Episodes
Phil Manchester, former Moscow resident and pub quizmaster extraordinaire, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this adaptation of the first of Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko detective novels, set in early 1980s Moscow.CONTENT WARNING: The film includes violence and gore, including violence against women. SPOILERS for both the book and the film (and indeed subsequent Renko books) from about 23 minutes in until the end. Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit...
Published 05/02/21
Against their better judgement, Ally & Carrie Pitts decided to watch this extremely low-budget adaptation of JRR Tolkien's classic fantasy. Here are a few of their thoughts. If you'd like to get in touch, it would be great to hear from you! Here are some ways you can do that: Twitter: @RussophilesU Email: russophilesunite@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesunite Instagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/ Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_ Find Ally's other...
Published 04/12/21
Author and publisher Alex Christofi joins Ally Pitts to discuss the tumultuous life of Fyodor Dostoevsky, who is the subject of his fascinating new biography, Dostoevsky in Love, published by Bloomsbury Continuum.Listeners in the UK can pick up a copy of Dostoevsky in Love via our uk.bookshop.org affiliate link. 10% of the sale will go towards covering the costs of running the show and you'll also be helping out independent bookshops! Visit our uk.bookshop.org affiliate store here to see the...
Published 04/07/21
Nadja Bee, film critic and co-founder of KinoSelect, joins Ally Pitts to discuss a sprawling drama from the 1960s in which a group of friends navigate the trials, tribulations, and joys of young adulthood. Oh, and a youthful Andrei Tarkovsky shows up briefly as a jerk at a party. SPOILERS from about 22 minutes in until the end. Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: ko-fi.com/russophilesunite Listeners in the UK can help the show by picking up a book from our uk.bookshop.org...
Published 04/04/21
Lyn Seren, host of Gentlemen Don't Get Caught: An R.E.M. Podcast, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this depiction of an adolescent conscript's experience of the First World War, which features an unusual (and perhaps not wholly successful) artistic twist. SPOILERS from about 8 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: the film discussed contains violence and nudity. Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: ko-fi.com/russophilesunite Listeners in the UK can help the show by picking up a...
Published 03/07/21
Lyn Seren, host of Gentlemen Don't Get Caught: An R.E.M. Podcast, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this dark exploration of a relationship between two young women living in Leningrad in the aftermath of World War II.SPOILERS from about 20 minutes in until the end.CONTENT WARNING: the film discussed contains many upsetting scenes, including some containing sexual violence. Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: ko-fi.com/russophilesunite Listeners in the UK can help the show by picking up...
Published 02/07/21
Kino Klassika is a UK non-profit organisation that highlights films from Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Shortly before the launch of Klassiki, Kino Klassika's new streaming service, Ally Pitts spoke to season manager Olga Doletskaya. Find out more about Kino Klassika: https://www.kinoklassikafoundation.org/Find out more about Klassiki: https://klassiki.online/ If you enjoyed this episode, please follow and rate us on Podchaser: www.podchaser.com/russophilesunitemoviepodcast If you'd...
Published 01/25/21
Lyn Seren, host of Gentlemen Don't Get Caught: An R.E.M. Podcast joins Ally Pitts to discuss this suitably epic adaptation of Lev Tolstoy's famous masterpiece. Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: ko-fi.com/russophilesunite Listeners in the UK can buy War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and Bondarchuk's War and Peace': Literary Classic to Soviet Cinematic Epic by Professor Denise J. Youngblood via our uk.bookshop.org affiliate links. 10% of the sale will go towards covering the costs of...
Published 01/03/21
Carrie Pitts, Russian language & literature graduate, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this festive fairy tale adventure featuring winter wizard Ded Moroz and notorious witch Baba Yaga. Listeners in the UK can buy Why the Bear Has No Tail: And other Russian Folk Tales from and The Story of Synko-Filipko and other Russian Folk Tales, (both Fontanka Press), translated by Dr Louise Hardiman via our affiliate links here and here. 10% of the sale will go towards covering the costs of running the...
Published 12/27/20
Samantha Berkhead, Moscow Times editor and bad movie enthusiast, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this extremely ill-judged pre-teen fish-out-of-water/time-travel comedy which features the doomed Romanov princess as its main character. Listeners in the UK can support the show by picking up a book via our online affiliate bookshop. 10% of the sale will go towards covering the costs of running the show and you'll also be helping out independent bookshops! Visit our uk.bookshop.org affiliate store...
Published 12/06/20
Caroline Ridler, academic and musician, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this musical/drama/biopic which follows the growth of the Leningrad rock scene in the early 1980s, with a particular focus on one of its most famous members, Kino frontman Viktor Tsoi. Listeners in the UK can buy Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More by Alexei Yurchak from Princeton University Press via our uk.bookshop.org affiliate link. 10% of the sale will go towards covering the costs of running the show and you'll...
Published 11/22/20
Bianca Garner, film critic and editor and founder of In Their Own League, a website focusing on female filmmakers, joins Ally Pitts to discuss this 1960s romantic drama co-starring legendary Soviet bard Vladimir Vysotsky. Expect SPOILERS from 41 minutes in until the end.Brief Encounters also stars Kira Muratova and Nina Ruslanova.Read Bianca's article on Kira Muratova here: intheirownleague.com/2020/06/15/in-their-own-league-hall-of-fame-kira-muratova/You can watch the film with English...
