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 Nikita Mikhalkov


Born:   October, 21st, 1945

Actor and film director

      

Nikita Sergeyevich Mikhalkov, the son of the well-known Soviet writer Sergei Mikhalkov, grandson of Pyotr Konchalovsky, and brother of Andrei Konchalovsky, was born on October, 21st, 1945 in Moscow.

Nikita Mikhalkov first studied acting technique at the children's studio of Stanislavsky Theatre and then in Shchukin’s Theatre School. In 1959 he first appeared in a film, and in 1963, when yet a student of Shchukin’s School, he made his overwhelmingly successful debut starring in Georgi Daneliya’s lyrical comedy I Step Through Moscow, which became extremely popular with many generations of Soviet people. Along with starting his acting career Nikita Mikhalkov entered VGIK (All-Union State Institute of Cinematography), where he studied direction under the brilliant teacher and film director Mikhail Romm.

Nikita Mikhalkov directed his first film in 1968 – it was the short-length drama I am Going Home, but his big debut was the film A Quiet Day During the End of War (1970). Mikhalkov’s first appreciable work was At Home Among Strangers (1974), which he directed, co-wrote and played the lead in. This adventure movie actually turned to be the first of the so-called “Easterns” in Soviet Russian cinema. The film director gained international recognition with his film An Unfinished Piece for a Player Piano (1977), which won the first prize of the San Sebastian Film Festival. Marcello Mastroianni became the Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival and gained an Oscar nomination for his leading role in Mikhalkov’s Dark Eyes (1987).

In 1993 Nikita Mikhalkov’s film Urga: the Territory of Love (1992) was nominated for Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category. In 1994 Mikhalkov became simultaneously the producer, the director, the scriptwriter and the featured actor in the film drama Burnt by the Sun, which finally gained him the long-awaited Oscar and the Grand Prize of the Cannes Film Festival. The success was followed by his international film project The Barber of Siberia (1998), which premiered in Russia in 1999. In 2005 Russians saw Filipp Yankovsky’s widely advertized film The State Counsellor featuring Nikita Mikhalkov as Prince Pozharsky. In 2007 Mikhalkov finished his remake of Sidney Lumet’s picture 12 Angry Men under the title 12.

Further on Mikhalkov directed a pretentious large-scale two-part film project about the Great Patriotic War under the title Burnt by the Sun-2 (the sequel of his Oscar-winning film). With the unheard-of budget of $40 million the film became the most costly failure in the history of Russian cinema. The movie’s receipts did not cover even a quarter of its cost.

In 1998 Nikita Mikhalkov was elected Chairman of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation. The year 2008 saw the 7th Congress of the Union of Cinematographers (without Mikhalkov’s presence as a delegate of the congress), which elected Marlen Khutsiev as the new chairman.

Nikita Mikhalkov’s films and his public activities are far from being subjects to praises and delights only; controversy, criticisms and even fierce attacks are not rare.

 


Tags: Nikita Mikhalkov Russian cinema Russian directors Russian actors  




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