The great playwright Anton Chekhov wrote his major works from 1894 until his death in 1904 - during cinema's first decade. He never wrote for the screen, though it is tempting to imagine what they may have looked like - his skill at charting subtle changes in relationships and emotions, the new concept of performing his works required and the importance placed on memories determining actions - the resources of the new medium may have been a perfect fit for Chekhov's artistry. Over the years, several remarkable Russian filmmakers have agreed.
"This series of Soviet and Russian films offers a selection of these accomplished works, based on or adapted from Chekhov's writings, including the U.S. premiere of Ward No. 6, Karen Shakhnazarovs provocative update of a Chekhov story that is Russia's official Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film. Mr. Shakhnazarov, one of Russia's finest contemporary filmmakers, will discuss his work at several of the screenings. Other highlights include Andrei Konchalovsky's magnificent version of Uncle Vanya, as well as his brother Nikita Mikhalkov's brilliant An Unfinished Piece for the Player Piano, based partly on Chekhov's lesser-known play Platonov. Finally, the ever-remarkable Kira Muratova-subject of a very popular 2002 Walter Reade Theater retrospective-returns to our screen with Chekhov's Motives, a free adaptation of Tatiana Repina that is one of Muratova's most innovative works."
The year 2010 is the 150 anniversary of Anton Chekhov's birth, one of the most celebrated figures in the history of literature. His works are remain of great relevance. The year also marks the 10th anniversary of Seagull Films' formation, named after Chekhov's famous play "The Seagull." In this decade, Seagull Films has service North American audience with the best of Russian cinema.
CELEBRATING CHEKHOV is a presentation of Seagull Films in collaboration with National Gallery of Art and Mosfilm Studio.