21 Sep 2012 8:00pm - 9:30pm University Library, West Road



Special Event, organised by the Departments of Slavonic Studies and History of Art, in association with the University Library and Cambridge Film Festival. 


Open air screening of the remarkable 1924 Soviet silent film, Aelita (dir. Iakov Protazanov), in front of the University Library, West Road. 
With live accompaniment by Neil Brand. 

Introduced by:
Professor Ian Christie (Birkbeck) and
Dr Emma Widdis (Trinity)



This will be a remarkable occasion – the film will be screened in front of the University Library's imposing facade, and shown in a newly restored version, with a live score performed by Neil Brand. The screening is organised as part of the University Library's current exhibition, A Soviet Design for Life: The Catherine Cooke Collection of 20th-Century Russian Architecture and Design. It marks the end of a two-day international symposium, Design without Frontiers, which will feature key scholars from the UK, United States, Europe and Russia. The symposium will explore how Soviet architects, poets, painters and designers were united in formal and informal collaborative networks, leading to innovative design collectives, and to a unique erosion of any lasting divisions between architectural, graphic, textile, theatre, and urban design.

About the film


Iakov Protazanov's 1924 film is set in 1920s Moscow. Engineer Los is among a group of technicians who receive a strange radio message that seems to be from another world. Los begins to dream about a woman on the distant planet Mars, little realising that Aelita, the daughter of its totalitarian ruler, is actually observing him through a telescope. Fate deals him a tragic blow – but also presents him with an opportunty… He builds a spaceship and travels to the red planet to be united with her, and with his comrade Gulev leads a proletarian uprising. But is everything quite what it seems? The USSR's first science fiction film was a huge hit when first released, with children even being named 'Aelita' in its honour. It featured extraordinary costumes and sets designed by avant-garde artist Alexandra Ekster. 

Sponsored by Russkiy mir and Gazprom

More information on Design without Frontiers.




Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk