University of Pittsburgh
April 18, 2016

Pitt and Pittsburgh Filmmakers to Host 18th Annual Russian Film Symposium


Katie Fike


PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Filmmakers will present the 18th Annual Russian Film Symposium May 2 to 7 at Pitt’s Oakland campus and Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. Titled “Recycle, Restage, Rewind,” the symposium will interrogate the curiously frequent production of sequels and remakes recently in the Russian film industry.

While remakes and sequels have long been a staple of filmmaking in the United States and Western Europe, they were rare during the years of the Soviet Union. Over the past decade, however, remakes and sequels have been a major presence on Russian screens. While this trend can be explained in part by the Russian film industry’s adoption of Western and international film practices, the specific kinds of remakes and sequels in Russia differ dramatically from their Western counterparts. Strangest of all (from the Western view), the boundary between remakes and sequels is blurred in Russia: both are grounded in popular late-Soviet films but are set in present-day Russia, thereby foregrounding the discontinuities between daily life under “developed socialism” and daily life in the conditions of “developing capitalism.”Russian Film Symposium

For its discussions of this turn in recent Russian film, the Russian Film Symposium has gathered an international assembly of well-known Russian scholars and critics: Denis Gorelov, the dedicated film critic for Izvestiia and a television scriptwriter whose credits include the satirical 1990s Puppets; Larisa Maliukova, a film critic (and screenwriter) whose book Beyond/Cinema won the White Elephant for film scholarship; and Sergei Sychev, a journalist, film critic, and teacher at the Institute of Contemporary Arts at Moscow State University.

All films except 2-ASSA-2 will have English subtitles. The schedule of film screenings follows. 

Monday, May 2
The Postman’s White Nights (2014), an elegiac portrait of an isolated Far Northern village
Directed by Andrei Konchalovskii
10 a.m., Room 1500, Wesley W. Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland

2-ASSA-2 (2009), a surreal return in the Putin era to the bohemian heroes of the Perestroika original
Directed by Sergei Solovjev
2 p.m., Room 1500, Posvar Hall 

Tuesday, May 3
The Forty First (1956), a groundbreaking Soviet exploration of sentiment and sexuality
Directed by Grigorii Chukhrai
10 a.m., Room 1500, Posvar Hall 

Dukhless 2 (2015), the continued education of the new Russian “hero of our time”
Directed by Roman Prygunov
2 p.m., Room 1500, Posvar Hall 

Wednesday, May 4
Elki 2 (2011), an almanac film extending the highly popular franchise about Russians coming together for the holidays
Directed by Dmitrii Kiselev, et al.
10 a.m., Room 1500, Posvar Hall

Forbidden Empire (Viy) (2014), an adventure story set in the paranormal backwoods of Ukraine
Directed by Oleg Stepchenko
7:30 p.m., Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland 

Thursday, May 5
Vocal Parallels (2005), a film “tapestry” finely woven from the preserved threads of the Soviet empire
Directed by Rustam Khamdamov
10 a.m., Room 1500, Posvar Hall

Angels of Revolution (2014), a free re-enactment of a rebellion against Soviet collectivization
Directed by Aleksei Fedorchenko
7:30 p.m., Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland 

Friday, May 6
Kiss Them All! 2: We Will Live (2014), a comic battle for control over the usually somber funeral ritual
Directed by Zhora Kryzhovnikov
10 a.m., Room 1500, Posvar Hall

The Irony of Fate 2 (2016), a depiction of the intertwined fates of the children of the heroes of the original, classic romantic comedy
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
2 p.m., Room 1500, Posvar Hall

The Dawns Are Quiet Here (2015), a remake of a World War II film about a group of young female anti-aircraft gunners
Directed by Renat Davletiarov
7:30 p.m., Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland

Saturday, May 7
The Land of Oz (2015), an interpretation of the Oz story set in the industrial and frozen Urals
Directed by Vasilii Sigarev
7:30 p.m., Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland

The Russian Film Symposium is supported by the Office of the Provost’s Year of the Humanities in the University, the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Office of the Dean, the University Center for International Studies, the Center for Russian and East European Studies, the Humanities Center, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Cultural Studies Program, and a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

For more information and a full schedule of screenings, visit