The First Hollywood Festival Of the Best Of Ukrainian Films


The First Hollywood Festival Of the Best Of Ukrainian Films opens Friday May 8 and runs through Thursday, May 14 at the Laemmle Music Hall.

Anatoly Fradis, Los Angeles- based Ukrainian producer and long-time promoter of Eastern European cinema conceived of this historic festival; the first local survey of classic Ukrainian films from the Soviet era thorough the present.

It’s a page torn from World headlines; as Ukrainians face a Frankenstein annexation of the Crimea. Putin’s neo-colonialist imperialist designs backed separatist rebellions in two of Ukraine’s easternmost provinces, Lugansk and Donetsk. Putin’s wars of expansion continue despite ceasefires and Western governments have failed to respond.

So what could be timelier than using film to focus on the nightmare facing the Ukraine, and to inspire the West to lend its support?

Fradis partnered with the European Film Services Corporation and the Ukrainian Union of Filmmakers to arrange this historic collection of 17 films curated to illustrate the Ukraine’s cultural and cinematic legacy.

The event opens on May 8 with a red-carpet screening of Roman Balayan’s  “Flights in Dreams and in Reality”, Considered a classical director, whose psychological films often focused on literary masters (Chekhov, Turgenev, and Nikolai Leskov) Balayan’s 1983 “Flights in Dreams and in Reality”, one of the first to offer an anti-hero was a controversial hit in the Soviet 80’s. Sergei Makarov (played by screen idol Oleg Yankovsky) faces his 40th birthday, Looking back his life seems a failure: he’s failed himself and all the people closest to him.

Watch for a cameo by actor-turned-director Nikita Mikhalkov (who won the Oscar in 1995 for “Burnt by the Sun”) and went on to head up the Russian Cinematographers’ Union.

Balayan was born in the Karabakh region, studied in Yerevan then Moscow’s Institute of Cinematic Art, became a film director in Kyiv and is known worldwide as a Ukrainian director.

Recent films include Myroslav Slaboshpitsky’s multi-award winning “The Tribe” – a film featuring deaf mute actors that won the grand prize at Critics Week in Cannes in 2014 and Mykhailo IIllyenko’s “The Firecrosser” (Ukraine’s best foreign-language Oscar submission in 2012. The film tells the true story of a Soviet war hero who became the leader of a Native American tribe in North America.

“The Tribe” has metaphoric overtones: its bleak violence mirrors the lawlessness of the war between pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine and the pro-European Union government.

In last minute addition, the festival will profile a Young Directors sidebar, showcasing three films by emerging directors: Dmitriy Sun’s 2008 drama “The Time I Was Writing Poems (“Время, Когда Я Писала Стихи”), Lubomir Levitski’s horror film  “Unforgotten Shadows” (“Тени Незабытых Предков”) and the Documentary almanac by Workshop of Prof. Yuriy Tereshchenko at the Kyiv National University of Theatre, Film and Television of Karpenko-Kary Institute of Screen Arts

Leonid Osyka’s stunning black and white “The Stone Cross (1968) (“Kaminnyy khrest”) based on a short story by author and political activist Vasyl Stefanyk, follows the life of an old Job-like farmer, Ivan (Daniil Ilchenko), immigrating from Rusiv (Pokuttia) where Stefanyk was born, who sells up and moves his family to Alberta Canada. The lengthy farewell party sequence with its circling camera and aerial zoom has the hallucinatory effect of “Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors.”

Kira Muratova’s 1967 “Brief Encounters” (“Korotkie vstrechi”), set in Soviet era Odessa with its grim underfurnished apartments. Muratova realist eye depicts the cynical corruption of contractors, the nihilist lives of the workers. No theatrics, no redemption, just life.

Country girl Nadia (Nina Ruslanova) moves to the city and becomes a maid in Valentina’s apartment. Valentina (Valya), a member of the local District Committee, has no idea that Nadia is in love with her absent husband Maksim (Vladimir Vysotskiy), who toured Nadia’s village as part of a geological expedition.

