Russophiles Unite! Movie Podcast
Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov; 2002)

Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov; 2002)

April 2, 2020

Ally is joined Moscow resident and YouTuber Jonny Tickle to discuss this meandering, mysterious walk through Russian history and St Petersberg's Hermitage Museum, filmed in a single continuous take.

Expect SPOILERS from about 38 minutes in until the end.

Russian Ark stars Sergei Dreiden.

If you enjoyed this episode, please follow and rate us on Podchaser: www.podchaser.com/russophilesunitemoviepodcast

Find Jonny Tickle on Twitter at: @jonnytickle

Or visit Jonny's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKvzrcnSazCp5gYNbEaFHyg

Aleksandr Sokurov, Russian Ark by Birgit Beumers: hwww.intellectbooks.com/aleksandr-sokurov 

Publish with Intellect Books: www.intellectbooks.com/why-publish-with-us

The show's intro music is Cold by Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants.

You can find more of their music at:

https://thehighlyskilledmigrants.bandcamp.com/

Or: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1cXWmfhuDWyfKfsYADk96F

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

Find Ally's other podcast appearances at: https://www.podchaser.com/creators/alistair-pitts-107ZzmUqmI

My Boyfriend is an Angel (Vera Storozheva; 2011)

My Boyfriend is an Angel (Vera Storozheva; 2011)

February 13, 2020

Ally is joined once again by Carrie to discuss this fantastical rom-com in which Sasha (Anna Starshenbaum), a student, meets Serafim (Artur Smolyaninov), a celestial visitor in Moscow on New Year's Eve.

CONTENT WARNING: As we discuss in this episode, this film contains extreme racial insensitivity and also outright racism.

Expect SPOILERS from about 17 minutes until the end.

My Boyfriend is an Angel also stars Olga Popova, Nikita Efremov, Sergey Puskepalis, Ivan Makarevich, 

The show's intro music is by Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants.

You can find more of their music at:

https://thehighlyskilledmigrants.bandcamp.com/

Or: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1cXWmfhuDWyfKfsYADk96F

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

Office Romance (Eldar Ryazanov; 1977)

Office Romance (Eldar Ryazanov; 1977)

January 9, 2020

Michele Berdy, Moscow Times columnist, translator, and The Word's Worth podcast host, joins Ally to discuss this Brezhnev-era rom-com starring Alisa Freyndlikh and Andrei Myagkov.

Expect SPOILERS from about 42 minutes in until the end.

Office Romance also stars Oleg Basilashvili, Svetlana Nemolyaeva, and Liya Akhedzhakova.

Listen to Michele Berdy's The Word's Worth at: http://wordsworth.themoscowtimes.com/ 

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

Chapayev (Sergey & Georgy Vasilev; 1934)

Chapayev (Sergey & Georgy Vasilev; 1934)

December 5, 2019

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

Anna (Luc Besson; 2019)

Anna (Luc Besson; 2019)

November 7, 2019

This time around we're watching Luc Besson's slightly Cold War-flavoured espionage/action film Anna.

To discuss the film, Ally is once again joined by veteran of the podcast and possible 6th Element, Lyn Seren.

Expect SPOILERS from about 19 minutes in until the end.

CONTENT WARNING: the film includes depictions of an abusive relationship, self-harm, and suicidal behaviour.

Anna stars Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Cillian Murphy, Luke Evans,  and Lera Abova.

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

Sunflower (Vittorio De Sica; 1970)

Sunflower (Vittorio De Sica; 1970)

October 3, 2019

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

How I Ended This Summer (Aleksei Popogrebsky; 2010)

How I Ended This Summer (Aleksei Popogrebsky; 2010)

September 5, 2019

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

Little Vera (Vasily Pichul; 1988)

Little Vera (Vasily Pichul; 1988)

August 1, 2019

Ally is joined by Alissa Timoshkina, chef, KinoVino supper club founder, and author of Salt and Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen to discuss this somewhat notorious drama from the late 1980s glastnost period a few years before the Soviet Union collapsed.

Expect SPOILERS from about 55 minutes in until the end.

CONTENT WARNING: During the film it is revealed that one of the characters was from a present day standpoint in some jurisdictions the victim of statutory rape (Soviet law defined the age of consent as when an individual had reached puberty). There is also a fairly explicit sex scene.

Little Vera stars Natalya Negoda, Andrey Sokolov, Yuri Nazarov, Lyudmila Zaytseva, and Alexandra Tabakova.

