F.: Sergej Ivanov. Int.: Igor’ Moiseev State Folk Dance Ensemble. Prod.: Lenfil’m · 35mm. Col.
Filmed stage performances – of theatre, opera as well as ballet productions – were a staple of Soviet cinema in the first half of the 50s – making it a particular sub-genre that connects the last of the Stalin years with the Thaw. In the USSR, this sub-genre might have been more important than anywhere else. For one thing, it became, similar to children’s films, a training ground for young talents; for another, it was also a sphere of production where formal(ist) experiments could be attempted, and sometimes were. The Soviet genius of this sub-genre is Gerbert Rappaport who here adapted the widely celebrated choreography by Igor’ Moiseev: football like never before, with cheery players jumping around as if possessed and a loony fan in a one-man-pitch-invasion mode.