Muratova was often on the wrong side of the Soviet Apparatchik; her idiosyncratic projects and refusal to film in the approved Soviet Realist style almost destroyed her personally and professionally as she was sidelined by the institutions which green lighted films. Even so she completed over a dozen admired films questioning Soviet orthodoxy. Her “The Asthenic Syndrome” (1989), a scathing criticism of Soviet society, was banned by Soviet censors in the middle of Gorbachev’s perestroika.

Muratova’s astonishing third feature, “Brief Encounters” is a wry love triangle, a black and white revery filled with expressive flashbacks.

Two women’s memories detail their love for a charming, irresponsible man. Wife Valentina has it all- high status, an important job and a comfortable apartment, but ceaseless responsibilities and a wandering husband leave her alone most of the time. His mistress, country girl Nadya, has never been in love. She imagines her feminine skills are all she’ll need to hold Maksim’s heart.

Muratova plays city council official Valentina, a stressed-out conscientious bureaucrat married to the charismatic itinerant geologist Maksim, played by the singer/songwriter Vladimir Vysotsky (star of the Moscow’s Taganka Theatre) known as “Russia’s Bob Dylan”.

Valentina has two extra jobs, as she explains to her husband on one of his lightening fast visits- waiting for him, and, when he’s home, being angry about always waiting for him.

One night (Nina Ruslanova) rings her bell. Assuming the council sent her. Valentina’s expecting her. “I thought they’d send someone older”, she says before inviting Nadya in. Sullen. almost shell-shocked, at meeting Maksim’s wife, Nadya accepts, staring impassively at the comfy elegant digs.

Valentina is gracious to the country mouse, treating her like a niece. She offers her a room even if she chooses not to work as a maid; perhaps she’s like to go to night school, or get a job at a factory with Valentina’s help?  Nadya accepts the job.

Trailing after Valentina to her inspections and contentious meetings with party Apparatchik, council member, contractors and irate would-be tenants, she develops a grudging respect for Valentina. When her country friends come to visit (her girl friend and a soldier who begs Valentina to send the two girls back home) Valentina welcomes them.

Valentina lives in relative splendor, a spacious apartment with water piped in especially for her, while her neighbors wait endlessly for the permits to allow them to move into new housing. Valentina’s at war with the corrupt contractors who rush their job in order to get unearned bonuses. Their cheap work looks good, but windows fail to close and they have yet to deliver water to the buildings of unfinished flats.

Muratova braids together the memories and lives of her three characters. Maksim is the love object on which both women depend, seen through the lens of each woman’s desires.
Her experimental editing style seems of a piece with the French Nouvelle Vague. Filming hand held on location she used close ups, jump cuts and image divorced from audio to invade the character’s sensibilities. Lyrical, expressive and realistic at turn, Muratova’s work remains fresh today.

An omnipresent ticking clock becomes a character. Each woman’s mind wanders, as they pine for their Maksim. Sensual close-ups of them lying in bed, love-struck, remembering, or trailing walls, their fingers feeling surfaces with a synesthetic longing as their minds drift back to moments of romance.

Flashbacks detail each woman’s disappointing romance with their idealized Maksim, played with verve by Vladimir Vysotsky. Wherever he goes he strums and sings or makes up impromptu teasing love songs. He’s a hopeless wanderer, relying on his charm to wheedle his way through life, in a state sanctioned job that suits him to a tee.

Observing Valentina’s generosity with her girlfriends, Nadya begins to respect her ‘landlady”. One of Valentina’s friends reads cards (she reads gullible Nadya’s fortune). Another lonely girl depends on Valentina’s library for her education, confessing to Valentina that since knowing her, she’s abandoned her friends. Her taste has changed, she’s reading literature not detective novels, and now she has no one to talk to save Valentina.

