Recently Harvard University publisheda list of the most important for the history of motion pictures, which included 20 domestic paintings. Anyone who claims a Ph.D. in film science, they must be sure to look. Film critic Dmitri Karpyuk explained how these pictures are so good, and why they were so highly appreciated at Harvard.

"Kinoglaz" (1924) and "The Man with a Cinema Camera" (1928)

Director - Dziga Vertov


It is not entirely clear how they can be consideredseparately. Both films are like the bottomless cylinder of a magician - all possible kunshtyuki and technical tricks were invented back in the 1920s by Vertov, and modern directors admire and borrow them till now.

"Battleship Potemkin" »

Director - Sergei Eisenstein (1925)


One of the best, if not the best film of all timeand peoples in the opinion of many authoritative critics, directors and ordinary viewers. Cinematographers will undoubtedly be interested in the innovative installation and the scene of the shooting on the Odessa staircase that was snapped up on the citation, but one of the brightest and most painful images in the film is the awakening of the sailors of the battleship from slave sleep after they were tried to feed them with worm meat. After such a treat, they seem to see the very essence of their existence and break away from the cocoon of apathy and obedience. Everything else is history, including the history of cinema.

"According to law"

Director - Lev Kuleshov (1926)

according to law

In this adaptation of Jack London's story"Unexpected" Kuleshov built Yukon on the Moscow River. First of all, the film is notable for the combination of torn montage and long plans, but even if we ignore the technical nuances, it still looks at least with interest because of a moral dilemma - to arrange lynching or to hand it over to the law.

"Mother" (1926) and "The End of St. Petersburg" (1927)

Director - Vsevolod Pudovkin


The first film - the adaptation of Maxim Gorky andone of the greatest achievements of Soviet cinema. A piercing story about a family from a Black Hundred father, a revolutionary son and a loving mother, dying with a red banner in the hands under the hoofs of mounted gendarmes. The second is also a political film about the struggle of the Bolsheviks with the world of capital, the collapse of the empire through the tragedy of a small man. They are born not only by the lack of sound, the call for "sing, revolution!" And the fascinating use of multi-exposure, but also by actor Alexander Chistyakov. In one film, he played a tyrant father with a beard of Pan, and in another - a worker, who directed the storming of the Winter Palace.


Director - Victor Turin (1929)


A dumb, dynamic and full-energy documentary in5 parts and with the timing of less than an hour to build a cotton road of the USSR - the Turkestan-Siberian Railway. It is curious that Director Victor Turin visited the University of Massachusetts in revolutionary years and returned only in 1922, missing the most important time for the country.

"Andrei Rublev"

Director - Andrei Tarkovsky (1966)

Andrei Rublev

The description of the great icon-painter representsas a matter of fact, almanacs connected through the story line of parables, where you can see both Christian motives and the relationship between power and art. However, first of all this is a movie showing how mud and blood originate art. A burning cow, blinded masters, wandering through the forest, Nikulin, choking with boiling tar - everything will turn into a series of icons in the color finale of a black and white film. Each of them can be considered for a long time and find in it a fragment from the picture just seen.

"King Lear"

Director - Grigory Kozintsev (1970)

King Lear

"In the troubled years, there is always a blind man behind a madman... ". Neither a gram of falseness in the actor's game (Jüri Jarvet, voiced by Zinovy ​​Gerdt, is particularly beautiful), not a single weak frame-the last film by Kozintsev, who, incidentally, removed the excellent Hamlet before that, was not in vain in this list. In fanciful foreshortenings and in combination of light and shadow, if desired, one can see the echoes of Ingmar Bergman with Orson Wells and the apparent similarity with Andrei Rublev, but above all this is the best adaptation of Shakespeare in the history of Russian cinema.


Director - Alexander Dovzhenko (1930)


Silent cinema about how, during the period of collectivization inThe tractor was brought to the village, the kulaks did not like it, and they killed the young communist Vasil. In the retelling, it does not sound very exciting, but what is the only one dance of Vasil walking up on the night road, as if caught in a picture from the "Enchanted place". A montage of the scene of the work of farmers in the field? And Vasil's funeral, which turns into a rally, "without priests and without the deacons", with "new songs about a new life"? A frenzied kulak dance against the background of crosses sticking out of the earth? A fusion of poetry and realism, Platonov and Gogol, a lyrical view of the scrapping of the old way of life and the coming of a new era.

