Eldar Ryazanov graduated as a film director with honors from the Soviet State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in 1950, under the direction of G. Kozintsev. For first five years after the graduation he was making documentaries and in 1955 came to work at the Mosfilm Studios, where he worked under the direction of Ivan Pyryev. Ryazanov’s first feature film ‘Carnival Night’ (1956), was an instant box office hit.
Ryazanov’s early comedies ‘Devushka bez adresa’ (1957), ‘Gusarskaya ballada’ (1962), ‘Dayte zhalobnuyu knigu’ (1963) were popular in the time of the cultural “Thaw”, but his film ‘Chelovek niotkuda’ (1961), was banned by Soviet authorities, however, Ryazanov was not stopped making films. The most popular comedy is considered to be ’Watch Out for the Automobile’ (1966), the master blend of a witty script, precise direction, sharp cinematography, outstanding ensemble of actors and music written by one of the most recognized Soviet composer Andrei Petrov.
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Overlong but charming tale examining the cookie-cutter modernization of urban life. A man winds up in another city, takes a cab to his adress not realzing where he is as everything is pretty much the same. That is until the woman who lives there shows up. A farce ensues. Those reading political content into this one may be overreaching a little. A light comedy really that could have been better an hour shorter.
Art critics see the film as a work of social criticism, about the monotony and soulless uniformity under Soviet communism. But by far the most resonant theme is easy to pick out – heavy drinking. More national TV stations should broadcast the film during New Year's eve.