Valentina takes her job overseeing the new flats so seriously she allows a contractor to take her to the building on Sunday. No good deed remains unpunished. Wherever she goes she’s surrounded by angry contractors and enraged workers waiting for their flats, not to mention the gossiping neighbors weighing in on her romantic life.  As furious neighbors beg her to sign, she reminds them that once she approves the building, they’ll be hauling water up flights of stairs; no one will connect the water without bonus incentives.

Valentina’s superior insists she deliver a speech at the next congress. “I known nothing about agriculture, she protests. “Who better than you to excite them?” he asks. The likelier suspects aren’t available and Valentina must work up a speech encouraging urban workers to move to the country.

It’s a cynical assignment. While young rural workers like Nadya and her gal pal are forced to seek menial work in the cities, Vanetina’s charged with convincing urban workers to seek their fortune in rural agricultural jobs. Her heart’s not in it. She procrastinates, coming up with empty platitudes, like a high school student filling her essay with cribbed, undigested opinions. When Nadya’s guest accidently erases Valentina’s recorded speech, Valentina struggles to forgive her.

Objects (like Maksim’s everpresent guitar) launch each woman’s memories of their wayward lover. A flashback shows the start of Maksim and Valentina’s relationship. Maksim comes to her office to get permission for a phone line. He throws on the charm, insisting that she bump his request forward in the queue. Unwilling to accept no for an answer, persistent Maksim takes her for dinner. They wander the snowy streets of Odessa, then a provincial town.

Warmed by drinks over dinner, Valentina’s open, laughing at his unheard nonsense. They fall into bed and soon marry.

Nadya’s romance is something different. Nadya and her village girlfriend try to hitch a ride to town, stopping at a rural teashop, Nadya sees a job available; she stays. Her friend moves on to Odessa where she works for an old General. 

Maksim and his team travel in search of minerals. This time they’ve struck silver near the empty teashop, filling the place with songs and jokes and life. Soon they’ll set up a local mine.

Nadya fancies the dark-eyed stranger. Working at the café, which caters to the traveling geologists, she jumps at Maksim; he’s the best thing to come along.

Noticing Maksim’s torn jacket, Nadya offers to mend it. She dotes on him like the innocent girl she is, grinning and dimpling whenever he’s around. When he comes to teashop with is buddies, she’s wide-eyed with delight, smiling from ear to ear, a different girl from the sleepwalking Nadya we meet in Odessa.

One moonlit night she follows him to his campsite, clutching the jacket as a bridal gift. Hearing a noise, he leaves the campfire and discovers her in the bushes. He warns her off but she seduces him. Wandering through the brush, their tryst begins.

Confirming their find, the geologists move on, back to the city to prepare the mining mission. Maksim promises to return and offers her a job as a cook. He’s already looking forward, promising her things to assuage his guilt. Impatient Nadya gets his “other” address from a colleague and chases him to Odessa.

Valentina frets that Maksim isn’t coming back. In a flashback on the porch of Valentina’s flat, she cradles Maksim head on her lap. “I know these features, I don’t know you, I invent you.  You don’t like to speak.”

She wants him around all the time. They fight. She’s found him a well-paid party office job she wants him to take. Maksim refuses, his wandering life suits him fine. He gallantly asks her to pack her things and follow him. “And what would I do there, make porridge?”. Valentina needs her job. Neither is willing to give up their work. She sends him packing, only to regret it.

On her birthday, a delivery man comes bearing a reel to reel tape with a charming message from Maksim, teling her he will have the pleasure of spending three days with her. Thrilled she rushes to the beauty salon to prepare. Coming home she’s stunned to see Nadya, gorgeous in a smart dress and new updo hairstyle. Nadya’s prepared a beautiful table. Valentina’s unsettled. The flat is tense as both women wait for the man who never comes

Checking with the delivery office (who only give her information because she’s a high placed Council member) Valentina realizes Maksim sent the message before their last fight. Maybe he’s never coming back.

In the end, disillusioned but smarter, Nadya moves out. Valentina’s at work. Nadya sets the table for a romantic dinner for two, takes an orange (a delicacy) and strolls out. The camera observes her passing the window savoring her orange, before pulling onto the table to frame her parting gesture.

