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By Film Threat Staff | April 15, 2004

Russian Nights: A Cultural Experience, a festival that celebrates Russian contributions to the world of art, has announced its film line-up for the 2004 event. The Festival runs April 16 – April 23 with films scheduled to screen at the Pacific Design Center’s Silver Screen Theatre (8687 Melrose Ave., W. Hollywood), with a shorts program scheduled at the Falcon Restaurant (7213 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood).
OPENING NIGHT: ^ “A YOUNG LADY AND A HOOLIGAN (1918, E. Slavinsky, V. Mayakovsky, 40 min) ^ A Young Lady and a Hooligan is the first film by the leading poet of Russian Revolution of 1917 and of the early Soviet period, one of the founders of Russian Futurism movement Vladimir Mayakovsky. A Young Lady and a Hooligan tells the story of a hopeless hooligan who falls in love with a sweet young teacher and contrives to meet her in the park to confess his feelings. Meanwhile, his friends harass him for giving up his old ways for her. His early poems have strong painterly visions and sequences in many of his works recall film techniques. Mayakovsky was deeply concerned with the problem of death throughout his life, and in 1930, troubled by critics and disappointment in love; he shot himself with a revolver.
CENTERPIECE: ^ “AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY” (2001, Eva Gardos, 107 min) ^ On April 17, 2004 Nastassja Kinski will attend the special presentation and reception for the American made, An American Rhapsody which starred Kinski and Scarlett Johansnon. Russian actress and filmmaker Eva Gardos lived in Hungary until age 7, and then was whisked away to Canada. She’s written and directed her story in An American Rhapsody. A Hungarian couple, Peter and Margit, are forced to flee from the oppressive communist country for the USA with their eldest daughter Maria, but are forced to leave behind their infant daughter Suzanne who is raised by kindly foster couple. Six years later, Peter and Margit arrange for the American Red Cross to bring Suzanne to their new home in Los Angeles where the perplexed youth is forced to accept her sudden change in home and country which leads to a troubled growing up. At age 15, the rebellious and unsure-of-herself Suzanne tries to come to terms with her roots and decides to travel back to Budapest, Hungary to find her true identity.
CLOSING NIGHT: ^ “72 meters” (2004, V. Khotinenko, 100 min) ^ The festival culminates on Thursday, April 22 with the U.S. Premiere of Vladimir Khotinenko’s submarine drama 72 meters. The film made box office history in Russia by making $1.25 million after two weeks in wide release in Russian. Namin calls 72 meters, “the Russian answer to the American film “K-19”.
For the complete program, visit the Russian Nights website.

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