University of Pittsburgh
April 24, 2007

Pitt and Pittsburgh Filmmakers to Host 9th Annual Russian Film Symposium April 30-May 5

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Filmmakers will host the 9th Annual Russian Film Symposium from April 30 to May 5 at Pitt's Oakland campus and the Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. The symposium, titled "Melodrama and Kino-Ideology," will address the questions: How does contemporary Russian melodrama reveal its own past? Are there ideological threads running through today's work, or, by contrast, is there a kind of exultation in the new opportunity finally to shoot melodrama on its own merit?

The symposium will bring together some of the most well-recognized scholars and critics currently working in Russian film, including Dmitrii Saveliev and Mikhail Trofimenkov, award-winning Russian cinema critics from St. Petersburg; Oleg Sulkin, a New York-based Russian cinema and theater critic; resident film expert Marcia Landy, a Pitt Distinguished Service Professor of English/Film Studies; and Lucy Fischer, professor and director of the Film Studies Program at Pitt.

According to the Russian Film Symposium Web site, "Russo-Soviet melodrama has tended to be self-consciously-one might even say, requisitely-ideological, embedding the "private" sphere within the "public" one. Historically insufficient according to the ideological demands of Marxism-Leninism and prone to dismissal as trite and insubstantial, Soviet melodrama had been perpetually vulnerable to charges of inadequate vigilance and Party-mindedness; its film texts struggled to manifest the ideological dimension explicitly so as to shore up a place in the industry."

Campus screenings will be presented in Room 106, David Lawrence Hall (DLH), 3942 Forbes Ave. All Pitt screenings are free and open to the public. Admission to Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room films is $5. Film specialists will present introductions for each film, and discussion sessions will be held after every screening. The film symposium schedule is as follows:

4/30 "Man of No Return" (2006), Ekaterina Gorokhovskaia, 10 a.m., DLH; and

"The Italian" (2005), Andrei Kravchuk, 2 p.m., DLH.

5/1 "Relations" (2006), Avdotia Smirnova, 10 a.m., DLH; and

"Inhale-Exhale" (2006), Ivan Dykhovichnyi, 2 p.m., DLH.

5/2 "The Spot" (2006), Iurii Moroz, 10 a.m., DLH; and

"Transit" (2006), Aleksandr Rogozhkin, 7 p.m., Melwood.

5/3 "Free Floating" (2006), Boris Khlebnikov, 2 p.m., DLH; and

"It Doesn't Hurt" (2006), Aleksei Balabanov, 7 p.m., Melwood.

5/4 "Two in One" (2007), Kira Muratova, 10 a.m., DLH;

"Polumgla" (2005), Artem Antonov, 2 p.m., DLH; and

"Alive" (2006), Aleksandr Veledinskii, 7 p.m., Melwood.

5/5 "Euphoria" (2006), Ivan Vyrypaev, 7 p.m., Melwood.

The symposium also will include two roundtable sessions with academic papers delivered by leading U.S. and Russian experts on melodrama. The first discussion will take place at 11 a.m. May 3 in the back room of Hemingway's, 3911 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Papers will be presented by symposium guests Saveliev, Trofimenkov, Sulkin, and Landy. The second roundtable, an overview of the film series, will take place at the same location, at

11 a.m. May 5.

All films have English subtitles. For more information, visit