"The Cranes Are Flying" (1957) and "The Ballad of the Soldier" (1959)

Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov and Grigory Chukhrai

cranes are Flying

Two beautiful films about love and war, one -poem in prose, the second - a ballad, as it is said in the title. In deservedly received the "Golden Palm Branch" in Cannes "Cranes ..." you can admire endlessly the camera work of Sergei Urusevsky and admire the face of Tatiana Samoilova. The film is full of lyricism of the sixties, romance, which is part of the clinch with the aesthetics of Italian neo-realism. However, the modest, gentle and full of humanism picture of Chukhrai about the journey of a soldier who went to see his mother on leave and fell in love along the way, hurts more painfully and remains in the heart of the viewer longer. However, everything here is subjective.

"Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" (1964) and "Color of a Pomegranate" (1969)

Director - Sergey Paradjanov

shadows of forgotten ancestors

"Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" - a piercing storylove, which is stronger than death, according to a novel by Ukrainian writer Mikhail Kotsyubinsky. You can talk for a long time about the clash in the film of pagan and Christian worldviews and folklore motives. But in order to penetrate, it's enough to look at the masks, to the ending with funerals, to the stunning scene of the murder, when the blood pours the camera lens of the great operator Yuri Ilenko.

"Color of pomegranates" - phantasmagoria, revived palettecolors, a look at the inner world of the medieval Armenian poet Sayat-Nova. Here the plot recedes before the form to the background, but this does not interfere with the transfer of mood. Paradzhanov, like no other, it was possible to compose poetry in the cinema.

"Alexander Nevskiy"

Director - Sergei Eisenstein (1938)

Alexander Nevskiy

Yes, a propaganda film, but what! Impressive scenes of the battle, "corporate" Eisenstein installation, a symbiosis of the picture and the genius music of Sergei Prokofiev. What is the point when an avalanche of Teutonic knights appears on the horizon, and the sounds of tambourines and trumpets are replaced by a gloomy, majestic, almost ecclesiastical musical theme. But worry, of course, not worth it - nature itself is on our side, and all the Germans will go under the ice.

"Ivan the Terrible"

Director - Sergei Eisenstein (1944)

Ivan the Terrible

Everything is beautiful here - from the strongest image andthe game of Nikolai Cherkasov, costumes and decorations to the oprichnikov, shot in color, in the second part, which Stalin did not like and the part of the film banned for the show (it's strange that only the first episode of the film was included in the list). Now some of the nuances of acting can seem slightly comical, but before the tangible, serious power of the picture, any questions disappear.

"Ordinary Fascism"

Director - Michael Romm (1967)

common fascism

Romme's masterpiece is recommended for viewing not only documentaries and film critics - a combination of creepy shots, caustic offscreen commentary and bravura music still has a very strong effect.

"War and Peace"

Director - Sergei Bondarchuk (1967)

War and Peace

A large-scale Soviet film and, as to it, neither relate to Bondarchuk's undoubtedly courageous attempt to film an inescapable novel by a Russian classic.


Director - Larisa Shepitko (1976)


War movies based on Vasil Bykov's story "Sotnikov"raises the most important moral issues and at some point becomes a biblical parable. The music of Alfred Schnittke, the play of Gostyukhin, Plotnikov and Solonitsyn and the direction of the brilliant Larissa Shepitko literally take the soul out.


Director - Andrei Tarkovsky (1983)

nostalgia tarkovsky

"Italian" Tarkovsky film in the scriptTonino Guerra with Oleg Yankovsky in the title role is full of classical music, scraps of poetry, significance and fog in the literal and figurative sense. He can be loved or not loved (after all, it was here that "Tarcovite" was born, spoiling many novice filmmakers), but in this case it's real art, without any quotes.

The Russian Ark

Director - Alexander Sokurov (2002)

Russian Ark

The film certainly deserves attention because oftechnical technique, which Sokurov makes the cornerstone of the whole design. Yes, the film is shot in one plan, without mounting glues - within one and a half hours the camera travels through the Winter Palace, the "cultural ark" of Russia, and this, at least, is beautiful.

Taken from here.

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