Published 11/02/20
Dr Sarah Ifft Decker, professional historian and host of Media-eval: A Medieval Pop Culture Podcast, joins Ally Pitts to discuss an epic drama/war movie based on the early career of one of the most (in)famous military leaders in history. CONTENT WARNING: a character in the film is raped off-screen, there is also several violent battle scenes. This episode also contains some discussion of historical atrocities. Expect SPOILERS from about 48 minutes in until the end. Mongol stars Tanobu Asano,...
Published 11/01/20
The Russophiles Unite Movie Podcast returns on Sunday 1st November 2020!If you'd like to get in touch, it would be great to hear from you!Twitter: @RussophilesUEmail: russophilesunite@gmail.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/russophilesuniteInstagram: www.instagram.com/russophiles_unite/Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/Ally_Support the show/fund Ally's caffeine habit at: https://ko-fi.com/russophilesunite
Published 10/27/20
Ally is joined Moscow resident and YouTuber Jonny Tickle to discuss this meandering, mysterious walk through Russian history and St Petersberg's Hermitage Museum, filmed in a single continuous take. Expect SPOILERS from about 38 minutes in until the end.Russian Ark stars Sergei Dreiden. Find Jonny Tickle on Twitter at: @jonnytickleOr visit Jonny's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKvzrcnSazCp5gYNbEaFHyg Aleksandr Sokurov, Russian Ark by Birgit...
Published 04/02/20
Ally is joined once again by Carrie to discuss this fantastical rom-com in which Sasha (Anna Starshenbaum), a student, meets Serafim (Artur Smolyaninov), a celestial visitor in Moscow on New Year's Eve.CONTENT WARNING: As we discuss in this episode, this film contains extreme racial insensitivity and also outright racism.Expect SPOILERS from about 17 minutes until the end.My Boyfriend is an Angel also stars Olga Popova, Nikita Efremov, Sergey Puskepalis, Ivan Makarevich, The show's intro...
Published 02/13/20
Michele Berdy, Moscow Times columnist, translator, and The Word's Worth podcast host, joins Ally to discuss this Brezhnev-era rom-com starring Alisa Freyndlikh and Andrei Myagkov. Expect SPOILERS from about 42 minutes in until the end. Office Romance also stars Oleg Basilashvili, Svetlana Nemolyaeva, and Liya Akhedzhakova. Listen to Michele Berdy's The Word's Worth at: http://wordsworth.themoscowtimes.com/  If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the...
Published 01/09/20
Filmmaker and Flixwise: Canada host Martin Kessler returns to discuss this Russian Civil War set proto-action film. It has the dubious distinction of being one of Joseph Stalin's favourite movies, and it stars Boris Babochkin as the eponymous Red Army commander. CONTENT WARNING: The film briefly depicts a sexual assault (it is not framed as such, but certainly reads that way to modern audiences). Ally and Martin didn't actually discuss this scene in the episode, however. Expect SPOILERS from...
Published 12/05/19
This time around we're watching Luc Besson's slightly Cold War-flavoured espionage/action film Anna. To discuss the film, Ally is once again joined by veteran of the podcast and possible 6th Element, Lyn Seren. Expect SPOILERS from about 19 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: the film includes depictions of an abusive relationship, self-harm, and suicidal behaviour. Anna stars Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Cillian Murphy, Luke Evans,  and Lera Abova. If you'd like to get in touch and tell...
Published 11/07/19
World War II casts its long shadow over the podcast once more as we watch Sunflower, directed by Vittorio De Sica. To discuss the film, Ally is once again joined by Russian language and literature grad, Carrie. Expect SPOILERS from about 12 minutes in until the end. Sunflower stars Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, and Ludmila Savelyeva. If you'd like to get in touch and tell us what you thought of the film and/or the podcast episode, it would be great to hear from you! Here are some ways...
Published 10/03/19
Brace yourself for inclement weather, isolation, and factual wang in How I Ended This Summer, directed by Aleksei Popogrebsky. To discuss the film, Ally is joined once again by occasional watcher of Russian films and all-round splendid fellow, Lyn Seren. Expect SPOILERS from about 18 minutes in until the end. CONTENT WARNING: in addition to extremely brief nudity, the film seemed to suggest a possible suicide off-screen, and this is discussed briefly during the episode. How I Ended this...
Published 09/05/19
We're all going on a summer holiday...to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic! It's pretty grim and industrial, but at least it's sunny! This month's film is Little Vera, directed by Vasily Pichul and written by Mariya Khmelik. To discuss the film, Ally is joined by chef, KinoVino supper club founder, and author of Salt and Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen, Alissa Timoshkina. Check out Alissa's amazing culinary creations at: www.instagram.com/borsch_and_no_tears/ Expect SPOILERS from...
Published 08/01/19
CONTENT WARNING: We're dispensing with the usual jovial intro this time as the film discussed on this episode, Come and See, directed by Elem Klimov, contains sustained depictions of atrocities, including rape and mass murder. It's a very, very tough watch. Joining Ally for this harrowing experience is London-based singer-songwriter and poet Sasha Ilyukevich. You can find out more about him and his band The Highly Skilled Migrants here: www.sashailyukevich.com/ SPOILERS from about 49 minutes...
Published 07/04/19
We're partying like it's 1999, not just because it's a new season of the podcast, but also because our film this time, Onegin, directed by Martha Fiennes, is from that very year. Joining Ally for the festivities are two returning guests: writer and period drama drama connoisseur Jenny Shelton, and Russian language and literature graduate and maker of a mean breakfast/brunch sangria Carrie Pitts. SPOILERS from about 28 minutes onwards.  CONTENT WARNING: the film contains very brief but fairly...
Published 06/06/19