NYFF9: Gleb Panfilov’s “The Debut”

Posted by Daniel Rubinton on 12.5.2011

On Tuesday we will continue our weekly celebration of "50 Years of the New York Film Festival" with a 35mm print of Gleb Panfilov's The Debut, originally screened at the ninth NYFF in 1971.

Coming from the U.S.S.R. in the middle of the Cold War, The Debut showed how similar life could be on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The film follows Pasha (Inna Churikova), a factory worker, as she is discovered and put in the role of Joan of Arc in a major film. Though the film industry depicted is that of Soviet Moscow, the story told proves to be very remincent of similar ones coming out of Hollywood at the time. Pasha's life goes through incredible changes, for better and worse, in this wonderfully wry film. Churikova, director Panfilov's future wife, gives a terrific performance as a young actress navigating the pitfalls of show business. Chosen 40 years ago to open the New York Film Festival, The Debut is still as charming and entertaining as ever.

"50 Years of the New York Film Festival" will continue on Sunday, December 18 with Jacques Rivette's masterpiece L'amour fou, from the tenth edition of the festival in 1972.

Here is a list of all the films that played the ninth New York Film Festival in 1971:
The Debut (Nachalo)
Gleb Panfilov, U.S.S.R, 1971
Shown with Replay, Robert Deubel, USA

Family Life (Zycie rodninne)
Krzysztof Zanussi, Poland, 1971
Shown with Passing Quietly Through, Dinitia Smith McCarthy, USA

The Last Picture Show
Peter Bogdanovich, USA, 1971
Shown with Abraham and Isaac, R.O. Blechman, USA

In the Summertime (Durante l’estate)
Ermanno Olmi, Italy, 1971
Shown with Little Man, Big City, Gyula Mackassy, GyorgyVarnai, Yugoslavia

Decameron (Decamerone)
Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1971
Shown with The Further Adventures of Uncle Sam, Robert Michell, Dale Case, USA

Dodes’ka-den
Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1971

Directed by John Ford
Peter Bogdonavich, USA, 1971
Shown with What Fixed Me, Thomas Rickman USA

Fata Morgana
Werner Herzog, West Germany, 1971
Shown with Nostalgia, Hollis Frampton, USA

Four Nights of a Dreamer (Quatre nuits d’un reveur)
Robert Bresson, France, 1971
Shown with New Arts, Eric Saarinen, Howard Chesley, USA

Recruits in Ingolstadt (Die pioniere von Ingolstadt)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1971
Shown with The Caterpillar and the Wild Animals, Gerard H. Baldwin, USA, and The Last Winters, Jean Charles Tacchella, France

Born to Win
Ivan Passer, USA, 1971
Shown with I Never Promised You a Long Run, Paul Leaf, USA

The Sorrow and the Pity (Le chagrin et la pitié)
Marcel Ophuls, Switzerland, 1970

Punishment Park
Peter Watkins, U.S.A., 1971
Shown with Fable Safe, Erik Barnouw, USA

In the Name of the Father (Il nome del padre)
Marco Bellocchio, Italy, 1971
Shown with Mummy, Mummy, John Beech, Great Britain

WR-Mysteries of the Organism (WR – Misterije oranizma)
Dusan Makavejev, Yugoslavia, 1971
Shown with A Child’s Alphabet with Casual References to DNA Replication in the Garden of Eden, Thomas Spence, USA, and Work, Fred Wardenburg, USA

Bonaparte and the Revolution (Bonaparte et le révolution)
Abel Gance, France, 1971

A Safe Place
Henry Jaglom, USA, 1971
Shown with Synchromy, Norman McLaren, USA

Murmur of the Heart (Le souffle au coeur)
Louis Malle, France/ Italy/ West Germany, 1971

Image courtesy of the Kobal Collection

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