Ryazanov, Eldar Aleksandrovich

Ryazanov, Eldar Aleksandrovich, 1927–2015, Russian film director and screenwriter, b. Samara, grad. State Institute of Cinematography (1950). Probably Russia's most popular filmmaker, he renowned for gently satirizing everyday life in the Soviet and the post-Soviet eras. Carnival Night (1956), the first of his nearly 30 feature films, depicts a group of young Russians who organize a New Year's Eve party and frustrate an overbearing official's attempt to stage a stodgy event. Ryazanov's apolitical stance and lightness of touch kept all but one one of his films, A Man from Nowhere (1961), in which a Stone Age man visited the USSR and caustically commented on Soviet life, from being banned. In The Irony of Fate (1975) a drunken doctor accidentally boards a flight to Leningrad on New Year's Eve and there mistakes as his own an apartment whose address, locks, interior, and furniture are identical to those of his new Moscow place. Mocking the uniformity produced by the USSR's planned economy, the warmhearted comedy became a New Year's Eve classic on Russian television. Among his other films are Beware of the Car (1966), Office Romance (1977), The Garage (1979), A Railway Station for Two (1982), A Cruel Romance (1984), and The Promised Heavens (1991).

See study by D. MacFayden (2003).

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