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Russophiles Unite! Movie Podcast

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A Film, TV and Arts podcast featuring Alistair Pitts
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Prisoner of the Caucasus AKA Kidnapping, Caucasian Style (Leonid Gaidai; 1966)
This time around, we're off to the southern borderlands (possibly against our will) for Leonid Gaidai's Prisoner of the Caucasus AKA Kidnapping, Caucasian Style from 1966. To discuss the film, Ally is joined by writer and filmmaker Nadia Bee. You can read her reviews and interviews at: https://kinefile.com/about/, https://www.scenesjournal.com/interviews/, and https://www.myfilmclub.co.uk/. Expect SPOILERS from 15 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: bride-kidnapping is central to the plot. Kidnapping, Caucasian Style stars Alexander Demyanenko, Natalya Varley, Vladimir Etush, Frunzik Mkrtchyan, Yuri Nikulin, Yevgeny Morgunov, and Georgy Vitsin. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
Attraction (Fyodor Bondarchuk; 2017)
What if aliens visited Earth? And what if they crash-landed in Russia instead of the US for a change? And what if one of them was hunky? All these questions and more are answered in Fyodor Bondarchuk's 2017 film Attraction. To discuss the film Ally is once again joined by researcher and sci-fi fan Teegan Johnson. Expect SPOILERS from about 13 minutes in onwards. CONTENT WARNING: The film depicts gender-based violence and consent issues. Attraction stars Irina Starshenbaum, Alexander Petrov, Rinal Mukhametov, Evgeny Mikheev and Oleg Menshikov. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
[Pilot Episode] Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1979)
As the title suggests, this is the first one of these. The plan is that an episode will be going out every fortnight. This episode's film is Stalker, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. It stars Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, and Nikolay Grinko. The first ten minutes or so of the podcast are non-spoilery but from then on EXPECT SPOILERS.   My guest is the most excellent Lyn Setchell. Many thanks to Owen Choules and Chris Mead of Classic Schmassic for their inspiration (and let's face it, essentially their format). If you'd like to get in touch, the Twitter handle is @RussophilesU and for longer messages, please email me at russophilesunite@gmail.com
Ivan the Terrible: Part I (Sergei Eisenstein; 1944)
Finally, a Sergei Eisenstein film! And it only took us two seasons! For the last episode in the current season we're watching Ivan the Terrible, part I from 1944. To discuss the film, Ally is joined by film masters graduate and montage enthusiast Essie Jolliffe. Expect SPOILERS from about 10 minutes in until the end. Ivan the Terrible, part I stars: Nikolai Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Serafima Birman, and Mikhail Nazvanov. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
Through the Thorns to the Stars (Richard Viktorov; 1980)
After a fairly grim and gritty run of films, it's time for something a little lighter. The only thing at stake is the fate of an entire planet! That's right, it's...Through the Thorns to the Stars! AKA Per Aspera ad Astra AKA To the Stars by Hard Ways AKA Humanoid Woman. Yep, the translators really couldn't make their minds up about what to call the darn thing. It was directed by Richard Viktorov, recut and remastered (or something) by his son Nikolai, and stars Yelena Metyolkina, Vadim Ledogorov, and Uldis Lieldidz. My guest this time is industrial psychologist and sci-fi fan Teegan Johnson. Moderate SPOILERS from about 18 minutes in until the end. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some options: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/
Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1966)
...And we're back! The subject of the first episode of the new series is *ahem* iconic. It's Andrei Tarkovsky's drama Andrei Rublev. Joining Ally once again is man who likes interesting films and appreciator of dogs, Lyn Setchell. SPOILERS from about 7 minutes in until the end. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
The Barber of Siberia (Nikita Mikhalkov; 1998)
This fortnight's film is The Barber of Siberia, directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. It stars Julia Ormond, Oleg Menshikov, Alexei Petrenko, and Richard Harris.  Joining Ally to discuss the film is literature fan and period drama conoisseur Tracy Tanoff. Please check out her blog here: http://pleasureinagoodnovel.blogspot.co.uk/ SPOILERS from about 11 minutes in until the end. Listeners should be aware that rape, while not depicted on screen, is a plot element.  If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
Tsar (Pavel Lungin; 2009)
Happy New Year, druzya! For our first film pick of 2018, we're watching historical drama Tsar from 2009, directed by Pavel Lungin and starring Pyotr Mamonov and Oleg Yankovskiy. To discuss the film, Ally is joined by co-host of High & Low: A Kurosawa Podcast and Russian history super-fan Spencer Seams. This episode contains moderate SPOILERs from 19 minutes in until the end. It also includes (at least) one significant factual error about Russian history by Ally. For. Shame. No actual prizes for spotting it(/them), but kudos if you do. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some options: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/ Theme music by: Your Least Favourite Moomin Outro music: Grubiy Zakat by Zvuki Mu (fronted by Pyotr Mamonov).  
