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Cinephile, history fan, and one-time Muscovite Ally Pitts explores contemporary and Soviet-era Russian language cinema one film at a time! The show combines interviews and movie discussion, and features expert guests including authors, journalists, stand-up comedians, and indie podcasters. From time to time, it also tackles Hollywood’s attempts to bring aspects of Russian culture, literature, and history to the Silver Screen.
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show series
 
Professor Catriona Kelly will be discussing her new book Russian Food Since 1800: Empire at Table with previous guest on this show, Alissa Timoshkina at Pushkin House in London on Friday 15th March 2024. It's an in-person & online hybrid event, which will from 6.30 to 8.00 pm GMT. Find out more about the event and buy tickets at pushkinhouse.org Ou…
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In the spirit of High Fidelity, Ally Pitts brings you an audio listicle of some awesome movies he saw for the first time in 2023. They are, in the order they appear on the episode: - Conscience (Volodymr Denisenko; 1968) - Fright Night (Tom Holland; 1985) - Chameleon Street (Wendell B. Harris Jr; 1989) - The Queen of Spades (Thorold Dickinson;1949)…
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Links mentioned in the episode: Cinemas screening Tchaikovsky's Wife (UK and Republic of Ireland): sovereignfilms.co.uk/tchaikovskyswife The Guardian's Pjotr Sauer interviews Kirill Serebrennikov BBFC content advice for Tchaikovsky's Wife To receive a 50% discount on an annual subscription to Klassiki, please use the code RUPOD50 at checkout. Visit…
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Ally Pitts reviews Kira Kovalenko's 2021 Ossetian language coming of age drama Unclenching the Fists and then recommends a handful of other films currently streaming on MUBI. Links mentioned in the episode: To get a 30-day free trial of MUBI, please visit:https://mubi.com/russiansovietpod Carmen Gray's article, Scarred States: Unclenching the Fists…
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Ally Pitts introduces an episode of All the Best Lines, hosted by Smokey and Adam Roche, that he guested on in 2021. Links mentioned in the episode: Listen to more All the Best Lines episodes. Listen to our episode on War & Peace with Adam Roche. Listen to The Projection Booth on Ninotchka. Contact Us: (We've changed the name of the show, but the s…
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Dr Samuel Goff, editorial director at the film streaming service Klassiki, joins Ally Pitts to talk about Ally's five film picks from the Klassiki film Library. To receive a 50% discount on an annual subscription to Klassiki, please use the code RUPOD50 at checkout. Visit Klassiki.Online and sign up for a free trial! Follow Klassiki on: Letterboxd:…
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To mark the 5th anniversary of the release of the pilot episode for this show, we're taking you to on a trip into the show's pre-history...our host Ally Pitts's podcasting debut! Classic Schmassic was an amazing comedy podcast about movies from before 1980. For this episode, Ally joined hosts Chris Mead & Owen Choules to discuss Sergei Eisenstein’s…
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Ally Pitts introduces a conversation between Sean Guillory and Maria Belodubrovskaya that was originally recorded for the SRB Podcast. Find it wherever you listen to this podcast. There's also a brief update on what's happening with the show. Also, Feedspot added us to their 100 best movie podcasts list, which is pretty awesome! Contact Us: Twitter…
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We highly recommend you check out this history podcast series centering on Teddy Roe, an American who visited the Soviet Union in 1968. Visit the Teddy Goes to the USSR website, or find the show wherever you get your podcasts.Ally Pitts
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Jenny Shelton from the RSPB discusses this historical drama from Yakutia with host Ally Pitts. The film centres around an elderly couple whose grueling but predictable life in rural Siberia in the 1930s is a disrupted by the arrival of mysterious bird of prey. Episode Sponsor: You can watch The Lord Eagle, along with many other films from Eastern E…
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Podchaser.com is donating $0.25 to support World Central Kitchen's #ChefsForUkraine for every podcast review on their site from now until the end of April 2022. Russophiles Unite's Podchaser page. The Eastern Border's Podchaser page. More about Podchaser's #Reviews4Good campaign. Here's Podchaser's FAQ about #Reviews4Good. Contact Us: Twitter: @Rus…
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Petrov's Flu film screening times: https://www.odeon.co.uk/films/petrovs-flu/HO00002609/ Petrov's Flu + Q&A with Kirill Serebrennikov film screening times:: https://www.odeon.co.uk/films/petrovs-flu--qa/HO00002626/Ally Pitts
