Retrospective 2016


Michail Romm
Udssr 1934

PYSHKA, adapted from “Boule de Suif ”, tells the story of a party of respectable citizens hastily leaving Rouen as the Prussians occupy the place. When they pick up an additional passenger, ‘Boule de Suif ’, (‘Ball of lard’) a plump prostitute, they soon overcome their social and moral scruples and accept offerings from her well-packed hamper of food. It’s a pretty dark story, in keeping with Maupassant’s cynical, despairing sensibility, and well served by Michail Romm’s casting and mise-en-scène. Of course, even though it’s a 19th-century period drama, it serves the purposes of the USSR by portraying capitalist Europeans in a very unsympathetic light. And indeed, acerbic as they are, the social observations are quite truthful. Too bad Maupassant never got a chance to write about the Soviet Union. (David Cairns)

On the piano: Gerhard Gruber

  • Galina Sergeeva - Mlle. Elizabeth Rousset als «Boule-de-suif»
  • Andrej Fajt - Prussian Officer
  • Faina Ranevskaja - Mme. Loiseau
  • Anatolij Gorjunov - Louiseau
  • Tat’jana Okunevskaja - Mme Carre-Lamadon
  • Michail Romm
  • A. Bertner
  • Iosif Shpinel
  • Boris Volcek
  • Mikhail Chulaki
35 mm
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