The Sun (Alexander Sokurov; 2005)
This fortnight's film is The Sun, directed by Alexander Sokurov. It stars Issei Ogata and Robert Dawson. Ally is joined by podcaster Joel Torres, who co-hosts Please Don't Send Me into Outer Space, and High & Low: A Kurosawa Podcast. SPOILERS from about 23 minutes in until the end. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
Chapayev (Sergey & Georgy Vasilev; 1934)
Filmmaker and Flixwise: Canada host Martin Kessler returns to discuss this Russian Civil War set proto-action film. It has the dubious distinction of being one of Joseph Stalin's favourite movies, and it stars Boris Babochkin as the eponymous Red Army commander. CONTENT WARNING: The film briefly depicts a sexual assault (it is not framed as such, but certainly reads that way to modern audiences). Ally and Martin didn't actually discuss this scene in the episode, however. Expect SPOILERS from about 39 minutes in until the end. Hear more of Martin on Flixwise: Canada: http://flixwise.com/category/episodes/flixwise-canada/ If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, it would be great to hear from you! Here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_ Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: https://ko-fi.com/russophilesunite Listen to Ally's other podcast appearances at: https://www.podchaser.com/creators/alistair-pitts-107ZzmUqmI
Moscow does not Believe in Tears (Vladimir Menshov; 1980)
The film of choice this time around is Moscow does not Believe in Tears, directed by Vladimir Menshov and starring Vera Alentova, Irina Muravyova, and Raisa Ryazanova. It won Best Film in a Foreign Language at the Oscars in 1981. To discuss the film, host Ally Pitts is joined by writer and period drama fan Jenny Shelton. Expect a certain amount of SPOILERS. CONTENT WARNING: Listeners should be aware that the film depicts the beginning of a rape, and that we discuss this incident during the course of the podcast. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast, here are some options: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/   Theme music by: The Avocado Toasters
Lady Macbeth (William Oldroyd; 2016)
This time around we're watching British film Lady Macbeth, shot in 2016. This episode has been in the vaults for quite a while; since early last May when the film was in cinemas in the UK, in fact. The film's director William Oldroyd, writer Alice Birch, and producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly have been jointly nominated for the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British director, writer, or producer. The film stars Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, and Naomi Ackie To discuss the film, Ally is again joined by film fan and owner of car Lyn Setchell. This episode contains SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS from 4 minutes in until the end. If you're planning to watch the film, you should be aware that it contains scenes of domestic violence and sexual assault. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some options: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/  
The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci; 2017)
Following yesterday's surprise bonus episode, it's back to the usual fortnightly release. This time it's last year's The Death of Stalin, directed by Armando Iannucci.  Banned in Russia, but well-reviewed by Russian critics (if you don't read Russian, just count the thumbs-up).  It stars Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend and Jason Isaacs. My guest this time is editor and Iannucci comedy aficionado Matt Billingsley. SPOILERS from about 10 minutes in until the end, although some things should be fairly easy to anticipate... If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some options: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/ Theme music by: Halo Joins Taco Sale
Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg; 2007)
