It’s just a book that finished reading a few weeks ago, and since it’s about movies, I thought about sharing it with the readers.
The book is part of the “100 great …” series, as there are more, all published in Russian, such as “100 great athletes”, “100 great myths and legends”, “100 great rich men” and more. However I’ll concentrate on the one regarding the movies.
One thing was clear from the first sight – “100 great Soviet Union films” is something everyone can have their own subjective opinion on.
The book of course should not, in my opinion, be assessed as the “ultimate guide” for those interested in “the best” Soviet Union (and Russia as well) had to offer with regard to films.
Despite that, “100 great Soviet Union and Russian films” offers quite a lot of interesting information and details on how each of the listed movies was made.
The first film listed in the book starts from 1911 (Defending Sevastopol), and ends with 2003. the book itself was published in 2006.
Most of the films listed in the book are either war dramas (earlier years), or comedies. Few of others go beyond these two genres.
Almost every film described in the book takes reader through problems and difficulties the filmmakers had to face when their film was still being in pre-production.
Roughly speaking – every line in the script, every actor, every location – all had to be “given permission” for, and in post-production a lot of footage was cut because “the officials” thought it wouldn’t be good for the younger generation.
This “young generation” which now is in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s grew up watching these films, and by the word generation I mean all the former Soviet Union republics, not just Russia.
My personal opinion is that book missed about 10 or so of movies that could have easily been included in there, for example Andrey Tarkovsky’s “Stalker” (book adaptation) – a brilliant sci-fi drama, with truly a great idea.
Nonetheless, it was quite an interesting read, the book includes both films that were shot behind “the Iron Curtain”, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
I am almost sure the book is not available in English, as they’d probably have to translate the whole “100 great…” series, which is very time-consuming.
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