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Lyn Seren joins Ally Pitts once again, this time to discuss this surreal Canadian spoof of early Soviet film. Some Ways You Can Support the Show: First of all, please subscribe on your podcatcher of choice, if you haven't already! Try out MUBI for free for 30 days with our referral link, www.mubi.com/russophiles If you're listening from the UK, you…
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Carrie & Ally Pitts discuss a Khrushchev Thaw-era musical satirical comedy from the director of Soviet New Year staple The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!. Some Ways You Can Support the Show: First of all, please subscribe on your podcatcher of choice, if you haven't already! If you're listening from the UK, you can pick up a book from our uk.bo…
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Film historian and Hamo Bek-Nazarov Project co-founder Daniel Bird joins Ally Pitts to discuss this astonishing debut feature by the late Armenian-Russian director Maria Saakyan. To celebrate the release of the new restoration the film on region-free Blu-ray, Second Run are offering 10% off the list price of The Lighthouse and/or any other Blu-ray …
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The Lighthouse [AKA Mayak] (Maria Saakyan; 2006) Blu-ray Giveaway on Twitter A new restoration of Maria Saakyan’s stunning film The Lighthouse AKA Mayak is out on Blu-ray on 27th September 2021! To celebrate, we've teamed up with Second Run to give away 2 copies of the Blu-ray. To enter: 1) Follow @RussophilesU & @SecondRunDVD on Twitter. 2) Retwee…
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Ally Pitts and Lyn Seren are hosting podcast where they discuss the music of alternative rock legends R.E.M. one track at a time. It's called Gentlemen Don't Get Caught, and we think you should listen to it! You can find the show at this link.Ally Pitts & Lyn Seren
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Kristaps Andrejsons, journalist and host of The Eastern Border podcast, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this documentary which provides a startling insight into the cult of personality surrounding Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. STATE FUNERAL is now showing on MUBI. You can claim your free 30-day trial of their incredible film streaming service by visit…
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Phil Manchester, former Moscow resident and pub quizmaster extraordinaire, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this adaptation of the first of Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko detective novels, set in early 1980s Moscow. CONTENT WARNING: The film includes violence and gore, including violence against women. SPOILERS for both the book and the film (and inde…
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Against their better judgement, Ally & Carrie Pitts decided to watch this extremely low-budget adaptation of JRR Tolkien's classic fantasy. Here are a few of their thoughts. If you'd like to get in touch, it would be great to hear from you! Here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.fa…
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Author and publisher Alex Christofi joins Ally Pitts to discuss the tumultuous life of Fyodor Dostoevsky, who is the subject of his fascinating new biography, Dostoevsky in Love, published by Bloomsbury Continuum. Listeners in the UK can pick up a copy of Dostoevsky in Love via our uk.bookshop.org affiliate link. 10% of the sale will go towards cov…
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Nadja Bee, film critic and co-founder of KinoSelect, joins Ally Pitts to discuss a sprawling drama from the 1960s in which a group of friends navigate the trials, tribulations, and joys of young adulthood. Oh, and a youthful Andrei Tarkovsky shows up briefly as a jerk at a party. CONTENT WARNING: The film's plot includes the death of a parent. SPOI…
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Lyn Seren, host of Gentlemen Don't Get Caught: An R.E.M. Podcast, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this depiction of an adolescent conscript's experience of the First World War, which features an unusual (and perhaps not wholly successful) artistic twist. SPOILERS from about 8 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: the film discussed contains violen…
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Lyn Seren, host of Gentlemen Don't Get Caught: An R.E.M. Podcast, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this dark exploration of a relationship between two young women living in Leningrad in the aftermath of World War II. SPOILERS from about 20 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: the film discussed contains many upsetting scenes, including some contai…