When she lost her lead actress, Muratova took on the part of Valentina, giving a subtle performance in her only on-screen role. Psychologically rich and inventive as an actress, her performance balances that of Nina Ruslanova (in her first screen role). Their odd-couple relationship examines traditional vs. modern gender roles, class expectations and the divide between rural and urban life.

Leonid Bykov’s 1973 “Only ‘Old Men’ Are Going to Battle” (“boy idut odni ‘stariki”) features impressive WWII flying sequences as the Soviet Air Force battles the Luftwaffe. Veteran Russian pilots teach their new recruits about life, death & love.

The iconic Soviet-Russian black-and-white war movie about World War II fighter pilots was produced in the Ukrainian SSR  Written and directed by Bykov, it’s based on the memories of actual pilots, as well as songs and newsreels of the Eastern Front Great Patriotic War,

Leonid Bykov also played the lead role as the charismatic ‘old man’ (veteran pilot) and decorated Hero Of The Soviet Union, squadron commander, teacher and flying ace Aloysha “Maestro” Titarenko, commander of the 2nd “Singing” squadron.

Maestro’s first priority is to fire up his Orchestra, a mini Philharmonic. Music is more important that food or drink for these heroes of the skies. Inspecting his new recruits fresh out of flying school. he only selects those who play and instrument, Quoting Shakespeare, he say, wars end, Music lasts. It’s not important to be a pilot, we can teach you. Three of the new fighter pilot recruits are “Darkie” Shchedronov (Sergey Podgorny), fighter pilot Usbeki “Romeo”(Rustam Sagdullayev) and  “Grasshopper” Aleksandrov (Sergei Ivanov). Snobbish Grasshopper, the best pilot from the flight school, resents the focus on music, sniping, “I came to fly, not to join the philharmonic.”

Maestro asks for “news from the musical front” . Each pilot reports a new song for the band’s repertoire. “Darkie” Shchedronov, named for the beautiful Moldvian song “Darkie”, performed several times in the film, is shot down in an airtight, while Maestro reconnoiters the Germans.

Maestro grounds him on permanent flight attendant status. Resentful Grasshopper (he catches them as a hobby) believes it’s for insubordination, but paternal Maestro wants to keep him out of the war until he comes of age.  Alyabyev (Alim Fedorinsky), Vano (Vano Yantbelidze), I van Fedorovich (Aleksandr Nemchenko) and Vorobyev (Vilori Pashchenko) round out the heroic recruits.

Two women bomber pilots land, needing repairs and spare parts for their planes.  The delighted second battalion, division host the woman at an impromptu dance and concert, and eager first division fliers crash the evening’s entertainment. As flyers take turns waltzing Zoya (Olga Mateshko) and younger blond Masha (Yevgeniya Simonova), Romeo falls hard for Masha. The feeling is mutual and a lyrical romantic sub plot develops. Hearing rumors of an advancing German tank division, the General sends Maestro on a spy mission in the fokker, able to cruise low over the German installation and reports the tanks. Others in the Air Army intelligence department refute his report, the tanks are nowhere to be seen, he flies another mission to photograph the tanks. shot down, the infantry send him back to the air field on a horse.

Skvortzov’s lost his nerve. he claims he tries to fly into battle but his fear takes over, the next thing he knows, he’s turned his plane around.  He asks Maestro to send him before a review, and hands him a letter requesting a decommission, planning to join the landed Infantry in their penal division, Maestro refuses, burning his letter  Skvortzov returns to fly again, heroically shooting down another fokker before dying in a fiery tailspin, a suicidal mission destroying advancing German infantry below.

Love birds Romeo and Masha request permission to marry, before they can Romeo proudly lands his plane, then dies behind the controls. Maestro sends avuncular Makarych to tell Masha, but the two discover a monument to the fallen pair of female pilots.

