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CINERAMA’S RUSSIAN ADVENTURE (1966)

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Discussion before

Re-capture the Cinerama experience with this special screening of the last Cinerama compilation film. After taking viewers from a New York roller coaster to the beauties of the South Pacific, the Cinerama Corporation presented footage with the aid of the U.S. State Department from the Soviet Union shot in their version of Cinerama: Kinopanorama. The compilation features seven films shot between 1957 and 1961 by the Moscow Popular Science Studio and the Central Documentary Film Studio. The picture starts with a brief introduction by Bing Crosby, who narrates throughout, in Academy format. Then the screen widens into Cinerama’s 2.59:1 aspect ratio for a thrilling troika ride through a snowy landscape. This leads to an extended tour of Moscow, from the Kremlin to a subway to a street fair. The second part travels around the Soviet Union for a whaling voyage in Antarctica, a wild boar hunt in Central Asia, the construction of new towns in Siberia and other impressive sights. In part three, the focus shifts to the nation’s cultural life, with performances by the Moiseyev and Platnitsky dance companies and the Bolshoi Ballet. This dazzling Cinerama presentation is digitally restored from the three Cinerama original film elements to fill the full Cinerama screen just as it did when first seen by U.S. audiences in 1966. (d. Boris Dolin, Roman Karmen, Vasily Kafanian, Solomon Kogan, Leonid Kristi, Oleg Lebedev, 122m, DCP)

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