«Народная драма в 6 сценах с апофеозом» по мотивам одноимённой поэтической пьесы А. С. Пушкина.
Rusalka, based on Pushkin's play about a prince and a mermaid, followed in Goncharov's resolutely ornate style, with Fester once again creating a decor based on the popular narrative painting of the time. The film's trick effects and surreal underwater set are less typical of Russian production and may reflect the popularity of Pathé's trick films at this time. By 1911, when the unreleased Brigand Brothers was started, Goncharov's pantomime style seemed dated. Yet with the future star Mozzhukhin already showing his quality, and superb locations around the Moscow River, he managed one of the most expressive of all early classic adaptations — in this case Pushkin's epic poem.
- RUSALKA. Director/Screenplay: Vasilii Goncharov. Based on the play by Pushkin. Photography: Vladimir Siversen. Art Director: V. Fester. Production Company: Khanzhonkov. Released March 30, 1910. Cast: Vasilii Stepanov (Miller). Aleksandra Goncharova (Daughter). Andrei Gromov (Prince).
1908 saw the belated start of Russian film production. Up to this point, imported films from France, America, Britain, and the other main European producers had satisfied a rapidly expanding exhibition market. But there was also growing demand for truly Russian pictures — one which the entrepreneurial Drankov first tapped with his Sten'ka Razin, launched with a fanfare in October 1908. The producer who was to become his only real rival over the next ten years did not manage to release his first film until two months later and then it proved a commercial failure — "thus the dream of releasing Russia's first picture on an everyday theme," Khanzhonkov recalled in 1937, "failed to materialize." Today, however, this simple gypsy tale has a plein air freshness and authenticity (it used real gypsies) which Sten'ka Razin lacks.
But this ex-cavalry officer was undaunted. Recruiting the determined Goncharov as his director, Khanzhonkov backed a group of three historical scenarios, of which Russian Wedding was one. Accounts of the filming reveal how little experience was available, but Goncharov's attention to setting and costume — and his assistant Chardynin's help with the actors — resulted in films that had immediate appeal, not least for nationalistic reasons. [forgottenmovie]