Leonid Bykov’s childhood dream of becoming a pilot inspired his directorial debut. The story is based on actual songs, newsreel footage and the memoirs of the Soviet fighter ace Vitaly Popkov who fought with a real-life “singing squadron” boasting own amateur choir. The squadron even toured the Soviet rear with concerts and received fighter planes built by donations from Soviet star musicians.

Most of the elder cast and production members fought the war themselves. Actor Aleksei Smirnov (“Makarych the technician”) was a decorated war hero, an artillery sergeant; and a battlefield amateur musician.

The film won most of the Soviet bloc film prizes at the time, including the first prize in the 7th All-Union Film Festival in Baku in 1974.

Screenplay by Leonid Bykov, Yevgeni Onopriyenko and Aleksandr Satsky.
Original music by Viktor Shevchenko, cinematography by Vladimir Voytenko. Runtime 92 min. Production by Dovzhenko Film Studios.

Sergei Parajanov’s vivid expressionist and ethnographic “Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors” (“Tini zabutykh predkiv”) startled international filmgoers in 1964. Set in in a Carpathian village, the film is a hypnotic blend of magical realism, pagan sorcery and folk mythology. A tragic love story set among the Hutsul people of 19th-century Ukraine, Ivan’s mother mourns her husband’s brutal murder, Ivan is drawn to Marichka, the beautiful young daughter of the man who killed his father. Fate rips her from him, he withdraws mourning his true love but the seductive round of village life, its seasonal work, births funerals and weddings. he marries Palagna, who uses sorcery to keep him from straying.

Ilyienko had a lot of narrative imput in the lyrical folkloric masterpiece, which differs stylistically from Paradjanov’s other more stylized films. Among IIllyenko’s previous films as a director are the long-banned 1960’s films “A Spring for the Thirsty” and “The Eve of Ivan Kupalo”.

Just as Mexico’s master DP Gabriel Figueroa was know for his innovative use of red and infra-red filters (available only to the Army), and 24mm and 28mm wide angle lenses to achieve his famous Figueroa skies, IIllyenko was known for his seminal use of highly contrast, orthochromatic 35-mm Mikrat-200 stock to achieve graphic expressionism in film like ““A Spring for the Thirsty”.

The near silent “Swan Lake” is set in the very prison where in which Paradjanov was incarcerated. Many most of the prisoners we see are current real-life prisoners.  If anything, the film is a harrowing portrait of what Paradjanov endured.

The hero (Victor Solovyov) breaks out of the prison [three days before his sentence is over]and hides out in a metallic hammer-and-sickle monument that stands at the prison gates.
Sneaking out of his hiding place, the man steals clothes from the trunk of a car and is beaten by a carload of thugs. A neighboring woman (Liudmyla Yefymenko, IIllyenko’s wife) discovers his hideout, nurses him back to health, and becomes his lover.

Her son (Filipp Illyenko the director’s son), who uses the monument as his secret den, where he leafs through the French film magazine, reports the man’s whereabouts to the authorities.  (Filipp Ilyenko was appointed head of the Ukraine film agency in 2014).

Back in prison, the man attempts suicide. Pronounced dead he’s driven to the morgue in a horse-drawn carriage. Revived by a blood transfusion he man returns to the prison voluntarily. Abused in prison, he slits his wrists, his dead body lies ignored by the guards.

The film’s title refers to the swans in the wasteland surrounding the prison and an animated dream sequence.

Ivan Ilyenko’s epic “The White Bird Marked with Black” (“Bilyy ptakh z chornoyu vidznakoyu”) won the Golden grand prize at the Moscow Film Festival in 1971.

IIyenko’s greatest commercial and critical success drew 10.5 million ticket sales in the entire Soviet Union. Co-written by IIllyenko and its star Ivan Mykolaichuk (the star of “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”), the film portrays an impoverished Hutsul family whose loyalties are divided between the Soviets and the Romanians during World War II.

The Zvonars are a poor family of musicians, who eke out a living by performing in the local celebrations. Both older brothers, Petro and Orest, are in love with Dana, the priest’s beautiful daughter. Their younger brother, Heorhii, is a dreamlike adolescent who is attracted to the village’s witch, Vivdya.

