creating the future

Film by a Soviet director, which laid the foundation for world science fiction cinema, will open a retrospective of movies

Film by a Soviet director, which laid the foundation for world science fiction cinema, will open a retrospective of movies
Expo News
Photo: Provided by the Press Office of the RUSSIA EXPO

The RUSSIA EXPO is launching film screenings of "Movies about the Main Things" — films that have played a special role in the history of Russian and world cinematography, but are unfamiliar to modern viewers. Movie screenings will be held every weekend. The first one will takeplace on Saturday, April 27, in the large conference hall of Pavilion No. 75.

The series will open with the science fiction feature film "Planet of Storms", produced at the "Lennauchfilm" studio in 1961 by director Pavel Klushantsev. The movie tells the story of a space expedition to Venus, whose heroes will have to face a variety of challenges — from predatory plants and creatures resembling dinosaurs, to fleeing from streams of red-hot lava. The movie is particularly interesting for the set of innovative special effects developed by the director and his team.

After its release on Soviet screens, the right to show "Planet of Storms" was acquired by 28 countries, including the U.S., where the film was seen by many masters of the American genre of science fiction. Among them was the creator of "Star Wars" George Lucas, who later called Pavel Klushantsev "godfather" of his space saga, and did not hide that he used many ideas from the Soviet film. For example, the American director made his heroes to travel on flippers — boats on hovercrafts, completely "copied" from the Soviet picture. Droids from "Star Wars" are also "descendants" of the robot from the Klushantsev's movie, right down to the idea of "dressing" a live actor in the costume of a robot.

It wasn't just Lucas who used Klushantsev's ideas. The scene of Terminator from James Cameron's movie sinking into molten metal and dying in volcanic lava is a reference to the robot John from "Planet of Storms". And in his "Titanic", Cameron used techniques developed by Klushantsev underwater shooting. Finally, the spacesuits in Ridley Scott's movie "Prometheus" also have their origins in "Planet of Storms".

During the blockade years Pavel Klushantsev was engaged in movie documentation of the life of Leningrad and citizens, he himself almost died of starvation. After the war he returned to the subject of popular science and science fiction cinema. All in all, over the years of his creative activity, he shot more than a hundred popular science films and stories for film periodicals. Pavel Klushantsev's films have received prizes and diplomas at the world's most prestigious festival venues, including the Venice Film Festival and the Karlovy Vary International Festival.

The lecturer and moderator of the discussion before the screening of "Planet of Storms" will be Evgeny Kharitonov - head of literary projects of the Russian State Library for Youth, writer, historian of literature and cinema, poet and musician. He will introduce the audience to the secrets of Soviet cinema, tell about the directors who stood at the origins of the Russian school of sci-fi cinema, which amazing movie tricks are still used in the world genre cinema. Evgeny Kharitonov is the author of several hundred publications in the Russian and foreign press and half a dozen books devoted to the history of literature, cinema and comics.

The partner of the screening "Planet of Storms" is Gosfilmfond — the main archive and keeper of Russian films.

The next screening is scheduled for May 4. The audience will see the sci-fi animation of Vladimir Tarasov - cartoons "Contract", "Return", "Jubilee" and "Passage". The meeting will be moderated by Andrei Shcherbak-Zhukov - writer, journalist, movie and literary critic. In addition, that evening there will be a creative meeting with the legendary animation director Vladimir Tarasov.

Moreover, the RUSSIA EXPO will feature screenings of "Moscow - Cassiopeia" by Richard Viktorov, "Through Thorns to the Stars" by Richard Viktorov based on a script by Kir Bulychev, "The Road to the Stars" and "The Moon" by Pavel Klushantsev, as well as screenings of Soviet science fiction films from the first half of the last century: "Death Ray" (1925) by Lev Kuleshov and "Space Flight" (1935) by Vasily Zhuravlev.

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