Check out Alissa's amazing culinary creations at: www.instagram.com/borsch_and_no_tears/

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

 

Come and See (Elem Klimov; 1985)

Come and See (Elem Klimov; 1985)

July 4, 2019

Ally is joined by London-based singer-songwriter and poet Sasha Ilyukevich for this harrowing journey into Nazi-occupied Belarus in 1943, which stars Aleksey Kravchenko and Olga Mironova.

CONTENT WARNING: Come and See contains sustained depictions of atrocities, including rape and mass murder. It's a very, very tough watch. SPOILERS from about 49 minutes in until the end.

You can find out more about Sasha and his band The Highly Skilled Migrants here: www.sashailyukevich.com/

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_

Onegin (Martha Fiennes; 1999)

Onegin (Martha Fiennes; 1999)

June 6, 2019

We're partying like it's 1999, not just because it's a new season of the podcast, but also because our film this time, Onegin, directed by Martha Fiennes, is from that very year.

Joining Ally for the festivities are two returning guests: writer and period drama drama connoisseur Jenny Shelton, and Russian language and literature graduate and maker of a mean breakfast/brunch sangria Carrie Pitts.

SPOILERS from about 28 minutes onwards. 

CONTENT WARNING: the film contains very brief but fairly graphic violence.

Onegin stars Ralph Fiennes, Liv Tyler, Toby Stephens, and Lena Headey.

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)

Attraction (Fyodor Bondarchuk; 2017)

April 18, 2019

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_

Letter Never Sent (Mikhail Kalatozov; 1960)

Letter Never Sent (Mikhail Kalatozov; 1960)

April 4, 2019

Diamonds! Peril! Shirtless propagandistic digging! are just some of the things awaiting us in Mikhail Kalatozov's Letter Never Sent from 1960.

To discuss the film Ally is once again joined by jolly good chap and fellow REM appreciator Lyn Seren.

Expect SPOILERS from about 20 minutes in onwards.

Letter Never Sent stars Tatyana Samoylova, Evgeny Urbansky, Vasily Livanov, and Innokenty Smoktunovsky.

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)

Welcome, Or No Trespassing (Elem Klimov, 1964)

March 21, 2019

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 Somethingwww.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_

The Cranes are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov; 1957)

The Cranes are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov; 1957)

March 7, 2019

This time around we're watching The Cranes are Flying from 1957, directed by Mikhail Kalatozov.

Ally is once again joined by Russian language & literature grad, foodie, and reluctant veteran of the podcast Carrie Pitts.

SPOILERS from about 18 mins in until the end.

CONTENT WARNING: a rape is strongly implied to have taken place off screen.

The Cranes are Flying stars Tatyana Samoylova, Alexei Batalov, Aleksandr Shvorin, Vasiliy Merkurev, and Svetlana Kharitonova.

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)

The Diamond Arm (Leonid Gaidai; 1969)

February 21, 2019

Ally is joined by Olivia Capozzalo & Smith Freeman, hosts of the She's in Russia podcast to discuss this late 1960s crime caper.

Expect SPOILERS from about 39 minutes in until the end.

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_

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

War and Peace (King Vidor; 1956)

War and Peace (King Vidor; 1956)

February 7, 2019

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_

Prisoner of the Caucasus AKA Kidnapping, Caucasian Style (Leonid Gaidai; 1966)

Prisoner of the Caucasus AKA Kidnapping, Caucasian Style (Leonid Gaidai; 1966)

January 24, 2019

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_

Ivan’s Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1962)

Ivan’s Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1962)

January 10, 2019

Podcaster & writer Spencer Seams joins Ally Pitts to discuss Andrei Tarkovsky's full-length debut Ivan's Childhood from 1962.

Ivan's Childhood stars Nikolai Burlyayev, Valentin Zubkov, Nikolai Grinko, Yevgeny Zharikov, Irma Rausch, and Valentina Malyavina. Expect SPOILERS from about 16 minutes in until the end.

Spencer and fellow previous guest Joel Torres host We Cut Heads: A Spike Lee Podcast.

Russophiles Unite's intro music is Cold by Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants.

