"Russian Nights" Festival

Russian Nights A Cultural Experience Announces Slate of Screenings and Special Events April 16-23, 2004 Los Angeles, California  LOS ANGELES, CA -- RUSSIAN NIGHTS: A Cultural Experience, a festival that celebrates Russian contributions to the world of art.

The Festival runs April 16 - April 23, 2004 and will highlight more than 20 films including features, shorts, documentaries and the Young Filmmakers Forum. As well as Russian Art, Music, Theatre, and Poetry.

RUSSIAN NIGHTS creator, Stas Namin, is proud to see the festival return for its second year as an outgrowth offering something for every arts aficionado: classical, jazz and ethnic music; ballet and modern dance; live theater performances; visual fine arts and honoring its inception last year the festival will highlight work from both prominent and emerging filmmakers. "It is tremendous to witness the growth of this event in just one year and the positive community impact it provides," says Namin. "The festival is the largest Russian cultural experience in the United States. With our visual fine arts, theatrical and exceptional film line-up, we expect this to be our most successful festival yet."

All RUSSIAN NIGHTS: A Cultural Experience full-length feature films will be screened at the Pacific Design Center's Silver Screen Theatre ( 8687 Melrose Ave., W. Hollywood), with a shorts program scheduled at the Falcon Restaurant ( 7213 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood ) unless otherwise noted.  Below are a few of the films which will be featured at the festival.

Opening night:

A YOUNG LADY AND A HOOLIGAN (1918, E. Slavinsky, V. Mayakovsky, 40 min) A Young Lady and a Hooligan is the first film by the leading poet of Russian Revolution of 1917 and of the early Soviet period, one of the founders of Russian Futurism movement Vladimir Mayakovsky. A Young Lady and a Hooligan tells the story of a hopeless hooligan who falls in love with a sweet young teacher and contrives to meet her in the park to confess his feelings. Meanwhile, his friends harass him for giving up his old ways for her. His early poems have strong painterly visions and sequences in many of his works recall film techniques. Mayakovsky was deeply concerned with the problem of death throughout his life, and in 1930, troubled by critics and disappointment in love; he shot himself with a revolver.


AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY (2001, Eva Gardos, 107 min)
On April 17, 2004 Nastassja Kinski will attend the special presentation and reception for the American made, An American Rhapsody which starred Kinski and Scarlett Johansnon. Russian actress and filmmaker Eva Gardos lived in Hungary until age 7, and then was whisked away to Canada. She's written and directed her story in An American Rhapsody. A Hungarian couple, Peter and Margit, are forced to flee from the oppressive communist country for the USA with their eldest daughter Maria, but are forced to leave behind their infant daughter Suzanne who is raised by kindly foster couple. Six years later, Peter and Margit arrange for the American Red Cross to bring Suzanne to their new home in Los Angeles where the perplexed youth is forced to accept her sudden change in home and country which leads to a troubled growing up. At age 15, the rebellious and unsure-of-herself Suzanne tries to come to terms with her roots and decides to travel back to Budapest, Hungary to find her true identity.
Closing Night:

72 METERS (2004, V. Khotinenko, 100 min)
The festival culminates on Thursday, April 22 with the U.S. Premiere of Vladimir Khotinenko's submarine drama 72 meters. The film made box office history in Russia by making $1.25 million after two weeks in wide release in Russian. Namin calls 72 meters, "the Russian answer to the American film "K-19".
The rarest film to be showcased is E. Bauer's After Death of which Namin says, "A prophetic picture, Bauer has a presentiment of his fast death and destruction of the country." Adapted from Turgenev's story Klara Milich, After Death is imbued with one of Bauer's favorite themes: the psychological hold of the dead over the living. The hero, dragged protesting to a social event, meets a young actress but spurns her. She kills herself. Seized with remorse and haunted by dreams and apparitions of the young woman, our hero finds himself drawn inexorably towards the realm of the dead. At the time he filmed After Death, Bauer's technical mastery was at its height. Bauer's direction resulted in a film unmatched by any other filmmaker of the period or some years after. Bauer's career as a filmmaker is all the more remarkable in that it lasted a mere four years - from 1913 until his death from pneumonia in June 1917 at the age of 52. In that time he directed over 80 films, of which more than a quarter is currently known to survive.

For a complete listing of the film program, visit the festival website: www.russiannightsfest.com. Russian Nights is sponsored in part by LA Weekly, Panorama Media, 7 Arts, Adelphia, Rodnik Vodka, Samuel Adams Beer, the Pacific Design Center, Movieline's Hollywood Life, IN! Magazine and the National Bartenders School. For Press Accreditation please visit www.russiannightsfest.com/PressAccreditation. For more festival details and ticket information, please call 310.712.2588 or visit www.russiannightsfest.com. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketweb.com or by calling 866.468.3399.


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