July Rain

[»юльский дождь]

(1966) USSR

Directed by Marlen Khutsiev

Written by Anatolii Grebnev and Marlen Khutsiev. Cinematography by German Lavrov. Art Direction by Georgii Kalganov. Music by Bulat Okudzhava and Iurii Vizbor. With Evgeniia Uralova, Aleksandr Beliavskii, Iurii Vizbor, Aleksandr Mitta, and Alina Pokrovskaia.

In Russian with English subtitles

The heroes of July Rain who came out of the recent [film by Khutsiev] Lenin's Guard, are not simply three years older-they went through an entire historical cataclysm, the cataclysm which is all the more terrifying because it seems not to have happened at all, at least not officially, on the surface, in the public sphere.
July Rain marked the beginning of a different cinema, far less joyful and optimistic, which lost (or was loosing throughout the decade) illusions and light ideas about reality, cinema ruthless to any illusions and ideas of yesteryear. This cinema was hiding the pungency of its social diagnosis under situations that, on the surface, seemed trivial, everyday, and neutral.
— Miron Chernenko, Marlen Khutsiev, pp. 17-19

If it were not for Moscow, Khutsiev's July Rain would be three times shorter. I don't know any other film where a space the role of which within the plot should be secondary, would be so independent. Moscow here is like a sea, and you can't get used to it or get enough of it.
The utilitarian nature of Moscow's transfers, escalators, and tunnels is fictional, improvised by some dilettante architect only to fill the space of life of these thirty-year-olds, who, instead of making money and career, read Pasternak's poetry until four in the morning.
— Petr Shepotinnik, Iskusstvo kino [Film Art] 8 (1997), p. 55.

Looking back at the Soviet cinema of the Sixties could perhaps induce nostalgia or a sense of superiority. But in fact it is more likely to elicit admiration, and a realization that the aesthetic ferment of that decade was much richer and more profound than any Western New Wave, including France's. — Ian Christie, Film Comment 36.6 (Nov-Dec 2000), p. 42.

Marlen Khutsiev (b. 1925) graduated from the State Institute of Cinematography in 1952. One of the leading cultural figures of the Thaw, Khutsiev made films that were both popular with the audience (especially the 1956 Spring on Zarechnaia Street) and symbolic of the era's dreams and illusions. In 1965, the film I Am Twenty got a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. In the 1970s Khutsiev worked on TV. In 1992, Khutsiev's film Infinitas won two awards at the Berlin International Film Festival. The director in currently working on a film about Aleksandr Pushkin. Khutsiev received a prestigious award "For Services to the Motherland."