Lenfilm


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Lenfil’m

 

(full name, the Leningrad Order of Lenin Lenfi’m Motion-Picture Studio), one of the largest Soviet motion-picture studios. Established in 1918 in Petrograd, it functioned under various names until 1936, when it became Lenfil’m. During the Great Patriotic War (1942–44) most of Lenfil’m’s workers were part of the Central Associated Film Studio in Alma-Ata.

Lenfil’m’s first sound films were Alone and Golden Mountains (1931); the first color film was Mussorgsky (1950); the first widescreen film, Don Quixote (1957); and the first wide-gauge film, The Serf Actress (1963). Major motion pictures produced at the studio include Fragment of an Empire (1929), Counterplan (1932), Chapaev (1934), the trilogy about Maxim (The Youth of Maxim, The Return of Maxim, and The Vyborg Side; 1935–39), The Courageous Seven (1936), Baltic Deputy (1937), Peter I (parts 1–2, 1937–39), The Man With a Gun (1938), Komsomol’sk (1938), Teacher (1939), Member of the Government (1940), The Big Family (1954), Lady With a Dog (1960), Hamlet (1964), No Ford Through the Flames (1968), and King Lear (1971).

A significant contribution to the development of Soviet film art was made by such Lenfil’m directors as G. N. Vasil’ev, S. D. Vasil’ev, S. A. Gerasimov. A. G. Zarkhi, A. G. Ivanov, A. V. Ivanovskii, G. M. Kozintsev, V. M. Petrov, L. Z. Trauberg, I. E. Kheifits, E. V. Cherviakov, F. M. Ermler, and S. I. Iutkevich. The studio also attracted such cameramen as S. A. Beliaev and A. N. Moskvin; such designers as E. E. Enei and N. G. Suvorov; such screenwriters as B. L. Leonidov, K. N. Vinogradskaia, and L. N. Rakhmanov; and the critic A. I. Piotrovskii. Lenfil’m was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1935.

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Nothing was what you might think--London Bridge and the Great House in winter were giant hanging models, made by the Lenfilm special effects department, who still use these marvelous techniques from the '40s and '50s.
A protege of Andrei Tarkovsky-who got the thoroughly out-of-favor young director his first job, at Lenfilm Studio-Sokurov was both maximalist in technique and gratingly avant-garde, from his earliest feature film, The Lonely Voice of Man (1978/87), through the 1988 Days of Eclipse.