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Kino Klassika is a UK non-profit organisation that highlights films from Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Shortly before the launch of Klassiki, Kino Klassika's new streaming service, Ally Pitts spoke to season manager Olga Doletskaya. Find out more about Kino Klassika: https://www.kinoklassikafoundation.org/ Find out more about Klassiki: ht…
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Lyn Seren, host of Gentlemen Don't Get Caught: An R.E.M. Podcast joins Ally Pitts to discuss this suitably epic adaptation of Lev Tolstoy's famous masterpiece. Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: ko-fi.com/russophilesunite Listeners in the UK can buy War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and Bondarchuk's War and Peace': Literary Classic to Sovie…
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Carrie Pitts, Russian language & literature graduate, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this festive fairy tale adventure featuring winter wizard Ded Moroz and notorious witch Baba Yaga. Listeners in the UK can buy Why the Bear Has No Tail: And other Russian Folk Tales, translated by Netta Peacock and The Story of Synko-Filipko and other Russian Folk Tal…
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Samantha Berkhead, Moscow Times editor and bad movie enthusiast, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this extremely ill-judged pre-teen fish-out-of-water/time-travel comedy which features the doomed Romanov princess as its main character. Listeners in the UK can support the show by picking up a book via our online affiliate bookshop. 10% of the sale will g…
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Caroline Ridler, academic and musician, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this musical/drama/biopic which follows the growth of the Leningrad rock scene in the early 1980s, with a particular focus on one of its most famous members, Kino frontman Viktor Tsoi. Listeners in the UK can buy Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More by Alexei Yurchak from P…
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Bianca Garner, film critic and editor and founder of In Their Own League, a website focusing on female filmmakers, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this 1960s romantic drama co-starring legendary Soviet bard Vladimir Vysotsky. Listeners in the UK can buy Kira Muratova by Jane Taubman from Bloomsbury Books via our uk.bookshop.org affiliate link. 10% of t…
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Dr Sarah Ifft Decker, professional historian and host of Media-eval: A Medieval Pop Culture Podcast, joins Ally Pitts to discuss an epic drama/war movie based on the early career of one of the most (in)famous military leaders in history. CONTENT WARNING: a character in the film is raped off-screen, there is also several violent battle scenes. This …
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Jonny Tickle, Moscow resident and YouTuber, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this meandering, mysterious walk through Russian history and Saint Petersberg's Hermitage Museum, filmed in a single continuous take. Listeners in the UK can buy Alexander Sokurov: Russian Ark by Birgit Beumers via our uk.bookshop.org affiliate link. 10% of the sale will go tow…
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Carrie joins Ally once again, this time to discuss a fantastical rom-com in which Sasha (Anna Starshenbaum), a student, meets Serafim (Artur Smolyaninov), a celestial visitor in Moscow on New Year's Eve. CONTENT WARNING: As we discuss in this episode, this film contains extreme racial insensitivity and also outright racism. Expect SPOILERS from abo…
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Michele Berdy, Moscow Times columnist, translator, and The Word's Worth podcast host, joins Ally to discuss this Brezhnev-era rom-com starring Alisa Freyndlikh and Andrei Myagkov. Listeners in the UK can buy The Russian Word's Worth by Michele Berdy via our uk.bookshop.org affiliate link. 10% of the sale will go towards covering the running costs o…
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Martin Kessler, filmmaker and Flixwise: Canada host, returns to discuss this Russian Civil War set proto-action film. It has the dubious distinction of being one of Joseph Stalin's favourite movies, and it stars Boris Babochkin as the eponymous Red Army commander. Listeners in the UK can buy Chapaev by Julian Graffy from Bloomsbury Books, via our u…
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Lyn Seren, veteran of the podcast and possible 6th Element, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this slightly Cold War-flavoured espionage/action film Expect SPOILERS from about 19 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: the film includes depictions of an abusive relationship, self-harm, and suicidal behaviour. Anna stars Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Cilli…
