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Russia


Agony

Agony Lowest new price: $15.73
Lowest used price: $14.99
List price: $29.98
Brand: Kino International
Model: 2254889

Anything but a standard bio-pic, Agony is an unrestrained assault on the ruling class in Russia, whose religious hedonism and political ignorance nearly destroyed the country. Influenced in part by such latter 20th Century phenomena as Charles Manson and The Exorcist, Klimov restaged world history with jolting doses of sexual avarice, drunkenness, violence and insanity in startling contract to staid historical accounts of Rasputin's life and most peculiar death.

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Que Viva Mexico

Que Viva Mexico Lowest new price: $18.88
Lowest used price: $17.98
List price: $19.31
Brand: Kino International
Model: 2254689

Hollywood's loss was Mexico's gain, as this glorious documentary will attest. Having failed to realize several projects in Hollywood, Russian film pioneer Sergei Eisenstein trekked to Mexico with producer Grigory Alexandrov and cameraman Eduard Tisse, and the famous writer Upton Sinclair as beneficiary. Their budget quickly ran out, and the film was never properly completed, but Alexandrov carefully assembled this version of Que Viva Mexico! in 1979, and the result is one of the most beautiful documentaries ever made. Although it was later criticized for presenting a fantasized view of Mexican culture, this remains a stunning example of Eisenstein's ability to meld people, politics, and ritual into a richly cinematic experience. Celebratory, socially alert, and at times even surreal, the film displays all of Eisenstein's revolutionary techniques while proving that his narrative style could have flourished in Hollywood. Instead, this marvelous film stands as a testament to what might have been.

Hollywood's loss was Mexico's gain, as this glorious documentary will attest. Having failed to realize several projects in Hollywood, Russian film pioneer Sergei Eisenstein trekked to Mexico with producer Grigory Alexandrov and cameraman Eduard Tisse, and the famous writer Upton Sinclair as beneficiary. Their budget quickly ran out, and the film was never properly completed, but Alexandrov carefully assembled this version of Que Viva Mexico! in 1979, and the result is one of the most beautiful documentaries ever made. Although it was later criticized for presenting a fantasized view of Mexican culture, this remains a stunning example of Eisenstein's ability to meld people, politics, and ritual into a richly cinematic experience. Celebratory, socially alert, and at times even surreal, the film displays all of Eisenstein's revolutionary techniques while proving that his narrative style could have flourished in Hollywood. Instead, this marvelous film stands as a testament to what might have been. --Jeff Shannon

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Siberiade (Complete and Uncut Version)

Siberiade (Complete and Uncut Version) Lowest new price: $19.02
Lowest used price: $14.89
List price: $21.24
Brand: Kino International

Spanning more than six decades of Russian history encompassing the Bolshevik Revolution, Siberiade is Andrei Konchalovsky's (Runaway Train) passionate and ambitious examination of the Soviet spirit, as represented in two families of opposing ideologies: the proletariat Ustyuzhanins and the wealthy Solomins. Through their multi-generational conflicts and alliances, Konchalovsky dramatizes the evolution of the Russian people, bound together by the common struggle for survival and faithfulness to the motherland. Yet Siberiade is more than an immense historical epic. It is a hauntingly beautiful spectacle reminiscent of the finest woks of visionary filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky (whose Andrei Roublev was co-written by Konchalovsky). Though cinematographer Levan Paatashvili's lens, the Siberian wilderness becomes a mesmerizing universe unto itself, whose forests and swamps are populated by near-mythical characters. Tied to ancient tradition, these spirits seek to protect the countryside from the ravaging forces of time and technology. When a rural village is invaded by an oil-drilling crew that encroaches upon their hallowed burial grounds, generating conflict between ancestral reverence for the earth and government-ordained industrialization. Siberiade comes to an explosive and unforgettable climax.

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7 Songs from the Tundra

7 Songs from the Tundra Lowest new price: $29.40
Lowest used price: $19.99
List price: $29.95
Brand: FACETS VIDEO

Filmmaker Anastasia Lupsui, a Nenet who hails from the Russian tundra, has combined Nenet legends with her personal experiences to portray the life of her people under the communist regime.
Unfolding in seven separate stories or songs, this exquisite film offers an impressionist view of an ancient culture caught between their traditions and legends and the threat of the modern world and its politics. Behind the film s mythic allusions is a story of resistance...a story about people fighting to preserve their identity.