This fortnight the film is Eastern Promises from 2007, directed by David Cronenberg. It stars Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassell and Armin Mueller-Stahl. In case you've not seen it before , please be aware that it features depictions of rape and sexual slavery. There's some pretty graphic violence as well (but that is kind of par for the course for a Cronenberg film). For this episode, Ally is joined by actor, singer and writer Lydia Kapp-Gutilla. She is the writer and star of short film Clarence, directed by Rob Thomson, which can be viewed here. SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS from about 24 minutes in until the end. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some options: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/
Window to Paris (Yuri Mamin; 1993)
For the last episode of this batch, it's Window to Paris from 1993. It stars Sergey Dreyden, Agnes Soral, and Viktor Mikhaylov, and was directed by Yuri Mamin. Joining Ally to discuss the film are Carrie & Lyn, who you may remember from such episodes as Irony of Fate, Loveless, Stalker, and Lady Macbeth. SPOILERS from about 6 minutes in until the end. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/
How I Ended This Summer (Aleksei Popogrebsky; 2010)
Brace yourself for inclement weather, isolation, and factual wang in How I Ended This Summer, directed by Aleksei Popogrebsky. To discuss the film, Ally is joined once again by occasional watcher of Russian films and all-round splendid fellow, Lyn Seren. Expect SPOILERS from about 18 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: in addition to extremely brief nudity, the film seemed to suggest a possible suicide off-screen, and this is discussed briefly during the episode. How I Ended this Summer stars Grigory Dobrygin and Sergey Puskepalis. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, it would be great to hear from you! Here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_ Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: https://ko-fi.com/russophilesunite
Fiddler on the Roof (Norman Jewison; 1971)
This fortnight's pick is a musical set in a Jewish village in Tsarist Russia on the cusp of a revolution... Les Mis, Hamilton, this...what is it about revolutions and musicals? That's right, we're watching Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Norman Jewison, from 1971. To discuss the film, Ally is joined by writer and performer Alex Taylor. Expect SPOILERS from about 15 minutes in until the end.  CONTENT WARNING: the movie depicts anti-semitic attacks and persecution. Fiddler on the Roof stars Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon, Paul Mann, Rosalind Harris, Michele Marsh, Neva Small, Paul Michael Glaser, and Raymond Lovelock. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
Yolki AKA Six Degrees of Celebration (Timur Bekmambetov et al.; 2010)
Festive tidings, folks! We're steeping ourselves in some seasonal schmaltz with the fabulously-titled Six Degrees of Celebration (AKA Yolki) from 2010, directed by Timur Bekmambetov, Yaroslav Chevazhevskiy, Ignas Jonynas, Dmitriy Kiselev, Aleksandr Voytinskiy, and Alexander Andryuschenko. Ally is once again joined by former Moscow resident, expert heckler, and Georgian food advocate Carrie Pitts. Expect SPOILERS from about 23 minutes in until the end. Six Degrees of Celebration stars Ivan Urgant, Sergey Svetlakov, Elena Plaksina, Vera Brezhneva, Aleksandr Golovin, Kristina Asmus, Dato Bakhtadze, Sergey Garmash, and Mariya Poroshina. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
Assa (Sergei Solovyov; 1987)
The movie this time is late '80s Russian cult favourite Assa, directed by Sergei Solovyov. To discuss the film, Ally is joined by former Moscow resident and self-described 'emergency back-up guest' Carrie Pitts. We were fortunate enough to see it on the big screen as Kino Klassika put it on as part of their #YouthOnTheMarch season of Soviet New Wave films. Expect SPOILERS from about 9 minutes in until the end.  CONTENT WARNING: the movie features scenes domestic violence, and, as we discuss during this episode, an extremely insensitive casting decision. Assa stars Tatyana Drubich, Stanislav Govorukhin, and Sergei 'Afrika' Bugaev. It also features a memorable cameo by Kino frontman Viktor Tsoi. Much of the soundtrack was written by another Russian rock star, Boris Grebenshchikov. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
