Fame, Fortune & Film: LenFilm Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia
A walk through St. Petersburg’s LenFilm Museum is a walk through the history of Russian film, with sets, props, costumes and sketches from its most famous films.
The staff of MIR’s St. Petersburg affiliated office recently made a field trip to the museum and shared photos with us.
Though it got its modern name only in 1934, films were being made here on the site of the original Aquarium Theater in the early 20th century. Internationally renowned Soviet poet and creative artist Vladimir Mayakovsky wrote, performed in and co-directed a short film here called The Young Lady and the Hooligan back in 1918.
The golden years of LenFim were the 1960s and 70s, with up to 35 movies a year produced. Probably the studio’s most famous film was the Grigory Kozintsev production of Hamlet, an adaptation based on a translation by Boris Pasternak. Hamlet won a Special Jury Prize at the 1964 Venetian Film Festival, and the Best Actor trophy was awarded to its leading man, Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy.
Sets and costumes from eight popular TV movies about Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson made between 1979 and 1983 are favorite exhibits.
The studio languished through the 1990s after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but has made a comeback in the 21st century, producing four or five films a year. The LenFilm museum opened in 2015, giving Russian film buffs the opportunity to revisit some of their favorite films and to celebrate the Russian flavors of the film industry.
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Top photo: MIR’s St. Petersburg staff are ready for their close-ups at Lenfilm Studios. Photo: Alfiya Izmailova
PUBLISHED: April 13, 2016