The straightforward narrative contains orthodox Soviet representations of negative figures such as the band of Ukrainian nationalist insurgents and the priest, but also used many of IIllyenko’s characteristic stylistic expressionist touches, including jump cuts, 360-degree tracking shots, and telephoto camerawork reminiscent of “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”.

An unforgettable sequence shows the family playing music as their house burns, underscored by eerie percussion. A wild raft sequence and the final chase also recall the piercing beauty of “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”.

Mykhailo (Misha) IIyenko’s 2001 Firecrosser (“ToyKhtoProyshovKrizVohon”) tells the true story of a Soviet war hero who escapes to Canada where he became the leader of a Native American tribe.

Mykhailo (Misha) IIyenko is the youngest, surviving brother of the triumvirate of filmmakers who dominated Ukranian Poetic Cinema, between the three they made over 55 films, many considered absolute classics.

A Soviet P.O.W. faces high treason charges when freed from Nazi prison. Condemned by his countrymen, the war hero is flung into a gulag from which escape is the only salvation. Fighting for survival in the wilderness and hunted high and low, Ivan Datsenko adopts a new name and creed — Firecrosser, Indian chief.

Mykhailo (Misha) IIyenko’s version of Poetic Ukranian Cinema elides unnecessary narrative sequeways, letting the mind jump to fill in the gaps. In one scene he joins the edit through sound, Homesick Ivan’s propellers in the plains of Canada merge with his beloved wife Lyuba’s sewing machine, as she tell their son a story. In another scene, it’s a visual trick. The red glare of a bullet shot in the Moscow night, becomes firelight in a distant indoor location, shifting scenes. The elisions are breathtaking, musical. Airborne dogfights, and flashbacks take place across astonishing skies, some as muzzy as watercolors. other as roseate as painted Baroque ceilings. the effect is oneiric. Scenes among the Canadian Blackfoot Indians recall scenes of Ukrainian village life.

A marvelous soundtrack features music by the National Symphone Orchestra and the Dakha-Brakha ethnic band.

Viktoria Trofimenko’s epic 2014 “Brothers: the Final Confession”  (“Braty. Ostannya spovid”) is an adaptation of Swedish novelist Torgny Lindgren’s novel Sweetness, Brothers. Beautiful production values and a powerful score by Sviatoslav Luniov frame a story about a decades-long enmity between two siblings set in  the snowy mountains of the Carpathians. Trofimenk bravura prologue sequence features a river crossing the river  underscored by Lunyov’s atonal music. Scenes introduce the warring cancer-stricken carpenter Voytko Oleg Mosiychuk) and casttleman Stanislav (Viktor Demertash) and the nameless urban writer (Natalka Polovynka) caught up in their feud as she seeks a quiet place  to finish her novel. Vlad Odulenko’s expressive production design tells us everything about the brothers’ contrasting personalities.

Roman Balayan’s classic “Flights in Dreams and in Reality” (“Polyoty vo sne i nayavu”-1982) is a portrait of a man who won’t accept the responsibilities of life ( a Universal theme) enhanced by a sub textual critique of the meaninglessness of government jobs in the stultified Soviet era where every discussion must express the feelings of the collective.” perhaps his co-workers indulge him, vicariously enjoying his anarchistic carryings on.

Sergey Makarov (Oleg Yankovskiy) a hopelessly immature architect and chronic womanizer flitting between three women, his wife Natasha (Lyudmila Zorina), his young mistress Natasha (Lyudmila Zorina) and his former love, sophisticate Larisa Yuryevna (Lyudmila Gurchenko).

Sergey’s as capricious and easily distracted as child; he never seems more at home then when he leads some bike riding boys through the haystacks.