The White Sun of the Desert (Vladimir Motyl; 1970)
This fortnight's pick is cult favourite 'Red Western'/'Eastern' The White Sun of the Desert, directed by Vladimir Motyl, and starring Anatoly Kuznetsov, Spartak Mishulin, Pavel Luspekayev, Kakhi Kavsadze, and Lidiya Smirnova. Joining Ally to discuss the film, is English language teacher, lapsed chemist, occasional YouTuber and long-time Moscow resident Ed Evans. DETAILED SPOILERS from about 19 minutes in until the end. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession (Leonid Gaidai; 1973)
This fortnight's movie is Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession AKA Ivan Vasilyevich: Back to the Future, directed Leonid Gaidai. To discuss the film, Ally is joined by Russophiles Unite regular and Bill and Ted enthusiast Lyn Seren. Expect SPOILERS from about 7 minutes in until the end. Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession stars Yuri Yakovlev, Alexandr Demyanenko, Leonid Kuravlyov, and Natalya Seleznyova. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
War and Peace (King Vidor; 1956)
Ally is joined by Adam Roche of The Secret History of Hollywood, Attaboy, Clarence, and (most recently) Talking Pictures TV Podcast to discuss this interpretation of Leo Tolstoy's epic, which stars Audrey Hepburn. Expect SPOILERS from about 22 minutes in until the end. War and Peace also stars Henry Fonda, Mel Ferrer, Vittorio Gassman, Anita Ekberg, Oskar Homolka, Helmut Dantine, and Jeremy Brett. Find out more about Adam's podcasts at: www.attaboyclarence.com If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
The Diamond Arm (Leonid Gaidai; 1969)
This time around, we've unwittingly got ourselves mixed up with Leonid Gaidai's 1969 crime caper The Diamond Arm. To discuss the film, Ally is joined by Olivia Capozzalo & Smith Freeman, who co-host She's in Russia podcast, which is a mostly weekly audio grab-bag of Russia-related awesomeness. You should definitely have a listen. You'll find relevant links here: http://shesinrussia.com The Diamond Arm stars Yuri Nikulin, Andrei Mironov, Nonna Mordyukova, Anatoly Papanov, Nina Grebeshkova, and Svetlana Svetlichnaya. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
Welcome, Or No Trespassing (Elem Klimov, 1964)
Hurrah! We're all heading off to a thinly-veiled metaphor for the Soviet Union... Oops, I mean, summer camp! Our film is Welcome, or No Trespassing from 1964, directed by Elem Klimov. Ally's guest this time is writer, TV producer, and stand-up comedian Tanya Lukyanova. You can follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/tanya_lucky/ And check out her YouTube series Russian Something: www.youtube.com/channel/UCaq-2DyBRU6OM7ot4G6cM0A This episode SPOILERS from about 18 mins in until the end. Welcome, or No Trespassing stars Viktor Kosykh, Evgeny Evstignyev, Aleksei Smirnov, Lidiya Smirnova, and Arina Aleynikova.  If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_
Sunflower (Vittorio De Sica; 1970)
World War II casts its long shadow over the podcast once more as we watch Sunflower, directed by Vittorio De Sica. To discuss the film, Ally is once again joined by Russian language and literature grad, Carrie. Expect SPOILERS from about 12 minutes in until the end. Sunflower stars Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, and Ludmila Savelyeva. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, it would be great to hear from you! Here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_ Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: https://ko-fi.com/russophilesunite
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Podcast Details
Started
Nov 23rd, 2017
Latest Episode
Dec 5th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
41
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
Yes
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