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Russia Officially Recognizes 'Star Wars' as Film Classic

Published: August 31, 2014 (Issue # 1826)



  • "Star Wars" made the list of officially recognized "foreign classics" by the Culture Ministry.
    Photo: Star Wars / YouTube

Despite a revival of Cold War tensions, the Russian government formally advised its citizens to watch a Hollywood sci-fi classic.

"Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" made the list of officially recognized "foreign classics" by the Culture Ministry. Episode IV was the only only one of the six feature films in the Star Wars canon to make the cut.

The list comprises 100 films the ministry formally recommends to Russian citizens, which makes it a rough analogue of the U.S. National Film Registry.

The list is heavy with Hollywood fare, also comprising "Citizen Kane" (1941), "Cabaret" (1972), "Bambi" (1942), "Apocalypse Now" (1979), "Titanic" (1997), "Gone With the Wind" (1939) and "Scarface" (1983).

But it also includes German, French, British, Polish, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian and Yugoslavian films, the ministry said in a news release on Monday.

Non-U.S. foreign films to have made the cut include "Seven Samurai" (Japan, 1954), "Ashes and Diamonds" (Poland, 1958), "An Andalusian Dog" (France, 1929), "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (Germany, 1920) and "Bicycle Thieves" (Italy, 1948).

The Culture Ministry, headed by ultrapatriotic former PR consultant Vladimir Medinsky, has experienced a radical tightening of the political screws of late, most notably in the film industry.

The ministry has denied screening permits to several acclaimed foreign films over alleged indecency, and increased ideological oversight over state-supported cinema, throwing more money at patriotic projects at the expense of more ideologically ambiguous films.

The government also banned expletives on screen, which has already led to denial of screening permits to several high-profile productions, including Cannes-winning "Leviathan" by acclaimed director Andrei Zvyagintsev.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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