Early Russian Cinema, Volume 9: High Society
The discovery of early Russian cinema in recent years has focused on its highly individual characteristics and its hitherto neglected major artists. Relatively little attention has so far been paid to the public image of the industry as a whole — how it appeared to the filmgoer in the Moscow or Petrograd street. This program includes two short items as well as a major film by Bauer in an effort to redress the balance.
Antosha Ruined by a Corset (1916) is one of the 24 Antosha shorts made by the Czech-born comedian Anton Feriner for the Lucifer company between 1915-18. As David Robinson has noted, these made him the most popular Russian comic, with titles in the series like Antosha Sherlock Holmes, Antosha Speculator, Antosha and the Black Hand — many of them topical, others satirical, and like the one seen here, risqué. Robinson traces the influence of French comedy, which would have helped form Russian taste for over a decade.
Khanzhankov explained in a 1937 interview what he wanted to achieve with A Life for a Life. “I wanted to stagger the cinema world with a production of great artistic worth, which would immediately place our firm’s reputation at its rightful level... From a whole range of scenarios offered to him, Bauer, our chief director, selected a dramatization of the French novel by Georges Ohnet. All the studio’s technical resources were mobilized for the production, and the main roles were allocated among the best actors in our company... We had no more than one month to spend on the production and all departments set to work at a feverish pace. Bauer liked this sort of urgent ‘spontaneous’ work and even finished it a few days ahead of the deadline.” [Silent Witnesses, ed. Tsivian et al, London/Pordenone: 1989]
Khanzhankov’s hopes were realized. The Russian film press hailed A Life for a Life as an “artistic treasure” and “a film that deserves a place alongside the best foreign productions,” although Bauer’s taste for columns was also gently mocked, and it was hinted that perhaps he was trying too hard to imitate foreign models. But all hopes of building on this achievement were swept away in the following year; and in 1919 the most-admired star of Russian cinema, Vera Kholodnaia, died in Odessa. Her vast funeral marked the end of on era.
ANTOSHA RUINED BY A CORSET (Antoshu korset pogubil)Director/screenplay: Eduard Puchal’skii. Production Company: Lucifer Film Studio. Released January 26, 1916. Cast: Anton Fertner (Antosha).
A LIFE FOR A LIFE (Zhiznt zo zhizn’) Alternate titles: A Tear for Every Drop of Blood (Za kozhduiu slezu po kople krovi) or The Rival Sisters (Sestry sopernitsy).Director/Screenplay: Evgeni Bauer. Based on the novel Serge Panine by Georges Ohnet. Photography: Boris Zavelev. Production Company: Khanzhankov. Released May 10, 1916. Cast: Ol’ga Rakhmanova (Khromovo, a millionairess). Lidiia Koreneva (Musia, her daughter). Vera Kholodnaia (Nata, her adopted daughter). Vitol’d Polonskii (Prince Bartinskii). Ivan Perestiani (Zhurov, a merchant).
THE FUNERAL OF VERA KHOLODNAIA. Newsreel coverage of the funeral which took place in Odessa in 1919.
An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights
Through our distribution partner, Kino Lorber, Milestone provides a variety of licensing to suit all needs. Our standard institutional licensing packages are designed to provide colleges, universities and qualified non-profits with the best value for multiple uses, and our one-time community screening licenses allow any organization to exhibit high-quality films for a reasonable fee. Please note that all licensing carries restrictions on audience numbers and/or geographic range.
STANDARD INSTITUTIONAL LICENSING
- CLASSROOM RIGHTS allow unlimited use in face-to-face classroom situations for the life of the media, restricted to a single campus or location. Please note that this license doesn't include public screenings or digital transmission of any kind.
- PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS (PPR) allow educational and nonprofit groups to exhibit our films to groups of 100 or fewer individuals where admission is not charged. The term of the public performance license is for the life of the DVD. However, if you intend to charge admission, expect an audience over 100, or publicly advertise the screening, then we ask that you contact us regarding an exhibition fee. Films purchased without Public Performance Rights are restricted for individual viewing or face-to-face teaching in the classroom only.
- DIGITAL SITE LICENSES (DSL) allow colleges, universities and nonprofits to locally host and stream to their community on a closed, password-protected system for the life of the digital file.
- K-12 PPR comes with limited performance rights so films can be shown in classrooms, at PTA meetings, during after school programs, and transmitted on a closed-circuit system within a K-12 school building or on a single campus.
For all educational licenses and screenings, please Estelle Grosso, Director of Educational and Non-Theatrical Sales & Distribution at Kino Lorber (Milestone’s distribution partner) at: email@example.com.
The purchase of DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate by anyone outside of a North American non-profit educational institution does not grant rights for public performance or streaming.
Any continuous or loop screenings as part of a museum exhibition must also be licensed separately. Inquiries must be negotiated directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints
All bookings must be made by email correspondence with Jonathan Hertzberg, Director of Theatrical Sales at Kino Lorber (Milestone’s distribution partner) at: email@example.com to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Kino Lorber sends written confirmation.
DCPs are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing DCPs appear on your invoice. The immediate return or transshipment (as directed) of all DCPs is your responsibility.
DCPs should be returned to:
Milestone Film & Video
38 George Street
Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640-0128
35mm and 16mm prints are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Please do not ship prints back via US Mail. Exhibitor pays to ship both ways. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing prints appear on your invoice. The immediate return of all prints is your responsibility.
Prints should be returned insured for $1,000 to:
Attn: Milestone Account
235 Main Street
Little Falls, NJ 07424
For public screenings, advertising materials can be requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available from Milestone’s distribution partner Kino Lorber. in their complete versions.