Screen 1967–1968

Alexander Fedorov
3 min readOct 14, 2020


Screen 1967–1968 (1968, put in a set in March 1968)

The Resolution of the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee “On measures for further development of the social sciences and enhance their role in the building of communism” (Resolution…, 1967) full of standard phrases about the need to “increase” and “strengthen”… But pathetic celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1917 revolution was the most important political event in the USSR preceding the release of Screen 1967–1968.

For example, D. Pisarevsky stacked enthusiastic ode to the restored version of the film October (1927): “No, this film is not old, not lost the explosive power of this revolutionary art fiery epic! … sings the glory of victorious working class people and Leninist party” (Pisarevsky, 1968, pp.19–20). And then D. Pisarevsky snobbish glorified “panorama of national heroism” in the “historical and revolutionary” film October by E. Dzigan (1998–1981) (Pisarevsky, 1968, p. 23). Iron Stream

But in general, the compilers of the Yearbook still managed to keep film studies level and published, for example, of two wonderful articles of L. Anninsky.

L. Anninsky wrote a significant article about M. Khutsiev’s masterpiece July Rain. The critic asked a very sharp at the time the question: “Khutsiev listen to the rhythm of the modern soul at the decisive moment of choice. The artist talks about spiritual culture, trust, humanity. … In essence, Khutsiev continues the meditation, which was first performed in the movie But now with a little more alert. Why?” (Anninsky, 1968, p. 34). I am 20 years old.

L. Anninsky, of course, could not to answer this question directly, indicating director’s feeling of ‘thaw’s collapse, for censorship reasons. Therefore, instead of a direct answer last sentence of Anninsky’s review was truly a model of allegory (Anninsky, 1968, p. 34)…

Yearbook continued support of poetic cinema. I. Lishchinsky wrote about Umbrella by M. Kobakhidze that “the Georgian cinema is rich in young talent. In this ensemble M. Kobakhidze has original voice and its own melody: mocking, ironic, a little sad, but it is clearly distinguishable, and it is necessary to listen” (Lishchinsky, 1968, p. 63). N. Lordkipanidze generally supported the poetic debut of E. Ishmuhamedov — : “The picture is made with obvious, undisguised focus on people susceptible — and mentally, and artistically. If this susceptibility is not, you probably will be bored” (Lordkipanidze, 1968, p. 61). Tenderness

M. Bleyman’s article about an eccentric in a movie ( ) (Bleyman 1967, p. 80–82) looks boring and banal today. But the article by Revich (1929–1997) on the fantasy genre (Revich, 1967, pp. 82–86), in my opinion, has not lost a polemical fervor. Beware of the Car, Operation ‘Y’,” Prisoner of the Caucasus, 33
Box office champion and audience favorite, Amphibian Man by G. Kazansky (1910–1983) and V. Chebotarev (1921–2010) was the first critic’s object for attack: “What about a A. Belyaev’s novel? This is about tragedy of disillusionment in the society of businessmen and shopkeepers. What are the ideas of the film? Political kept to a depressing straightness, and the art became a melodramatic love triangle and tasteless Ichthyander-Tarzan walks on the roofs” (Revich, 1968, p.83).

Here it is the typical anti-genre approach of ideologically socialist orientated critics, when Soviet criticism demanded a class-political conclusions from exotic folk and fairy tales, mixed with the bright melodramatic stories. As D. Gorelov correctly noted that Amphibian Man became “the first post-Stalin era super-blockbuster. … A competent producer could see that ocean of gold … But Chebotarev & Kazansky were in the wild, ugly, ruthless world of freedom, equality and fraternity, where financial profit meant nothing… Critics scolded them for their lightness and attraction… Journal for the first time blatantly falsified the results of the annual reader’s opinions, giving primacy gray and long since dead drama …” (Gorelov, 2001). Soviet Screen

The remaining number of pages of the yearbook, as always, took portraits of filmmakers: N. Mikhalkov (Zinoviev, Markov, 1968, pp. 64–66) O. Iosseliani (Dolinsky, Chertok, 1968, pp. 41–45), S. Ursky, A. Batalov, P. Aleynikov, D. Banionis, T. Doronina, R. Bykov (Levshina 1968, pp. 76–79).

Alexander Fedorov, 2016

Originally published at



Alexander Fedorov

Film Critic and Film Historian