Russophiles Unite! Movie Podcast
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

Happy New Year, folks! For this first episode of 2019, we're watching Andrei Tarkovsky's full-length debut Ivan's Childhood from 1962.

Joining Ally once again is podcaster & writer Spencer Seams, who longtime listeners will remember from last year's episode on Pavel Lungin's Tsar.

Spencer & his co-host Joel Torres just concluded their run through Akira Kurosawa's films (plus a ton of other amazing Japanese cinema), High & Low: a Kurosawa Podcast. Go and check it out! https://highandlowpod.podbean.com/

Ivan's Childhood stars Nikolai Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov, Nikolai Grinko, Yevgeny Zharikov, and Irma Rausch.

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_

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

Finally, a Sergei Eisenstein film! And it only took us two seasons! For the last episode in the current season we're watching Ivan the Terrible, part I from 1944.

To discuss the film, Ally is joined by film masters graduate and montage enthusiast Essie Jolliffe.

Expect SPOILERS from about 10 minutes in until the end.

Ivan the Terrible, part I stars: Nikolai Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Serafima Birman, and Mikhail Nazvanov.

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_

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

This fortnight's movie is Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession AKA Ivan Vasilyevich: Back to the Future, directed Leonid Gaidai.

To discuss the film, Ally is joined by Russophiles Unite regular and Bill and Ted enthusiast Lyn Seren.

Expect SPOILERS from about 7 minutes in until the end.

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

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_

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_