beloved man, and Satan marries them.

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Paradzhanov’s The Colour of Pomegranates to be screened in London

On the 4th of June Londoners will have the chance to see The Colour of Pomegranates (1968) — a masterpiece of poetic storytelling by one of the most experimental directors of the Soviet Union, Sergei Paradzhanov.

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Paradzhanov’s The Colour of Pomegranates to be screened in London

On the 4th of June Londoners will have the chance to see The Colour of Pomegranates (1968) — a masterpiece of poetic storytelling by one of the most experimental directors of the Soviet Union, Sergei Paradzhanov.

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Cosmic Voyage (1935): Stalinist vision of the moon landing

Cosmic Voyage (Космический рейс,1935) is an absolutely hilarious Soviet movie about a lunar mission, in which an old bearded professor and his young and pretty female assistant spontaneously take a trip to the moon in a spaceship named Joseph Stalin.

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Cosmic Voyage (1935): Stalinist vision of the moon landing

Cosmic Voyage (Космический рейс,1935) is an absolutely hilarious Soviet movie about a lunar mission, in which an old bearded professor and his young and pretty female assistant spontaneously take a trip to the moon in a spaceship named Joseph Stalin.

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OBSKURA FILM EVENT: Cosmonautics Party in London

Are you a fan of bizarre Soviet sci-fi, gigantic hot dogs and theremin music? Then join us on Wednesday, April 2, for an unforgettable party with films, music and food inspired by the Space Race era. Lydia Kavina, the legendary Russian theremin player, heads the bill.

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OBSKURA FILM EVENT: Cosmonautics Party in London

Are you a fan of bizarre Soviet sci-fi, gigantic hot dogs and theremin music? Then join us on Wednesday, April 2, for an unforgettable party with films, music and food inspired by the Space Race era. Lydia Kavina, the legendary Russian theremin player, heads the bill.

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Embrace the abyss: Favourites of the Moon (1984)

This insightful review of Otar Iosseliani’s Favourites of the Moon is courtesy of our today’s special guest writer Eugenia Ellanskaya.

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Embrace the abyss: Favourites of the Moon (1984)

This insightful review of Otar Iosseliani’s Favourites of the Moon is courtesy of our today’s special guest writer Eugenia Ellanskaya.

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Creepy moments in Russian Christmas fairy-tale films

Everyone knows that Russian Christmas is ten times scarier than Halloween, but few people know that Russian fairy-tale films, traditionally watched during the festive season, are inhabited by witches, devils and werewolfs and contain some really unsettling plot turns.

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Creepy moments in Russian Christmas fairy-tale films

Everyone knows that Russian Christmas is ten times scarier than Halloween, but few people know that Russian fairy-tale films, traditionally watched during the festive season, are inhabited by witches, devils and werewolfs and contain some really unsettling plot turns.

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Six simple facts about Necrorealism

AVANT-GARDE Originated in the 1980s, Necrorealism was the first Soviet cinematic avant-garde since the 1920s. The name of the new Eisenstein was Yevgeny Yufit.

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Six simple facts about Necrorealism

AVANT-GARDE Originated in the 1980s, Necrorealism was the first Soviet cinematic avant-garde since the 1920s. The name of the new Eisenstein was Yevgeny Yufit.

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OBSKURA FILM EVENT: Soviet Horror Movie Night comes to London

Calling all film buffs in London! We’re bringing two bizarre horror flicks straight from the USSR.

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OBSKURA FILM EVENT: Soviet Horror Movie Night comes to London

Calling all film buffs in London! We’re bringing two bizarre horror flicks straight from the USSR.

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Obscene music video from the USSR: Faina by Na-Na

Continuing on the subject of music videos from behind the Iron Curtain, we bring you this infamous product of post-Soviet madness 

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Obscene music video from the USSR: Faina by Na-Na

Continuing on the subject of music videos from behind the Iron Curtain, we bring you this infamous product of post-Soviet madness 

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Upyr (1997): vampires take over the Russian mafia

Upyr (Упырь, 1997) is a very peculiar example of the post-Soviet Russian crime cinema, because apart from picturing the world of organised crime, blooming after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Upyr is also a vampire film

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Upyr (1997): vampires take over the Russian mafia

Upyr (Упырь, 1997) is a very peculiar example of the post-Soviet Russian crime cinema, because apart from picturing the world of organised crime, blooming after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Upyr is also a vampire film

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Zero City (1989): dark absurdist tale in 10 frames

In the film Zero City (Город Зеро, 1989) by Karen Shakhnazarov, Buñuel meets Kafka, and Bakhtin’s notion of carnival, applied to Soviet daily life of the pre-collapse period, becomes perverted and reduces itself to a darkly troubling satire.

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Zero City (1989): dark absurdist tale in 10 frames

In the film Zero City (Город Зеро, 1989) by Karen Shakhnazarov, Buñuel meets Kafka, and Bakhtin’s notion of carnival, applied to Soviet daily life of the pre-collapse period, becomes perverted and reduces itself to a darkly troubling satire.

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J-horror, K-horror… Y-horror?

Since discussing the impact of J-horror on American horror cinema is already considered bad manners, film critics direct their attention to a series of regional re-inventions, namely from South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand. However, not many people know that the Ring virus has spread up north-west from Japan to ex-Soviet area.

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J-horror, K-horror… Y-horror?

Since discussing the impact of J-horror on American horror cinema is already considered bad manners, film critics direct their attention to a series of regional re-inventions, namely from South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand. However, not many people know that the Ring virus has spread up north-west from Japan to ex-Soviet area.

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Hagi-Tragger – Russian Evil doll

Hagi-Tragger is a 1994 mystical thriller/crime/action film that is known as the Russian take on evil puppet/doll subgenre. If Chucky is the most famous evil doll of the West, then Hagi is his Eastern counterpart.

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Hagi-Tragger – Russian Evil doll

Hagi-Tragger is a 1994 mystical thriller/crime/action film that is known as the Russian take on evil puppet/doll subgenre. If Chucky is the most famous evil doll of the West, then Hagi is his Eastern counterpart.

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Lenin was a mushroom: Kuryokhin’s TV mystification

In May 1991 many Soviet people’s notions and beliefs collapsed. Not because the Soviet system was crumbling little by little, but because they suddenly found out that Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Great Socialist October Revolution and the founder of the USSR, was in fact a mushroom.

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Lenin was a mushroom: Kuryokhin’s TV mystification

In May 1991 many Soviet people’s notions and beliefs collapsed. Not because the Soviet system was crumbling little by little, but because they suddenly found out that Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Great Socialist October Revolution and the founder of the USSR, was in fact a mushroom.

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Top 10 Undead in Soviet/Russian Film

The concept of the undead pervades world horror cinema, and it would have been very impractical to try and compile a list of undead film characters from, for example, American or Japanese films. But within Soviet/Russian cinema undead are very rare species.

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Top 10 Undead in Soviet/Russian Film

The concept of the undead pervades world horror cinema, and it would have been very impractical to try and compile a list of undead film characters from, for example, American or Japanese films. But within Soviet/Russian cinema undead are very rare species.

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