You can find more of their music at: thehighlyskilledmigrants.bandcamp.com/ or: open.spotify.com/artist/1cXWmfhuDWyfKfsYADk96F

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: www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite

Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/

Letterboxd: letterboxd.com/Ally_

Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: ko-fi.com/russophilesunite

Find Ally's other podcast appearances at: www.podchaser.com/creators/alistair-pitts-107ZzmUqmI

Yolki AKA Six Degrees of Celebration (Timur Bekmambetov et al.; 2010)

Yolki AKA Six Degrees of Celebration (Timur Bekmambetov et al.; 2010)

December 27, 2018

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_

Mermaid (Anna Melikyan; 2007)

Mermaid (Anna Melikyan; 2007)

December 13, 2018

Fairy tale whimsy, spectacular Russian insults, and interplanetary fraud are just some of the aspects of Anna Melikyan's 2007 film Mermaid discussed in the first episode of season 3 of the Russophiles Unite Movie podcast.

This time around, Ally is joined by podcasters and fairy tale superfans Marilag Angway and Meghan Griffin. Check out their podcast Fableulous Retellings at https://fableulousretellingspodcast.wordpress.com!

Expect SPOILERS from about 19 minutes in until the end.

CONTENT WARNING: suicide is a recurring theme of the film and there's quite a bit of nudity.

Mermaid stars Mariya Shalayeva, Evgeniy Tsyganov, Mariya Sokova, Irina Skrinichenko, Albina Evtushevskaya, and Veronika Skugina.

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_

Ivan the Terrible: Part I (Sergei Eisenstein; 1944)

Ivan the Terrible: Part I (Sergei Eisenstein; 1944)

October 25, 2018

Film Studies masters graduate Esther Jolliffe joins Ally Pitts to discuss this biopic of the first tsar, which was voted 102nd greatest film of all time in the 2012 Sight and Sound Critics' Poll.

Expect SPOILERS from about 13 minutes in until the end. Ivan the Terrible: part I stars Nikolai Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Serafima Birman, and Mikhail Nazvanov.

This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible in Stalin's Russia by Dr Joan Neuberger, which has been shortlisted for the 2020 Pushkin House Book Prize, is available from Cornell University Press.

A list of podcast episodes in which Dr Joan Neuberger discusses This Thing of Darkness: www.podchaser.com/lists/this-thing-of-darkness-a-book-by-dr-joan-neuberger-on-serge-107a4VRRB3

Find out more about #PodRevDay, a way to support your favourite podcasts: www.stephfuccio.com/podrevday

The show's intro music is Cold by Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants.

You can find more of their music at: thehighlyskilledmigrants.bandcamp.com/ or: open.spotify.com/artist/1cXWmfhuDWyfKfsYADk96F

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: www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite

Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/

Letterboxd: letterboxd.com/Ally_

Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: ko-fi.com/russophilesunite

Find Ally's other podcast appearances at: www.podchaser.com/creators/alistair-pitts-107ZzmUqmI

Fiddler on the Roof (Norman Jewison; 1971)

Fiddler on the Roof (Norman Jewison; 1971)

October 11, 2018

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_

The White Sun of the Desert (Vladimir Motyl; 1970)

The White Sun of the Desert (Vladimir Motyl; 1970)

September 27, 2018

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)

Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession (Leonid Gaidai; 1973)

September 13, 2018

Lyn Seren, Russophiles Unite regular and Bill & Ted enthusiast, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this knockabout time-travel comedy caper.

Expect SPOILERS from about 7 minutes in until the end.

Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession stars Yuri Yakovlev, Alexandr Demyanenko, Leonid Kuravlyov, and Natalya Seleznyova.

The show's intro music is Cold by Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants.

You can find more of their music at: thehighlyskilledmigrants.bandcamp.com/ or: open.spotify.com/artist/1cXWmfhuDWyfKfsYADk96F

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: www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite

Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/

Letterboxd: letterboxd.com/Ally_

Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: ko-fi.com/russophilesunite

Find Ally's other podcast appearances at: www.podchaser.com/creators/alistair-pitts-107ZzmUqmI

Assa (Sergei Solovyov; 1987)

Assa (Sergei Solovyov; 1987)

August 30, 2018

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_

Brother (Alexei Balabanov; 1997)

Brother (Alexei Balabanov; 1997)

August 16, 2018

This fortnight's pick is iconic '90s Russian crime movie Brother, directed by Alexei Balabanov.

It stars Sergei Bodrov Jr, Viktor Sukhorukov, Svetlana Pismichenko, Yury Kuznetsov, and Sergei Murzin.

Ally is joined by author, former police officer, and expert on Russian organised crime Mark Bullen.

DETAILED SPOILERS from about 32 minutes in until the end.

Content warning: one scene ends with the implication that a character is about to be raped.

