From the Tsars to the Stars
Russian Fantastic Cinema

October 30 - December 13, 2015

Wind demons and crystal palaces... Shimmering aquatic gill-men and limitless vistas of outer space... For over eight decades Russian cinema has had an inspired filmmaking tradition that encompasses science fiction, folkloric fantasy, and absurdist humor, producing wildly entertaining films. Pera Film in collaboration with Seagull Films presents From the Tsars to the Stars: Russian Fantastic Cinema, a program featuring rare films from the Russian cinema’s long tradition of fantastical science fiction.

“Fantastika is a general term we’re using for all of it: science fiction, fantasy, horror, fables,” says Robert Skotak, co-conceiver of the series and an Oscar winner for his special-effects contributions to Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. “I mean, Cosmic Voyage [1936], which hasn’t really been seen in the West whatsoever, is a heroic tale of a Communist society traveling to the moon! It was made during Stalin’s purges and the push to modernize. But it’s also as accurate a picture of space travel as one could conjecture at the time. Fanciful sequences of stop-motion animation, extravagant effects: This is an entertaining movie!”

Beginning with the pioneering animation of Ladislaw Starewicz, through the silent classic Aelita: Queen of Mars, and on to the astonishing visions of Aleksandr Ptushko and Pavel Klushantsev, Russian genre cinema was amazingly colorful, technologically advanced, and thematically ambitious. Master Andrei Tarkovsky took this further, fashioning the highly philosophical and feverishly cinematic sci-fi epics Solaris and Stalker. Still other films, such as Karen Shakhnazarov's remarkable, black comic meditation on Soviet history during the Perestroika era Zero City and Alexei Fedorchenko's First on the Moon, are crafty allegories of an ideological system in its waning days.

Years before Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, Soviet visual-effects artists were creating breathtaking visions of humankind's voyage to outer space. In retrospect, an added fascination of these films is the Soviet party line suffusing fictive space exploration with a real-world mission—to bring the revolution, at least figuratively, to the solar system and beyond.

From the Tsars to the Stars: Russian Fantastik Cinema was originally presented in 2006 by Seagull Films, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the American Cinematheque in collaboration with Concern Mosfilm, Russian State Archive Gosfilmofond and M-Film Studio. The program is curated by Alla Verlotsky, Robert Skotak and Dennis Bartok.


In collaboration with

October 30

20:00 Aelita, Queen of Mars

October 31

14:00 The Amphibian Man

November 7

19:00 To the Stars by Hard Ways

November 8

16:00 Aelita, Queen of Mars

18:00 The Amphibian Man

November 11

17:00 Planet of Storms

November 14

19:00 Solaris

November 21

19:00 First on the Moon

November 22

16:00 Planet of Storms

18:00 To the Stars by Hard Ways

November 28

15:00 Solaris

18:00 Stalker

December 9

19:00 Zero City

December 12

19:00 Stalker

December 13

14:00 Zero City

16:00 First on the Moon

Aelita, Queen of Mars

Aelita, Queen of Mars

Planet of Storms

Planet of Storms

The Amphibian Man

The Amphibian Man

Solaris

Solaris

Stalker

Stalker

To the Stars by Hard Ways

To the Stars by Hard Ways

Zero City

Zero City

First on the Moon

First on the Moon

Program Trailer

From the Tsars to the Stars
Russian Fantastic Cinema

Pera Film in collaboration with Seagull Films presents From the Tsars to the Stars: Russian Fantastic Cinema, a program featuring rare films from the Russian cinema’s long tradition of fantastical science fiction.

Fragments of Identity

Fragments of Identity

The Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo was founded in 1972 as the first Academy of Fine Arts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and became one of the forerunners in Bosnian contemporary art. Academy continued its operation throughout the war years (1992-1995) in besieged Sarajevo and participated in important international art projects.

Ideology

Ideology

Pera Museum’s  Cold Front from the Balkans exhibition curated by Ali Akay and Alenka Gregorič brings together contemporary artists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. 

Happy Republic Day!

Happy Republic Day!

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Pera Museum invites artist Benoît Hamet to reinterpret key pieces from its collections, casting a humorous eye over ‘historical’ events, both imagined and factual.