The Extraordinary Mr Barnet
Long hailed by critics to be the father of Soviet comedy and an inspiration to such cinematic greats as Tarkovsky and Bertolucci, Boris Barnet has remained unknown to Western audiences. That is, until now! This first-ever retrospective of Barnet's work in North America introduces many exciting newly restored and archival prints. Characterized by their charm, stylistic freedom, American-style plot construction, and sometimes neutral politics, Barnet's films represented a daring approach within Russian cinema, one which controversially set him apart from Eisenstein, Vertov and other contemporaries.
"In his mission to capture the essence of the everyday, Barnet struggled to represent the reality of Soviet society, along with its imagined potential. At a time when Socialist Realism was the norm, Barnet was alternatively mixing fact and fantasy. From the 20's through the 60's, Barnet directed nearly 30 films and was always among the first to experiment with new technologies, innovatively incorporating sound and color as they were made available. Barnet's films have been said to recall and anticipate the work of many great directors of the 20th century, including Jean Vigo, D.W. Griffith, Yasujiro Ozu, Howard Hawks, and even John Cassavetes." Neya Zorkaya.