Mark's book Thief in Law, which is a guide to the tattoos and culture of Russian-speaking organised criminal gangs is available from Schiffer Books in the United States: www.schifferbooks.com/thief-in-law-a-guide-to-russian-prison-tattoos-and-russian-speaking-organized-crime-6499.html

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_

Aelita, Queen of Mars (Yakov Protazanov; 1924)

Aelita, Queen of Mars (Yakov Protazanov; 1924)

August 2, 2018

Silence! We're off to the Red Planet for early sci-fi Aelita: Queen of Mars, directed by Yakov Protazanov.

The film stars Nikolai Tsereteli, Valentina Kuindzhi, Yuliya Solntseva, Nikolai Batalov, and Pavel Pol.

For this episode, Ally is joined by artist, podcaster, and possible dread pirate Sarah Roberts, who co-hosts 'Please Don't Send Me into Outer Space'.

SPOILERS from about 11 minutes in until the end.

Check out Sarah's website here: http://sarahkathleenroberts.com/

The outro music is by Gamers in Exile, from their alternative soundtrack to the film and is used with their kind permission. The full version can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/unbearablerecordings

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/

 

Nicholas & Alexandra (Franklin J. Schaffner; 1971)

Nicholas & Alexandra (Franklin J. Schaffner; 1971)

July 17, 2018

For this week's episode, we're watching Nicholas & Alexandra, directed by Franklin J. Schaffner.

It stars Michael Jayston, Janet Suzman, Laurence Olivier, John McEnery, Michael Bryant, and Tom Baker.

To discuss the film, Ally is joined by Moscow-based artist Ayna Niyazova.

SPOILERS from about 25 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_

My Friend Ivan Lapshin (Aleksei German Sr; 1985)

My Friend Ivan Lapshin (Aleksei German Sr; 1985)

July 5, 2018

Ally is joined by Martin Kessler, filmmaker and host of Flixwise: Canada to discuss this 1930s-set film that is part memoir, part crime drama.

CONTENT WARNING: the film depicts a suicide attempt.

SPOILERS from about 23 minutes in until the end.

Martin has also written a series of in-depth essays on Aleksei German and his films published by film site The Pink Smoke.

My Friend Ivan Lapshin stars Andrei Boltnev, Nina Ruslanova, and Andrey Mironov.

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_

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

The Sun (Alexander Sokurov; 2005)

The Sun (Alexander Sokurov; 2005)

June 21, 2018

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_

The Barber of Siberia (Nikita Mikhalkov; 1998)

The Barber of Siberia (Nikita Mikhalkov; 1998)

June 7, 2018

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_

Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1966)

Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1966)

May 24, 2018

Lyn Seren, man who likes interesting films and appreciator of dogs, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this historical epic/unconventional biopic of the famous Russian icon painter.

Expect SPOILERS from about 7 minutes in until the end.

Find out more about #PodRevDay, a way to support your favourite podcasts: www.stephfuccio.com/podrevday

The show's intro music is Cold by Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants.

You can find more of their music at: thehighlyskilledmigrants.bandcamp.com/ or: open.spotify.com/artist/1cXWmfhuDWyfKfsYADk96F

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: www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite

Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/

Letterboxd: letterboxd.com/Ally_

Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: ko-fi.com/russophilesunite

Find Ally's other podcast appearances at: www.podchaser.com/creators/alistair-pitts-107ZzmUqmI

Window to Paris (Yuri Mamin; 1993)

Window to Paris (Yuri Mamin; 1993)

April 12, 2018

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/

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Igor Maslennikov; 1981)

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Igor Maslennikov; 1981)

March 29, 2018

This fortnight we're taking The Hound of the Baskervilles from 1981 for a walk.

It stars Vasily Livanov, Viktor Solomin and Nikita Mikhalkov, and was directed by Igor Maslennikov.

For this episode, Ally is joined by podcaster and Comrade Radio network founder Malcolm Nygard.

SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS from about 34 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/

Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg; 2007)

Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg; 2007)

March 15, 2018

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 Thomsonwhich 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/

Through the Thorns to the Stars (Richard Viktorov; 1980)

Through the Thorns to the Stars (Richard Viktorov; 1980)

March 1, 2018

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 WomanYep, 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 MetyolkinaVadim 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/

The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci; 2017)

The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci; 2017)

February 15, 2018

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 BealeJeffrey 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

Loveless (Andrei Zvyagintsev; 2017)

Loveless (Andrei Zvyagintsev; 2017)

February 14, 2018

As a special Valentine's Day treat, we're watching Andrei Zvyagintsev's latest film, Loveless from 2017.

