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Russian-Up Before it Goes: Russian Film Festival Last Call


By Anna Kochetkova

It is half way through to the Russian Film Festival 2014. Russian Resurrection is an annual Russian Film Festival which arrived to Sydney right in time a few months before Christmas.

Foreign film lovers, you are in for a treat. This year, Russian Film Festival brings along some good old classics as well as modern witty comedies. Moreover, a newly opened Russian bakery in Newtown, called Izba, is offering some traditional Russian treats so you are welcome to grab some blini of pirozhki before and after your Russian session.

Sydney (as well as other Australian states and New Zealand) are truly indulging this year. If you are still struggling to choice a movie this week, let me take you through this journey.

The Festival ends this Sunday so hurry up to book you tickets! Russian-up before it is gone!

Carnival Night is a 1956 Soviet musical film. It is Eldar Ryazanov's first big-screen film, Lyudmila Gurchenko's first role and also one of the most famous films starring popular comedian Igor Ilyinsky. The film became the Soviet box office leader of 1956 with a total of 48.64 million tickets sold. This is a true carnival of one of best Russian cast, humor and romance. I am, in fact, off to watch it tomorrow.

Goodbye Mother is a more contemporary take on Russian classics Anna Karenina. The experienced Russian writer and director Svetlana Proskurina (who co-wrote the highly acclaimed Russian Ark) loosely adapts Anna Karenina from a male perspective in her new intimate drama. Check it out, it won’t leave you disappointed.

Stalingrad is a truly emotional movie I would definitely recommend to watch if you are a war scene’s fan. It is a big-budget war movie shot in IMAX 3D and directed by famous actor/director Fedor Bondarchuk, best known for his award-winning film, The 9 Company, about the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Chahagall Malevich is a movie about the magical world of painter Marc Chagall using myth, fantasy and fact. The story is based on real events which occurred at the time of Chagall’s short-lived Vitebsk “commissariat” in 1917-18, during which time he created the Academy of Modern Art and encountered his contemporary and total opposite, Kazimir Malevich.

Oblomov is directed by the Oscar winning director Nikita Mikhalkov. The film received Best Foreign Film (USA National Board of Review). Old good Russian classics known by every kid in Russia is definitely worth spending your evening with. A sumptuous, dreamy adaptation of Goncharov’s famous novel about a good but legendarily lazy man who spends most of his day dreaming about his childhood. Oblomov cannot be motivated to get out of bed. But when his childhood friend, the energetic Stoltz, introduces him to the sophisticated but bewildering Olga, his life changes. He falls in love and moves to the country. Find out what happens next.

Test was Awarded the best film prize at the 2014 Kinotavr Film Festival. It is a story about the first nuclear bomb test which was conducted in Semipalatinsk in 1949. This film is for those who love looking, for those who remember that the cinema is, before all, an image. And when cinema was invented, it was without words.

Viy is another amazing Russian classic. It is a horror short story by the Ukrainian-born Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, first published in the first volume of his collection of tales entitled Mirgorod. The film is directed by Oleg Stepchenko, based on the first manuscript of Nikolai Gogol. The film has been in production since December 2005 and stopped several times due to lack of funding. In October 2012, the filming was completed. If you are still in a Halloween mode this is a perfect film to get cozy with tonight.

Yolki 3 is the third instalment in the enormously popular series of New Year’s Eve blockbuster films continues the themes of magic, positive romantic adventures and comic misadventures. This almanac romantic comedy is composed of seven interconnected stories realised by Russia’s best directors focusing on the foibles of modern communication, friendship, psychiatric wards, love and bizarre relationships in contemporary Russia. This film is my favorite so far as I am fond of light romantic stories. The film’s theme is around the idea of ‘boomerang of good’ – a karma-based fairy-tale logic where good actions are rewarded in the future. At the heart of the narrative is the attempt to break up two dogs and their adventures as they seek to reunite in London. A dynamic film that captures a new Russian mentality with an old focus on love. I highly recommend to book yourself in for a romantic treat where you can observe the old and the new Russia meet.

The Russian Film Festival is about to move on to Brisbane. The Festival ends this Sunday (9th of November) in Sydney so hurry up to book your movie tonight or tickets to Queensland.



A journalist by training and a marketer by accident, Anna Kochetkova has evolved into a freelance writer and currently works as a marketing & social media manager & events coordinator, researching her inner self and pushing the horizons of creativity. Anna’s written a bunch of awesome articles about fitness, lifestyle, travel, exhibitions, finance and events. She won’t stop there! Anna always keeps up to date with business, marketing and international studies out of curiosity, as well as a part of her professional interests. Anna is a Russian author living in Australia whose cultural difference inspires her to investigate different cultures, traditions and beliefs travelling throughout the diversity of our world. Feel free to say hi to Anna on LinkedIn, Facebook and visit her personal blog. Speak up and share your story & opinion.

Anna often guest posts for Sydney Chic.

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