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Pittsburgh hosts the 18th annual Russian Film Symposium

Remakes and sequels are the focus of this year’s analysis

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Especially heading into the summer months, it can seem like everything playing at the American cineplex is a sequel or remake. This year, the 18th annual Russian Film Symposium, themed “Recycle, Restage, Rewind,” looks at the relatively new practice of re-visiting films, whether as sequels or remakes, in contemporary Russian cinema. Among its quirks is the practice of updating or re-doing popular late-Soviet-era films, but set in today’s markedly different political, cultural and economic times.

Selected works screen through Sat., May 7: four during the day on the University of Pittsburgh campus (Posvar Hall, room 1500), and four nighttime screenings at Melwood Screening Room, in Oakland. All films are introduced by film scholars and critics, and include post-screening discussions. The evening screenings are:

Forbidden Empire. Oleg Stepchenko’s 2014 work is an adaptation of Gogol’s 1835 novella Viy, and also a remake of the 1967 film, Vii. In it, an English cartographer travels deep into Eastern Europe, encountering various monsters, odd folk and mysterious doings. 7:30 p.m. Wed., May 4

Angels of the Revolution. Avant-garde artists are dispatched to the Siberian tundra to help the ethnic groups there align with Stalinist nationalism, in Aleksei Fedorchenko’s 2014 film.7:30 p.m. Thu., May 5

The Dawns Are Quiet Here. Renat Davletiarov’s remake of the popular 1972 film depicts a small group of women soldiers during World War II assigned to capture some German scouts. 7:30 p.m. Fri., May 6

The Land of Oz. The Wizard of Oz is just the starting point for this allegorical film from Vasilii Sigarev, which follows a young woman’s journey through a snowy contemporary Russia. 7:30 p.m. Sat., May 7


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