Sergey disappoints his coworkers, always lying to cover his wayward affairs, wandering from girl to woman, from one street escapade to another during work hours, When he finds it in himself to ask for forgiveness, his patient and affectionate boss Nikolay Pavlovich (Oleg Tabakov) explains, You’re not fooling us, you’re lying to yourself”. Poor Nikolay pines for sometimes mistress Larisa, as does the sculptor (Aleksandr Adabashyan). Whenever she’s abandoned by Sergey, young Alisa makes do with disco-dancing friend (Oleg Menshikov).

Filmmaker Nikita Milkakov plays…a film director whose location shot is ruined by Sergey’s fooling around. “Why are you all so mean/” Sergey whines when he is shoed off the street shoot. “You don’t need problems with the police do you?’ answers Milkakov’s character.

Viktor Merezhko’s script is laden with clever & cynical banter. Vadim Khrapachov’s score is full off minor key waltzes and up-tempo discordant tunes, which like Nina Rota’s Fellini scores, channel circus and cabaret music two great effect.

Kadochniikova: Self Portrait” is a documentary by iconic actress and Ukrainian screen beauty Larissa Kadochnikova.

Larissa takes us on a tour of her legendary life: We visit the Lesya Ukrainka Theater Stage (where she rose to stage fame) the stairs of the Russian State Film Academy, then Mar del Plata on the Atlantic coast, in a city where a triumphant premiere of “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” brought her International fame. As she narrates, Kadochnikova  works on her sensual pastel images of women, most seem to be heavy lidded self-portraits. Talking heads weigh in, most notably painter sculptor Sergey Yakutovich.

There’s a screen test for Natasha Rostova in Sergey Bondarchuk’s Academy Award-winning film epic War and Peace (1966) With her hair dyed black, she’s s ringer for Audrey Hepburn. The role went to Lyudmila Saveleva.

Film clips include “Vasiliy Surikov”, “The White Bird Marked with Black”, ” A Spring for the Thirsty”, “The Eve of ivan kapala” and Mikhail Shvejtser’s beautifully stylized black and white “Michman Panin” ( Warrant Officer Panin-1960). Kadochnikova played Josephine, a part so small it’s not listed in any English language cast list, but it was one of her favorite roles.

In her first hit, “Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors” she plays the lovelorn young Marichka, in love with Ivan, whose mother is played by her own mother film star Nina Alisova (“The Lady with the Dog”, “Ivan Pavlov”). Nina Alisova plays her mother, the wealthiest woman in the village.

In Rolan Bykov’s beautiful black and white “1 Newton Street” (Ulitsa Nyutona, dom 1), we see an iconic love scene on the fly between Larissa Kadochnikova, and DOP and heart throb Yuri Ilyenko in his only film role.  (The couple were married at the time. Ilyenko encouraged Larissa to move to Kiev and introduced her to Parajanov, director of “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”).

The pair meets on the endless escalator, facing each other they walk in place to remain in conversation, When he runs down the stairs to catch his train, she rises up the escalator, watching him leave.

Director Kadochnikova’s next scene shows her riding backwards at the same location. Kadochnikova’s self portrait is a charmer.

FULL SCHEDULE: all films at Laemmle Music Hall

12:00 Brief encounter
3:00   The White Bird Marked With Black (repeats)
5:30   Firecrosser (repeats)
8:00   Flights in Dreams am in Reality

12:00 Only Old Men Are Going To Battle
3:00   Brothers; The FInal Confession
5:00   Kadochnikovea; Self Portrait
8:00   Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors

12:00 The White Bird Marked With Black (replay)
3:00   Only Old Men Are Going To Battle (replay)
5:30   Swan Lake. The Zone (repeats)
7:30   The Tribe (repeats)

MON May 11
2:30  The Tribe (replay) 
5:00  Swan Lake. The Zone (replay)
7:30  Decay
10:00 Time, when I wrote Poems

2:30  The Stone Cross
5:00   Benya Krik +short film Odessa (repeats)
7:30   A Spring For The Thirsty
9:30   Unforgotten Shadows

2:30   Benya Krik +short film Odessa (replay)
5:00   White Acacia
7:30   Green Wagon
9:30  Black book of MAIDAN


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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