CULTURE

From Russia with love: A history of Soviet movies

The Thessaloniki Film Museum is about to acquire rare and valuable material related to Soviet cinema from the Moscow State Film Museum, which has bequeathed its Greek counterpart with posters from films and, most importantly, 600 rare issues (almost the entire collection) of the magazine Sovietski Ekran (Soviet Screen). This historical magazine was in circulation from 1924-1930 and again during the period 1957-1989, and represented the most comprehensive guide to Soviet film production. Its early issues – which are hard to come by even in Russia – as well as the series of second editions given to the Thessaloniki Film Museum, compile rare documentation tracing the course of Soviet cinema, such as articles written by Sergei Eisenstein, Sergei Bondarchuk and Andrei Tarkovsky, lists of films that have been awarded at international festivals, and profiles on filmmakers and actors. Leafing through old issues of Soviet Screen, one can find information on the most important directors of Soviet cinema to have established a reputation on a world scale, as well as details of productions made in studios throughout the Soviet Union, in Kiev, Odessa, Kazakhstan and Leningrad, or at the state-run production company MOSFILM, to which the Moscow Film Museum once belonged. For the past six years the Moscow Film Museum has been an independent organization, compiling important archival material. The Moscow museum’s donation to Thessaloniki comes as part of a friendship and cooperation agreement signed between the two bodies in Moscow last June, which also includes cultural exchanges and opportunities to screen Greek films in Moscow and Soviet ones in Thessaloniki.