Senor Quexana has read so many books on chivalry that he believes that he is the knight Don Quixote de la Mancha. So Don Quixote sets off on his horse, accompanied by his squire Sancho ... See full summary »
King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... See full summary »
When the king of Denmark dies suddenly, his son, crown prince Hamlet, returns home to find that his uncle Claudius has usurped the throne and married Hamlet's recently widowed mother. Then, one night, Hamlet is visited by his father's ghost who commands him to avenge his murder at the hands of Claudius.
A 1935 USA trade-paper reviewer called it... "an impressive and technically outstanding historical drama dealing with czarist terrorism and revolutionary boiling in the days of 1907. ... See full summary »
In the beginning of the industrial revolution, the Paris Commune was established in 1871 against the rich and the powerful, and violently repressed by the army that remained faithful to a ... See full summary »
The story of a newly graduated Leningrad teacher, Yelena Kuzmina. She goes furniture shopping with her fiance, Petya, and in a fantasy sequence she imagines teaching a class of neat, ... See full summary »
For those interested in how Stalin stifled Russian cinema.
Belinsky, directed by Grigory Kozintsev by now split with long-term collaborator Leonid Trauberg, was made in 1950 but not released until 1953 following the reshooting of various scenes as demanded by Stalin. Ostensibly a biopic of the nineteenth century literary critic Vissarion Belinsky, in fact we learn little of this gentleman's life. In a particularly verbose production the character of Belinsky is used as a means of bringing together various literary figures of the time, Gogol, Lermontov, Turgenev and so on, presumably to lend authenticity to proceedings. The moral of the film, that when in doubt, let the people be your guide is hammered home with subtlety of a sledge-hammer.
The music by Dmitri Shostakovich, which will probably be the draw for most people these days is used only sparingly throughout the film, generally as accompaniment to the comparatively few outdoor scenes, where the very Russian main Overture theme is perhaps overused. There is little or no Shostakovich music contained within the film, which will be new to those familiar with the suite (Citadel CTD 88135 Belarus RTV Symphony Orchestra, Walter Mnatsakanov 1999).
For a more detailed discussion on this and other films with music by Shostakovich see Dmitri Shostakovich: A Life in Film, written by John Riley and published by I. B. Tauris, London and New York in the series Kinofiles Film Companion, 2004.
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