Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Born Today December 15: Yuli Raizman


1903-1994

Born Yuliyakovlevich Raizman in Riga, in what was then the Russian Empire, which is now the Capital of the country of Latvia, he would go on to be a well known Soviet director of films.  He got his start in the Soviet film industry as an uncredited actor in 1925 in the comedy short (which has survived and can actually be rented on Amazon) Shakhmatnaya goryachka or Chess Fever.  He apparently, quickly decided that acting was not for him. He then that same year he got his first Assistant Director job, in Medvezhya svadba or The Bear's Wedding.  He has two more credits as an assistant director; one in 1926 and another in 1927.  His first full job as a director also came in 1927 with the feature length Krug.  He made one other silent film in 1928; with his first mono sound film coming in 1930; quite early for the USSR, as other film directors at the time where still making silent pictures well into the early 1930's there.  Very late into his career, his film Chastnaya zhizn (Private Life) was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.  He directed his last film in 1984 before retiring.  He passed away in Moscow on the 11th of December 1994 at the age of 90.  He was born when Russia was still and empire, and lived all but three of years of his life in the USSR, and died in a much smaller independent country.  Although he, like all directors in the USSR made propaganda films, he was no where as prolific as most.  From my research the most propagandistic film that he directed was a "documentary" had to do with the fall of Berlin in 1945.  He is buried in Troekurov Cemetery in Moscow.

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