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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

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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