Russia 2007: Triple Hits
Andrei Plakhov, a critic for the Russian newspaper Kommersant, chaired the 2007 Moscow International Film Festival's selection committee. His three favorite Russian movies:
By the Law Director Lev Kuleshov (1926) "This silent film is a kind of modified Western based on a Jack London story called "The Unexpected." It employs some early technical innovations, including a pioneering montage method called the Kuleshov Effect."
The Cranes are Flying Director Mikhail Kalatozov (1957) "The only Soviet or Russian film to receive the Palme d'Or at Cannes and one of the best movies about World War II, it features remarkable camera work by Sergei Urusevsky." An ex-army cinematographer, Urusevsky was among the first to use swooping, long takes.
Ivan the Terrible Director Sergei Eisenstein: Part I (1944), Part II (1946) "This is probably the most vivid depiction in Russian cinema of the nature and tragedy of power, especially part two, which reflects the drama of an artist working in Soviet times." Both parts feature a score by Sergei Prokofiev. —S.K.