14 August 2017

Spark – a festival of revolutionary film

‘Of all the arts the most important for us is the cinema.’ 

Lenin

Spark, the Russian Revolution Centenary Committee’s festival of revolutionary film, takes place at two of London’s most renowned independent cinemas: the Phoenix and the Rio. The festival takes its name from the Russian revolutionary newspaper Iskra (Spark). It features classics of early Soviet cinema by Vsevolod Pudovkin, Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov and Esfir Shub. Warren Beatty’s Reds will also be shown as a unique and daring Hollywood film about the Revolution, released at the height of the Cold War. 

Rio Cinema
The Rio Cinema in Dalston is one of London's oldest independent cinemas, having been founded in 1909 by Prussian immigrant Clara Ludski. In continual cinema use ever since, the Rio has always had a repertory based programme of independent and foreign language film. Its stunning art deco auditorium with stalls and circle seats over 400. In the 1970s it operated as part of the Tatler group and was a sister cinema to the Tatler Charing Cross Rd which had a 100% Soviet film programme. The Rio remains a community run cinema and will launch a second screen this autumn.

107 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB; https://www.riocinema.org.uk/; 020 7241 9410
Phoenix Cinema
Built in 1910 and opened in 1912, the Phoenix is one of the oldest cinemas in the UK. Independent and not-for-profit, it has been operated by a charitable trust on behalf of the people of North London since 1985, after local residents joined forces to stop the sale of the cinema to property developers with the help of a grant from the GLC in one of its final acts. In 2000 the cinema received a Grade II listing, with English Heritage recognising the importance of the Phoenix's original 1910 barrel-vaulted ceiling and the 1938 Mollo and Egan decorative wall panels. The Phoenix is committed to screening foreign-language and arthouse films and seeks to use its resources for the benefit of a wider population by encouraging the greatest possible access to film culture for our diverse local communities.
52 High Rd, East Finchley, London N2 9PJ; https://phoenixcinema.co.uk; 020 8444 6789
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Introduction
Please note that ‘Strike’ will be introduced by Mike Wayne, professor in Film and Media at Brunel University.