Wednesday, November 19, 2014

KOROLEVSTVO KRIVYKH ZERKAL - "Kingdom Of Crooked Mirrors" (1963)

 Greg Goodsell here – sorry I’ve been gone so long, but I’ve been bogged down with this thing called life. Anyway, here we go down the rabbit hole for the exquisite Russian fantasy film KINGDOM OF THE CROOKED MIRRORS.

 There have been a lot of Russian fairy tales made into movies, but this one should be especially accessible to western audiences as it’s short, funny and constantly amazing! Dig in! 

And so it begins -- these rotten Russian kids are poking their heads through a lattice showing a film intended for adults only when our heroine Olya (Olga Yukina) remembers she's running late and she needs to make it to Grandma's house!

Switzerland had 500 years of peace and Democracy and WHAT DID IT GET THEM? The cuckoo clock!

Here is Olya, our Soviet heroine, all precious in pigtails, before she mounts her most surrealistic adventure!

Her sweet Russian grandma-ma tells her she needs to be a bit more conscious of her actions and to keep up appearances! Kind of interesting to find such capitalistic sentiments in a Russian kiddie film!

All this blue and red gel lighting -- it appears that some Mario Bava movies made it past the Iron Curtain!

Like her British counterpart Alice, our plucky heroine ventures into what lies behind the mirror! Love the Caligari-esque frame this is in!

BANG! She meets her identical twin (Aylo – Olya spelled backwards because she’s in the mirror, right?) within the land of the mirror! No worries! They become fast playmates and go on a rollicking adventure! Aylo is played by Olga’s real-life twin sister, Tatyana Yuina!

This is just the beginning of all the surrealistic eye candy as the twins descend a staircase and the titular Kingdom unfolds on them in this fashion!

Beautiful matte painting I just HAD to share!

Yes -- it's THE KINGDOM OF THE CROOKED MIRRORS! Beautiful shot!

The fun has just begun as we are introduced to the Kingdom's colorful -- and very pompous and arrogant citizens!

Alejandro Jodorowsky's latest film, THE DANCE OF REALITY, has quite a few characters that look like they could have stepped out of this movie.

I'll bet you a sawbuck that these wicked stepsisters are men in drag!

So many wonderful matte paintings! I'm going to use up my pictorial allotment but I JUST DON'T CARE!

Here we meet poor put upon "Dneirf," which is Friend" backward -- we're in a mirror world, remember? And the plucky twins set out to free him from enslavement, setting the story in place!

Boorish capitalists make Dneirf earn his wage!

The decadent party-goers all have a distinct Eighties "vibe" to them, with their poofed up hair -- but this is 1963! I guess Russian filmmakers were prescient!

Well – KINGDOM OF THE CROOKED MIRRORS is so wonderful, grumpy ol’ Eegah said I could do this in two parts in order to share all the wonky visuals found herein! So tune in on Saturday for more Soviet surrealism as we conclude – THE KINGDOM OF CROOKED MIRRORS!


Andy said...

Incredible images. Thanks a lot for this post. Eagerly awaiting the conclusion...

Scumbalina said...

Nice write up. Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors has always been a favorite of mine. It was my first Russian Fairy Tale movie, from then I became obsessed! Looking forward to part two :-)

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