Abram Room

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Room, Abram Matveevich


Born June 16 (28), 1894, In Vilnius; died July 26, 1976, in Moscow. Soviet film director. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1965). Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1950). Member of the CPSU from 1949.

Room studied at the Petrograd Psychoneurological Institute and the University of Saratov. He was director of the Model and Children’s theaters in Saratov from 1919 to 1923 and of the Moscow Theater of the Revolution in 1923 and 1924. He began working in films in 1924. His first film was What Does “Mos” Say, Guess This Riddle. He then directed Death Bay (1925) and Traitor (1926). His film The Ghost That Will Not Return (1930), a major achievement of Soviet cinematography, relentlessly exposed the hypocritical nature of bourgeois democracy. Modern themes were reflected in Third Meshchanskaia (known as Bed and Sofa; 1927), Ruts (1928), and A Stern Young Man (1934). In 1930, Room’s first sound documentary, A Plan for Great Works, appeared as part of the collection Miscellaneous Sound Program No. 1. The film was recorded on the sound transcriber of the engineer A. F. Shorin.

Room’s major work of the 1940’s was the film Invasion (1945; adapted from L. M. Leonov’s play). He directed many film dramatizations, including The Garnet Bracelet (1965; adapted from A. I. Kuprin’s short story), Late-blooming Flowers (1970; adapted from Chekhov’s short story), and The Untimely Man (1972; adapted from Gorky’s play Iakov Bogomolov).

From 1924 to 1934, Room taught at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1946 and 1949. He was also awarded the Order of the October Revolution, two other orders, and several medals.


Shklovskii, V. Room: Zhizn’irabota. [Moscow] 1929.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Gillespie's view that Abram Room's Tret'ia Meshchanskaia (Bed and Sofa, 1927) is essentially about an 'urgent social problem' (housing shortages in Moscow) is rather naive, since it suggests that, if not for the conditions, the sexist assumptions of the two male protagonists during the supposedly liberated 1920s would not exist.
The hero of "The Private Life of Pyotr Vinogradov," a talented show-off who is enormously satisfied with himself and his motherland ("Life in the Soviet Union is devilishly beautiful!"), is a comic precursor to the amazing young Communists who would be mocked and exalted in Abram Room's "A Severe Young Man" the following year.
This batch of KINOfiles presenting Tengiz Abuladze's Repentance, Abram Room's Bed and Sofa, and Andrei Tarkovsky's Mirror is most welcome.
Abram Room's 1936 "Severe Young Man"; the Boris Barnet pictures, "A Good Lad," "Beautiful Summer" and "One Night"; and "The Tight Knot," an engrossing 1957 drama directed by Mikhail Shveitser.
Given the notoriously humorless nature of Soviet censors, the astonishing thing is not that the film was banned after a few months of release, -- director Abram Room was kicked out of Ukrainfilm Studio, screenwriter Yuri Olesha (the Odessa novelist who wrote "Envy") and lenser Yuri Ekelchik were severely reprimanded, and the studio director, production head and assistant studio boss were fired -- it's that it was made in the first place.
Though Lithuanian-born helmer Abram Room is chiefly remembered for his silent film "Bed and Sofa," he enjoyed a long career in the talkie era.