An Ordinary Miracle (1978) - Mark Zakharov

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Free to watch film, courtesy of Mosfilm Studio.

An Ordinary Miracle / Обыкновенное чудо



Original title: Обыкновенное чудо
English title: An Ordinary Miracle
Year: 1978 (USSR)
Director: Mark Zakharov
Genres: Romance/Fantasy/Musical
Duration: 138 min
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0186408/
Wikipédia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Ord...281978_film%29

Overview/Comment:

This is a highly original and "out of the box" 1978 soviet art film, based on a 1956 play by Evgeny Shvarts and produced by the major soviet film studio Mosfilm. The story is set around the late 1800's (I think) and is about an immortal wizard, who loves his wife so much, to the point of surprising her every other day, with magic to make her happy.

At one point he magically conjures a young american cowboy stud, to have sex with his noble russian wife, believing she would enjoy it. But alas, she does not want that...

But this is also a story of a creator falling in love with it's own creation.

Curiosities:


Evgeny Shvarts (1896-1958) - Writer, play writer and screenwriter.


Plaque in homage to the writer, in the house where he lived.

My musical trailer:



Links for the free film (with english subtitles) on the official Mosfilm You Tube channel:

Part 1:

Part 2:



Comments/Advice

Although this film is a fine and lovely work of art, as it should forcibly be, by law, because bad films were illegal in the Soviet Union before Perestroika in the 1980's, it does not mean everyone will like it or should even view it while eating snacks...

I'm laughing, but not lying when I said bad films were illegal in the USSR, before the 1980's, because in the 80's, the Perestroika attempted transition to a free market, allowed some idiot russian film producers to create films for profit... and oh my! the privately produced russian films of the 1980's Perestroika transition were poo-poo!



This does not mean the soviet citizens were happy in 1978, because they wanted to watch "Star Wars" and could not, for political reasons.

I went a bit off-topic here, sorry and allow me to get back on track!

My advice is to approach this film, as you would approach a silent film artistic masterpiece from the 1920's or 1930's, open a bottle of wine or vermouth and enjoy the visuals, solely as art to accompany some drinking and relaxation. These are not the sort of films where I would try to eat a pizza or other similar food. I do adore to eat pizza and lasagna, while re-watching Star Gate, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica episodes. But when I'm feeling that way I would never watch a soviet arthouse film like this one...

In summary, this is a great film, and in fact it's free. I liked it enough to create the musical trailer I shared on the topic, but remember this is best viewed in an emotional romantic state of mind, with a few glasses of vermouth (or whatever), and never if you are in the mood to eat pizza and watch The Simpsons.



matt72582's Avatar
Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
I was hoping you had filled a "Top 10" movie list, to better predict. I would like to see more Russian movies, and so I'll try to give this a try.... I've been in a slump, and unless a movie interests me quickly, I tend to turn it off.



I was hoping you had filled a "Top 10" movie list, to better predict. I would like to see more Russian movies, and so I'll try to give this a try.... I've been in a slump, and unless a movie interests me quickly, I tend to turn it off.
Matt, thanks for you interest.

There are all sorts of top 10 films from the former soviet bloc, but the top 10 depends on what genre you are in the mood to watch.

The film of this topic is an artistic romantic experiment, very unique and should only be viewed with an emotional or drunken state of mind.

But I enjoyed your challenge, and since I'm considered the number 1 fan of Soviet Cinema, on the portuguese forums, I will attend your challenge. But note that being a fan is not the same as being an expert, and also my personal taste in movie genres and styles, dictate the type of films I watch and review.

My Top 5 (I didn't have the time for Top 10, sorry ) Eastern Bloc Films:

#1 Dersu Uzala

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dersu_...281975_film%29

"Oh my god!" (non-religious expression). Akira Kurosawa directed a soviet Mosfilm production, with elite means, portraying the true story of a japanese-russian bush man, who did not know the ways of urban society, and saved the life of the russian scientists exploring the far-east.

"The film won the 1976 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film,[1] the Golden Prize and the Prix FIPRESCI at the 9th Moscow International Film Festival[2] and a number of other awards."

This is really an "Oh my god!" kind of film, for it's extreme quality and emotional sensibility! It ranks on the top with the likeness of "Life is Beautiful".



#2 "Чекист" / "Chekist" (1992)

"The first Russian Federation film (1992) that was filmed during the soviet era (1991) and was the first russian film to be released without any form of censorship.

This is similar to Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List", but with even more horror and cinema quality. The story is about the KGB predecessor, the Cheka secret political police, under the Lenin regime in the 1920's (before Stalin)."



#3 Alice

Alice is a 1988[1] dark fantasy film written and directed by Jan Švankmajer. Its original Czech title is Něco z Alenky, which means "Something from Alice". It is a loose adaptation of Lewis Carroll's first Alice book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), about a girl who follows a white rabbit into a bizarre fantasy land. Alice is played by Kristýna Kohoutová. The film combines live action with stop motion animation, and is distinguished by its dark and uncompromising production design.

For Švankmajer, a prolific director of short films for more than two decades, Alice became his first venture into feature-length filmmaking. The director had been disappointed by other adaptations of Carroll's book, which interpret it as a fairy tale. His aim was instead to make the story play out like an amoral dream. The film won the feature film award at the 1989 Annecy International Animated Film Festival."



#4 Lieutenant Kijé

"Sergei Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé (Russian: Поручик Киже, Poruchik Kizhe) music was originally written to accompany the film of the same name, produced by the Belgoskino film studios in Leningrad in 1933–34 and released in March 1934. It was Prokofiev's first attempt at film music, and his first commission from within the Soviet Union; he had lived abroad since the 1917 October Revolution. After the film's release, Prokofiev adapted the music into what became a popular orchestral suite, his Op. 60.

In the early days of sound cinema, among the various distinguished composers ready to try their hand at film music, Prokofiev was not an obvious choice for the commission. Based in Paris for almost a decade, he had a reputation for experimentation and dissonance, characteristics at odds with the cultural norms of the Soviet Union. By early 1933, however, Prokofiev was anxious to return to his homeland, and saw the film commission as an opportunity to write music in a more popular and accessible style.

After the film's successful release, the five-movement Kijé suite was first performed in December 1934, and quickly became part of the international concert repertoire. It has remained one of the composer's best-known and most frequently recorded works. Elements of the suite's score have been used in several later films, and in two popular songs of the Cold War era."



#5 Panna a netvor

From IMDB (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078054/):

"Fantastic rendering of a classic fairytale
4 May 2001 | by jorda036 – See all my reviews
This film noir version of the classic fairytale, Beauty and the Beast, is captivating and magical. In many respects it is closer to the original story than other versions I have seen. I did see it once on television in the US. I have not been able to locate a copy of the video. I highly recommend it."




matt72582's Avatar
Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
Matt, thanks for you interest.

There are all sorts of top 10 films from the former soviet bloc, but the top 10 depends on what genre you are in the mood to watch.

The film of this topic is an artistic romantic experiment, very unique and should only be viewed with an emotional or drunken state of mind.
I like conversational movies, character-focused, but there are always exceptions.. If a movie is great, it will be great regardless of the genre, although there are some I probably won't ever like, such as musicals and comedies, since none of them seem to be funny. I don't need a lot of movement, but I don't like the slow-paced of Tarkovsky, either. I think my favorite Russian movie is "The Cranes Are Flying", but I think I'm exhausted from most war movies. I'm having a lot of difficult finding something I like.... I don't drink, but even when I did, I could never imagine watching a movie even with a drink or two, as I don't like my senses dulled. I used to smoke a joint before a movie at times, but I avoid that, too.