Wednesday, 25 September
AMPHIBIAN MAN 1962 (Человек-амфибия,Chelovek-Amfibiya) Directed by Vladimir Chebotaryov 82 minutes In Russian with English subtitles
A 1928 science-fiction/fairy-tale, dear to generations of Russians, was brought with loving care to their cinemas in 1961 and attracted lines of adoring fans, which spanned blocks at the box offices. In fact it sold more than 65 million tickets. All of a sudden, the supernatural "Sea Devil" theme music was being whistled on every Russian's lips throughout the country.
This is very different from, for example, Tarkovsky - much faster-paced, much more obviously crowd-pleasing, but still suffused with the intensely melancholic introspection that seems to be characteristic of most Russian culture. And it's a winning combination. The story concerns a sea devil which is haunting a small fishing village.. but things turn out to be very different than what they seem.
Amphibian Man is a real dream of a film, with a mystical fairy-tale mood, glittery costumes worthy of Diaghilev and wild organ music. Although it's a masterpiece of cinema, and was a smash hit in Russia when it came out, it has still has rarely ever been shown outside its homeland... so I hope you can come to this very rare screening of this precious gem!
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