The film stars Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, and Matvey Novikov. It has been nominated for a Bafta for Best Film Not in the English Language, and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

To discuss the film, Ally is joined by former Moscow resident and self-described emergency back-up guest Carrie Pitts.

We've tried to avoid SPOILERS but be aware that they may occur 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 options:

Twitter: @RussophilesU

Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/

Theme music by: Captain Anchovy

Stalingrad (Fyodor Bondarchuk; 2013)

Stalingrad (Fyodor Bondarchuk; 2013)

February 1, 2018

This time around we're watching Stalingrad, from 2013 and directed by Fyodor Bondarchuk.

The film stars  Mariya Smolyakina, Yanina StudilinaPyotr FyodorovThomas Kretschmann, Sergey Bondarchuk, Dmitri Lysenkov, Andrey SmolyakovAleksey Barabash, and Oleg Volku. It was Russia's entry for Best Film in the 87th Oscars, but it ultimately wasn't nominated.

To discuss the film, Ally is joined by former A-level film studies student and Chuckle Brother Award co-winner (2004) Patrick Say.

This episode contains SPOILERS from 20 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/

Theme music by: Aardvarks of Destruction

Lady Macbeth (William Oldroyd; 2016)

Lady Macbeth (William Oldroyd; 2016)

January 18, 2018

Lyn Seren, film enthusiast, cat admirer, and car owner, joins Ally Pitts to discuss British film Lady Macbeth, which features a star-making performance by Florence Pugh.

Expect SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS from 4 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: If you're planning to watch the film, you should be aware that it contains scenes of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The film stars also Cosmo JarvisPaul Hilton, and Naomi Ackie. The screenplay is an adaptation of Nikolai Leskov's novella Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District by Alice Birch.

Russophiles Unite's intro music is Cold by Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants.

You can find more of their music at: thehighlyskilledmigrants.bandcamp.com/ or: open.spotify.com/artist/1cXWmfhuDWyfKfsYADk96F

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: www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite

Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/

Letterboxd: letterboxd.com/Ally_

Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: ko-fi.com/russophilesunite

Find Ally's other podcast appearances at: www.podchaser.com/creators/alistair-pitts-107ZzmUqmI

Tsar (Pavel Lungin; 2009)

Tsar (Pavel Lungin; 2009)

January 4, 2018

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 Irony of Fate (Eldar Ryazanov; 1975) Special Festive Episode!!!

The Irony of Fate (Eldar Ryazanov; 1975) Special Festive Episode!!!

December 21, 2017

The film this time around is perennial Russian festive favourite The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy your Bath! from 1975. It was directed by Eldar Ryazanov and stars Andrey Myagkov, Barbara Brylska, and Yury Yakovlev (NOT Yakolev, like I kept saying on the episode).

To discuss the film, Ally is joined by Russian language and literature grad and former Moscow resident Carrie Pitts.

This episode is mildy SPOILER-y from 20 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, here are some options:

Twitter: @RussophilesU

Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/russophilesunite/

Theme music by: Ghosts of New Years Past

Moscow does not Believe in Tears (Vladimir Menshov; 1980)

Moscow does not Believe in Tears (Vladimir Menshov; 1980)

December 7, 2017

Jenny Shelton, writer and period drama enthusiast, joins Ally Pitts to review Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Picture winner for 1980 Moscow does not Believe in Tears, directed by Vladimir Menshov. Apparently, Ronald Reagan watched it a whole bunch of times, but please don't hold that against it.

Expect SPOILERS from about 13 minutes in until the end.

CONTENT WARNING: Please be aware that the film depicts a character being rape (mostly off-screen), and that we discuss this incident during the course of the podcast.

Moscow does not Believe in Tears stars Vera AlentovaIrina MuravyovaRaisa Ryazanova, and Aleksei Batalov.

If you enjoyed this episode, please follow and rate us on Podchaser: www.podchaser.com/russophilesunitemoviepodcast

Find Jenny on Twitter at: @JennySheltonCam

World Film Locations Moscow, edited by Birgit Beumers: www.intellectbooks.com/world-film-locations-moscow

World Film Locations series from Intellect Books: https://www.intellectbooks.com/world-film-locations

The show's intro music is Cold by Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants.

You can find more of their music at:

https://thehighlyskilledmigrants.bandcamp.com/

Or: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1cXWmfhuDWyfKfsYADk96F

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

Find Ally's other podcast appearances at: https://www.podchaser.com/creators/alistair-pitts-107ZzmUqmI

 

[Pilot Episode] Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1979)

[Pilot Episode] Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1979)

November 23, 2017

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 KaydanovskiyAnatoliy 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