MestnyiGeroi's "(aka Local Hero's) 1000+ Quintessential Russian Movies"
This huge list is the result of about six months of work. I began thinking and digging in the summer of 2007, and then I posted the list in progress on the Classics forum at imdb, receiving many further contributions from numerous posters (but very special gratitude is due to the posters named Colomba, JeNeRegretteRien and WhiteFun for their generous assistance).
This list is an attempt at a fairly thorough compilation of films that I deem quintessential contributions to Russian cinema for one (or more) of three reasons:
1. Critical Acclaim — The film has met with national and/or international critical acclaim (e.g., Tarkovsky’s Mirror or Klimov’s Come and See). Films might also make the list if I feel they are overlooked gems that should have met with critical acclaim.
2. Popular Appeal in Russia — The film has garnered considerable popular appeal among Russians, measured either through initial box office, or by eventual status as a beloved classic (e.g., Diamond Arm or The Irony of Fate).
3. Historical/Cultural Importance – - The film has historical importance, either for its cultural or cinematic impact, or for its significance as a historical artifact. (Two examples: The Battle of Stalingrad is considered by most an example of egregious propaganda fairly lacking in artistic merit or historical veracity, but it is in the list nonetheless as an important reflection of Stalinism at its most absurd; on a different level, I personally feel that Night Watch is a rather painfully vapid film, but it is included because – - along with its record-breaking box office – - it has marked a sea change in Russian cinema.)
Some details about the list:
—The dates are taken from the imdb website for sake of a consistent point of easy reference (although this raises some problems, it solves the main one of consistency). The films are given chronologically, but within each year films are listed alphabetically by their English-translated titles.
— The list focuses on pre-Soviet, Soviet, and post-Soviet eras of Russian film. Some non-Russian Soviet films have also been included if they are at least partially in Russian, if they were produced in Russian studios, or, in a few cases, if they are considered an inextricable part of Russian culture.
— Genre is a particularly difficult matter when it comes to Russian cinema, as the lines of demarcation are so easily blurred. The list is primarily composed of feature-length, cinema-released movies. However, many beloved and important Russian films began in a form that in North America would be called television mini-series; several of these are included. At the compiler’s discretion, numerous short films (live-action and animated) were also included.
Please use the comments box below for any further suggestions or points of criticism, both of which are welcome.
Well, that’s it. Enjoy!