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July Rain (15*) + Introduction by Professor Ian Christie

Other Modernisms, Other Futures

A still from July Rain

This luminously beautiful, gently melancholic film follows 20-something student Lena through an existential crisis.

It catches her at a pivotal point in her life, with the weight of several important decisions on her shoulders: whether to continue her post-grad studies and marry her long-time boyfriend. At a difficult time, she takes comfort in the solitude of her flat, and in intimate telephone chats with a stranger who once showed her kindness in a rainstorm.

July Rain belongs to the Thaw, a brief period of political and sociocultural liberalization following Stalin’s death. It gives expression to the experience of the younger generation living through these years, as well as responding to cinematic influences from the West. With her stylish bob, Western clothes and French LPs, Lena might have stepped right out of a film of the Nouvelle Vague, while her restlessness and alienation make her also the spiritual sister of Antonioni’s anguished heroines. 

Tagged with: Cinema Other Modernisms

USSR 1967 Dir Marlen Khutsiev 107 min Digital presentation 

Professor Ian Christie has had a long engagement with Russian cinema, which included bringing many of its films and filmmakers to Britain during the 1980s. His last book was The Eisenstein Universe and he is preparing an exhibition about FEKS and the Other Russian Cinema for Pushkin House in April. He contributes regularly to radio and television programmes on cinema and is currently Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck.

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