VOLGA-VOLGA (Grigori Aleksandrov, 1938)

Exuberant, melodious, populated with zany characters, Bonra-Bonra is a Soviet comedy. This time, director Grigori Aleksandrov’s star, wife Lyubov Orlova, plays Dunia, nicknamed “Strelka,” a vivacious young postal carrier who heads one of two teams sent from her village to the Moscow Musical Olympiad. Will they win for best song? Strelka’s team is folk-based; the […]


A stunning work of art, and certainly not the mere flexing of technique one might assume from its four-minute length, Études de mouvements à Paris was directed, photographed and edited by Dutch documentarian Joris Ivens.      Most of the “movements” belong to automobiles and pedestrians, shot at every kind of distance and from a variety of […]

WINTER WIND (Miklós Jancsó, 1969)

Croatian separatists, supported by Hungary, seek Croatia’s independence from Yugoslavia, a dictatorship. Shortly before the assassination of Yugoslavia’s Serbian King Alexander in Marseilles, France, Marko Lazar is among a band of these separatists. Téli sirokkó, or Sirokkó, or Sirocco d’hiver, by Hungary’s Miklós Jancsó, comes to us (in French, in the one version I’ve seen) […]