The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 3 – Larisa Shepitko

This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Robert Nishimura give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this episode, David and Robert discuss Larisa Shepitko, two films by the brilliant but little known Soviet director whose artistic output was cut off prematurely by her death in 1979.

About the films:

The career of Larisa Shepitko, an icon of sixties and seventies Soviet cinema, was tragically cut short when she was killed in a car crash at age forty, just as she was emerging on the international scene. The body of work she left behind, though small, is masterful, and her genius for visually evoking characters’ interior worlds is never more striking than in her two greatest works: Wings, an intimate yet exhilarating portrait of a female fighter pilot turned provincial headmistress, and The Ascent, a gripping, tragic wartime parable of betrayal and martyrdom. A true artist who had deftly used the Soviet film industry to make statements both personal and universal, Shepitko remains one of the greatest unsung filmmakers of all time.

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Timeline for the podcast:

Introduction (00:00:01 – 00:08:13)

Wings (00:08:14 – 00:39:59)

The Ascent (00:53:36 – 01:26:00)

Conclusion (01:26:01 – 01:34:25)

Buy The Box Set On Amazon:

Hulu Plus Links:

Episode Links:

Shepitko Overview:

Biographical Feature from The Guardian

Tribute to Shepitko and Elem Klimov (her husband) from Seagull Films

Larisa (1980), a 20 minute documentary directed by Shepitko’s husband Elem Klimov after her death. (in Russian, with Spanish subtitles)


You and I:

The Ascent:

Vimeo profile, with film clips mentioned in this episode:

Next time on the podcast: Eclipse Series 5: The First Films of Samuel Fuller

Music for the show is from Fatboy Roberts’ Geek Remixed project.

Contact us:

David Blakeslee

David hosts the Criterion Reflections podcast, a series that reviews the films of the Criterion Collection in their chronological order of release. The series began in 2009 and those essays (covering the years 1921-1967) can be found via the website link provided below. In March 2016, the blog transferred to this site, and in August 2017, the blog changed over to a podcast format. David also contributes to other reviews and podcasts on this site. He lives near Grand Rapids, Michigan and works in social services. Twitter / Criterion Reflections