Well-known Soviet-era film-maker Marlen Khutsiev no more

By Across States News Team| March 20, 20190

Well-known Soviet-era film-maker Marlen Khutsiev, one of the country’s most leading post-war directors, passed away at 93, as per the Russian Union of Cinematographers. He was a leading representative of the Soviet New Wave, and lived a life full of drama and joy..

The director’s career spanned more than six decades and he worked into his 90s. President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences on the passing of the “distinguished” director, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov..

Georgian-born Khutsiev was famous for cult films in the mid 1950s and 1960s that captured the mood in Soviet society during Nikita Khrushchev’s Thaw. His works included Spring on Zarechnaya Street (1956) and “I am Twenty”, known in the West as “Ilyich’s Gate” (1965).

“He created a revolution in the 1960s and became a symbol of our Thaw,” prominent filmmaker Pavel Lungin told AFP. Lungin said “Ilych’s Gate”, which portrayed the lives of ordinary Soviets and featured filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky in a cameo, was a “manifesto” of the era. The movie incurred Khrushchev’s wrath and was heavily censored. The original director’s cut only premiered in 1988, during Mikhail Gorbachev’s Perestroika.

Over his career, Khutsiev earned the admiration of Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard and other film greats.But at home “he walked a precarious line,” said the New York Museum of Modern Art, which presented the first major North American retrospective of his work in 2016.

Russian film critic Andrei Plakhov compared Khutsiev to Michelangelo Antonioni, the celebrated Italian director. Condoling Khutsiev’s demise, 86 year old Eldar Shengelaia, the Georgian Soviet-era film director and a friend of Khutsiev, said his works were world cinema classics.”He left an indelible mark on everyone’s life.

Khutsiev received numerous international awards and prizes at film festivals such as Venice and Berlin.
He was born on October 4, 1925 in Georgia’s Tbilisi, then known as Tiflis, and studied at the Moscow-based Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, Russia’s best-known film school


Report by: K.V.Raman


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