"Wooden room", dir. E.Yufit
"Tractor drivers-2", dir. br.Aleynikoff
"Кara", dir. D.Frolov
"The Lonely Vote Of A Man", dir. A.Sokurov
"Fishing the birds", dir. E.Shelganov
"A Daughter of Albion", dir. K.Kasatov
Russian indies at the end of 20-th century
In spite of the fact that the cinematograph of the Soviet Union remained as a state till down to perestroyka, already in the beginning of 1980s, on a decline of like a Brezhnev's type epoch, there is that it is possible to name as independent cinema.
Alexander Sokurov has proved to one of first, what even in entrails of the Soviet system it is possible to make something if you want, and if around of you – the adherents.
His feature film The Lonely Vote Of A Man (1978), which was born from a course student's work, opened new horizons in motion picture arts.
The follower of Sokurov, Igor Alimpiev, developed opportunities of author's documentaristics, having created own style of game black-and-white cinema in film Shell (1990). Now he makes a documentary essay Russians In Searches Of Love And Death.
Sergey Selyanov have to be recognized as the pioneer of independent Russian cinema. He shot together with other young director Nikolay Makarov in 1988 by a "underground" way a philosophical film A Day Of The Angel under the script of Mikhail Konovaltchouk.
And now Selyanov at the studio STV realizes the most arrogant noncommercial projects: Aleksey Balabanov's, Oleg Kovalov's and other author's films.
At the beginning of 1990s years in Moscow and St. Petersburg occur groups of young cinematographers developing traditions of Russian film-avantguarders Dziga Vertov, Lev Kouleshov, Faxes: Aleynikov brothers, Boris Youkhananov, Debil Kondratiev and also Eugeniy Youfit, which started "necrorealism" – great way at Russian cinema-underground.
The Georgian Alex Tsabadze (A Stain), the Kazakh Rashid Nougmanov (Ya-khha, A Needle), the Latvian Yris Podnieks (Whether It Is Easily To Be Young?), the Russian Oleg Teptsov (Mister the designer, A Devoted) in many respects promoted development of publicity and punched a gap in a bastion of official cinema by theirs courageous innovative films.
There was a concept "parallel cinema", which united young actors, authors, directors and critics – Sergey Dobrotvorsky (died in 1997), Maxim Pezhemsky, Konstantin Mourzenko from group "Che-paev", animator Sergey Bougaev-"Africa", Victor Tikhomirov (from "Mitiki") and Inal Savtchenko ("The New Artists"). They use parallel, but own way in a cinematograph.
The new wave was born as "independent" at the end of 1990s and brought up there authors like Eugeny Ivanov (A Nicotin, A Spirit), Maxim Pezhemsky (The Transition Of Comrade Chkalov Through North Pole, Rigid time), Gennady Novikov (The Young Man From Sea Depths), Alexander Bashirov (The Iron Heel), Andrey Kouklin (Predstoyanie, Kouranta), Dmitry Frolov (The Bigmoon Nights, The Clownery), Maria Solovtsova, Yriy Feting.
Now russian cinematograph experiences heaviest in the history crisis, caused by a common economic situation, competition of the European and American commercial cinema, video and TV. Cinemas are empty...
But at deserted apartments, garret studios, illusive garages young enthusiasts do not stop impertinent experiments, conjure with slices of a film, make the way on TV – to make a long story short, do not cease to search for new ways in motion picture arts of the end of 20-th century.
(This article is written for catalogue of 1-st International Festival of Independent cinema in Prague, November 1999)
(Translated from Russian into English by Ignaz Bobtschuk)