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Carrie Pitts, Russian language and literature graduate, joins Ally again as World War II casts its long shadow over the podcast once more. Expect SPOILERS from about 12 minutes in until the end. Sunflower stars Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, and Ludmila Savelyeva. If you enjoyed this episode, please follow and rate us on Podchaser: www.podchas…
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Lyn Seren, occasional watcher of Russian films, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this tense thriller set in the Russian arctic. Expect SPOILERS from about 18 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: the film discussed in this episode contains an off-screen suicide , extremely brief nudity, and violence. This content is mentioned during the show. How I…
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Alissa Timoshkina, chef, KinoVino supper club founder, and author of Salt and Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen joins Ally Pitts to discuss this somewhat notorious drama from the late 1980s glastnost period a few years before the Soviet Union collapsed. Listeners in the UK can buy Salt and Time via our uk.bookshop.org affiliate link. 10% of the …
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Sasha Ilyukevich, London-based Belarusian singer-songwriter and poet, joins Ally Pitts for this harrowing journey into Nazi-occupied Belarus in 1943, which stars Aleksey Kravchenko and Olga Mironova. CONTENT WARNING: Come and See contains sustained depictions of atrocities, including rape and mass murder. It's a very, very tough watch. SPOILERS fro…
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Jenny Shelton, writer and period drama drama connoisseur, and Carrie Pitts. Russian language & literature graduate join Ally Pitts to discuss this adaptation of Alexander Pushkin's famous verse novel. SPOILERS from about 28 minutes onwards. CONTENT WARNING: the film contains very brief but fairly graphic violence. Onegin stars Ralph Fiennes, Liv Ty…
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Teegan Johnson, industrial psychology researcher and sci-fi fan, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this alien invasion movie/romance set in contemporary Moscow. Expect SPOILERS from about 13 minutes in onwards. CONTENT WARNING: The film depicts misogynistic violence and consent issues. Attraction stars Irina Starshenbaum, Alexander Petrov, Rinal Mukhamet…
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Lyn Seren, film fan and R.E.M. appreciator, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this journey into the depths of Siberia. Expect SPOILERS from about 20 minutes in onwards. Letter Never Sent stars Tatyana Samoylova, Evgeny Urbansky, Vasily Livanov, and Innokenty Smoktunovsky. If you enjoyed this episode, please follow and rate us on Podchaser: www.podchaser.…
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Tanya Lukyanova, TV producer, and stand-up comedian, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this joyous and energetic satire, which was the debut of the director of the notorious war film Come and See. This episode SPOILERS from about 18 mins in until the end. Welcome, or No Trespassing stars Viktor Kosykh, Evgeny Evstignyev, Aleksei Smirnov, Lidiya Smirnova,…
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Carrie Pitts, Russian language & literature grad, foodie, and reluctant veteran of the podcast, joins Ally to discuss possibly the most famous Soviet film of the Khrushchev Thaw. Listeners in the UK can buy The Cranes are Flying by Josephine Woll from Bloomsbury Books, via our uk.bookshop.org affiliate link. 10% of the sale will go towards covering…
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Olivia Capozzalo & Smith Freeman, hosts of the She's in Russia podcast, join Ally Pitts to discuss this late 1960s crime caper. Expect SPOILERS from about 39 minutes in until the end. The Diamond Arm stars Yuri Nikulin, Andrei Mironov, Nonna Mordyukova, Anatoly Papanov, Nina Grebeshkova, and Svetlana Svetlichnaya. If you enjoyed this episode, pleas…
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Adam Roche of The Secret History of Hollywood, Attaboy, Clarence!, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this Hollywood adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's epic, which stars Audrey Hepburn. Expect SPOILERS from about 22 minutes in until the end. War and Peace also stars Henry Fonda, Mel Ferrer, Vittorio Gassman, Anita Ekberg, Oskar Homolka, Helmut Dantine, and Jerem…
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Nadia Bee, writer and filmmaker, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this beloved 1960s Soviet comedy. Expect SPOILERS from 15 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: bride-kidnapping is central to the plot. Kidnapping, Caucasian Style stars Alexander Demyanenko, Natalya Varley, Vladimir Etush, Frunzik Mkrtchyan, Yuri Nikulin, Yevgeny Morgunov, and Geor…
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