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Mosfilm Uploads Celluloid Classics to YouTube

Every week, the studio will upload five new films, and expects to have 200 by the end of the year.

Published: May 4, 2011 (Issue # 1654)



  • Yevgeny Leonov starring in the Soviet classic Gentlemen of Fortune, released in 1971 one of the first films to be uploaded onto YouTube by Mosfilm.
    Photo:

  • The 1970 film The White Sun of the Desert is an adventure story that is always watched by cosmonauts before a launch.
    Photo:

MOSCOW Russian film lovers can explore a treasure trove of Soviet films as legendary movie studio Mosfilm has posted dozens of its most famous films on YouTube for anyone to watch for free.

The films, legendary for many Russians but often little known in the West, include the comedies of Georgian-Russian director Georgi Daneliya, Gentlemen of Fortune and Mimino; The White Sun Of The Desert, a much-loved adventure story set in Central Asia that is always watched by cosmonauts before a space launch; and classic melodramas such as Eldar Ryazanovs A Cruel Romance with Nikita Mikhalkov and A Railway Station for Two starring the late Lyudmila Gurchenko.

Every week, the studio will upload five new films onto the channel, the studio said in an official press release, and expects to have 200 by the end of the year.

Other films uploaded include Andrei Rublev and The Mirror, two works by one of Russias greatest art-house directors, Andrei Tarkovsky.

For us, the YouTube project is very important and interesting, Karen Shakhnazarov, director of Mosfilm, said in a statement on the studios web site.

The aim is to give users the possibility to legally watch high-quality video material and prevent the illegal use of our films, he said.

The studio has worked with YouTube to remove pirated versions of their films uploaded onto the site.

Most of the films will be uploaded with subtitles in different languages so people from different countries can watch Mosfilm pictures, Shakhnazarov said.

At the moment, nearly all the films are up with subtitles in English, with only a couple found without any. The 1991 film Tsareubiista, or Assassin of the Tsar, starring English actor Malcolm McDowell as an insane asylum patient who claims to have killed the Tsar and Oleg Yankovsky as a doctor, is up in both English and Russian versions.

The channel has had more than 170,000 views since it started last week, and as of Monday, almost all of the films had more than 1,000 views. A few films see noticeable drops in viewing when the film is in two parts. Tarkovskys critically acclaimed 3-hour, 25-minute film about the great 15th-century icon painter Andrei Rublev saw 2,156 views of its first part and only 414 of the second part.

The most popular film so far is Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession, a 1973 comedy starring acclaimed actor Yury Yakovlev that sold 60 million tickets when in Soviet cinemas and has had more than 15,000 views on YouTube already.

The channel is already in the top 50 of Russian channels on YouTube.

Mosfilm already screens 582 of its films on its web sites for free and with subtitles in different languages, and for a small payment viewers can download the films, but the YouTube channel is a far more accessible and speedy variant.

Mosfilm acquired its present name in 1935 but the studio began working in the 1920s after the Bolsheviks nationalized film production.

The studios symbol, the Worker and Collective Farm Worker statue, is shown at the start of each film and is as well-known in Russia as the fanfare and searchlight of 20th Century Fox films.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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