The Russian film company, Mosfilm, has produced some of the great classics of Soviet cinema. The company’s history is rooted in the early days of the Soviet Union and the ground-breaking cinema of the 1920s. Recently Mosfilm decided to make dozens of its best-known movies freely available on YouTube. The agreement between Mosfilm and YouTube means that an initial batch of 50 films that still have legendary status in Russia but are little known outside the country will for the first time find a wide foreign audience. Unabridged versions of these films have been posted with subtitles. Mosfilm hopes to add five new films every week so that by the end of the year a library of 200 films will be available in high definition.
The main Mosfilm website offers a wide range of Russian and Soviet films to view (free!) and download ($2.30 per title!), including many with subtitles. There is an English language navigation option, and the films are presented in excellent quality (less compressed than those on YouTube), with image and sound restored along with brief annotations. This fabulous project was launched with 142 films; today there are over 580 titles with more being added.
The Mosfilm YouTube directory/website is in Russian; Google Language Tools provides a Russian to English translation. Many of the Mosfilm titles are available on DVD in the US, such as White Sun of the Desert (1969, dir. Vladimir Motyl) and films of Andrey Tarkovsky. But there are some real rarities, for example a subtitled version of Ivan Pyryev’s notorious Stalin-era kolkhoz musical, Kuban Cossacks (1949, dir. Ivan Pyriev). Go forth, and view!
“We believe that even in the age of Google and globalization, the Humanities continue to shape the way people study, research and publish and that libraries are at the center of this enterprise."
Search the Humanities Blog
SubscribeYou can subscribe via e-mail. You will be alerted with an e-mail message whenever something new is posted, and can unsubscribe at any time. RSS Feed