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  • Factory sealed DVD


Come & See

Come & See Lowest new price: $48.00
Lowest used price: $44.45
List price: $29.98
Brand: Kino International
Model: 2254789

When young Florya willingly joins a group of Partisans fighting the Nazis in Byelorussia, U.S.S.R., he little suspects that he is plunging through the looking glass. Separated from his comrades during a paratroop attack and struck deaf by German artillery, Florya - in the company of Glascha, a beguiling peasant girl - wanders a battle-scorched Russian purgatory of prehistoric forests and man-made slaughter. Florya's journey takes him and us through a gallery of exquisitely poetic imagery and brutal human atrocity.

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The Rape of Europa

The Rape of Europa Lowest new price: $6.74
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List price: $13.85
Brand: Passion River
Model: 4193674

The Rape of Europa tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of Western culture.

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1612

1612 Lowest new price: $28.97
Lowest used price: $1.98
List price: $14.98
Brand: E1 ENTERTAINMENT

“Reminiscent of Lord of the Rings” –Sunday Herald

After the brutal slaughter of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family, Russia descends into chaos. Guided by faith and mysticism, Andrey, the only witness to the massacre, transforms himself from servant to cavalier and sets off on a quest to save Princess Ksenia, the missing daughter of Godunov. Andrey joins forces with Prince Pozharski, the people’s army leader, and faces down the Polish army in an explosive, blood-soaked battle for Moscow.

Includes Over 45 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Bonus Material:
Making-of Featurette, Photo Gallery

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Unfinished Piece for the Player Piano

Unfinished Piece for the Player Piano Lowest new price: $11.99
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The Cranes are Flying (The Criterion Collection)

The Cranes are Flying (The Criterion Collection) Lowest new price: $13.98
Lowest used price: $15.53
List price: $17.97
Brand: SAMOILOVA,TATIANA
Model: 2567585

Veronica and Boris are blissfully in love, until the eruption of World War II tears them apart. Boris is sent to the front lines...and then communication stops. Meanwhile, Veronica tries to ward off spiritual numbness while Boris' draft-dodging cousin makes increasingly forceful overtures. Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival, The Cranes are Flying is a superbly crafted drama, bolstered by stunning cinematography and impassioned performances.

Mikhail Kalatozov's luscious portrait of love and loss during World War II stars almond-eyed beauty Tatyana Samojlova and handsome Aleksei Batalov as moony-eyed young lovers whose innocent romance is shattered by war. When the idealistic boy volunteers for service, his draft-dodging cousin steals the despondent girl by brute force, yet she never gives up on her true love, even when he's reported dead. Kalatozov's patriotic paean to fallen soldiers and home-front heroes is an undeniably sentimental melodrama suffused with lush images and lyrical sequences, a kind of cinematic poetry unseen in Soviet cinema since the experimentation and optimism of the silent days. Produced during the "thaw" following Stalin's repressive reign, it won the Palme d'Or prize at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival and set Kalatozov on the road to more ambitious expressions of Soviet idealism in the modern world, culminating in his masterpiece, I Am Cuba. --Sean Axmaker

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Ballad of a Soldier (The Criterion Collection)

Ballad of a Soldier (The Criterion Collection) Lowest new price: $17.97
Lowest used price: $12.17
List price: $22.04
Brand: IVASHOV,VLADIMIR
Model: 2225038

Russian soldier Alyosha Skvortsov is granted a visit with his mother after he singlehandedly fends off two enemy tanks. As he journeys home, Alyosha encounters the devastation of his war-torn country, witnesses glimmers of hope among the people, and falls in love. With its poetic visual imagery, Grigori Chukhrai's Ballad of a Soldier is an unconventional meditation on the effects of war, and a milestone in Russian cinema.

Grigory Chukhraj's poetic odyssey of an accidental hero on a six-day pass is a sentimental journey through the ideals of the Soviet state in World War II. Vladimir Ivashov is the fresh-faced signalman whose trip from the Russian front to visit his white-haired mother becomes a series of detours as he stops to help the loyal comrades, fellow soldiers, and salt-of-the-earth civilians (as well as a few shirkers and scoundrels) he meets along the way. On a transport train he even falls in love with a pretty young stowaway, a feisty blond girl-next-door on her way to visit a wounded boyfriend. Delicately photographed and gently paced, this deliriously romantic road movie is undeniably Soviet in its celebration of patriotism and collectivism, but Chukhraj transcends politics with delightfully vivid characters and a deft mix of comedy, melodrama, and romance. --Sean Axmaker

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