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 Alexander Mitta

Born:   28 March 1933

Film director


Alexander Naumovich Mitta (Rabinovich) was born on 28 March 1933 in Moscow. He graduated from Engineering and Building Faculty of Kuibyshev Institute (1955) and worked as a cartoonist in comic and literary journals. In 1960 he graduated the Directors’ Faculty of VGIK, where he had studied under M.I.Romm.

Alexander Mitta made his debut as a film director with My friend, Kolka! (Drug moy, Kolka!..) (1961) but became well-known after the release of his film The bell’s ringing, open the door! (Zvonyat, otkroyte dver) (1965), tackling upon complicated issues of teenagers just stepping into adult life. The leading role in the film was played by Yelena Proklova, then a schoolgirl, who later grew into a bright star of Russian cinema. Mitta’s film changed the perception of the hackneyed “pioneers’ theme” – it unfolded in a lively and spontaneous way. The film won the Grand Prize of the Venice International Film Festival in 1966. His next film Dot, dot, coma... (Tochka, tochka, zapyataya...) (1972) was also about teenagers. Just like his debut works, the film revealed the director’s gift in working with young actors and subtle psychological portrayal of characters.

Striving to expand the genre borders Mitta turned to the Western genre of catastrophe movie adapted to soviet reality. The experiment turned to be successful: millions of viewers saw the film Air Crew (Ekipazh) (1980). In 1983 he directed his landmark film The Story of the Voyages (Skazka stranstviy) (1982) starring brilliant Andrei Mironov and Tatyana Aksyuta. In the post-Perestroika period he, unlike many other film directors, worked intensely. His most famous movie of that time is the series Frontier. Taiga Romance (Granitsa. Tayozhnyy roman) (2001).

Alexander Mitta was also an actor in Marlen Khutsiyev’s well-known films I am Twenty (Mne dvadtsat let) (1964) and July Rain (Iyulskiy dozhd) (1966).

Tags: Russian directors Russian cinema    

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