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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

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of Repulsion at 7 p.m. and Rosemarys Baby at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy The Tenant, the cult comedy The Fearless Vampire Killers and Cul-de-sac among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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