Carnival in Moscow

Carnival Night

classified U S

Melodia! Musicals from Russia and the Caucasus


Please note: This was screened in Jan 2020

Eldar Ryazanov
Igor Ilyinsky, Lyudmila Gurchenko, Yuri Belov
78 mins, Subtitled, 1956, Russian

A brilliant parody of Soviet top-down bureaucracy, Eldar Ryzanov’s debut musical comedy satirises the appointment of a new Director of a House of Culture, who threatens the New Year’s party plans of his co-workers.

A youthful committee organising the New Year’s party finds itself having to contend with a newly appointed and very serious director of a House of Culture. Determined that they shall not be denied their fun, and that the evening will not dissolve into interminable lectures on self-improvement, they outfox the new Director as bureaucracy is comedically utilised for ridicule.

Light and nimble, this little miracle of innocence, gaiety, mischief and fun proved that Soviet cinema could do musicals just as well as its Hollywood counterparts. One of the most commercially successful films in Soviet history, and featuring stellar performances from Lyudmila Gurchenko and veteran Russian comic actor Igor Ilyinsky, Carnival Night remains a seasonal Russian favourite.

With thanks to the Kino Klassika Foundation who create programs of restorations, publications, art commissions and events to spotlight Russian language cinema.Screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO.

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