English Translation And Subtitles Required For These Films
Tainstvennaya stena (seems to transate as 'A Mysterious Wall' or 'Mysterious Walls') is a 1967 black and white science-fiction film made by Mosfilm. It seems totally unknown in the English speaking world and seems to be something of a cult underground film in Russia and Eastern Europe.
The film caught my attention due to the 'Solaris' and 'Stalker' comparisons. Interestingly, this was Alexander Kaidanovsky's debut film who played the lead role in Stalker.
The film seems to be about these mysterious walls that have suddenly appeared on earth as seen through the eyes of a young Russian female scientist, Lomov. She conjectures these are communication devices sent to Earth by an extraterrestrial civilisation.
Its working title is 'We Are The Martians' (which of course is coincidently the most memorable line of dialogue at the end scene the 1959 BBC British sci-fi classic Quatermass And The Pit when Professor Quatermass addresses the nation and explains we were seeded on Earth with the line 'We are the Martians').
The plot seems to concern a mysterious "wall" or spherical energy field that keeps appearing and disappearing in the Siberian Taiga. The wall seems to attract people and projects upon itself, memories from the person's past.
A scientific research centre is set up to monitor and investigate the mysterious "wall". One of the scientists, and central protaganist, a young female called Lomov believes in an extraterrestrial origin for the phenomena and sees the "wall" as a communication device through which the alien owners of the device are trying to communicate with her.
Sacked by the authorities for her extraterrestrial hypothesis, Lomov, helped by others, illegally attempts to communicate with the aliens through radar technology. The effects of her experiment are felt by all the central characters who experience past visions of their own lives and memories of mysterious encounters.
I have sourced a rip of the film from a Russian television broadcast and having just watched it (not knowing a word of Russian of course makes my appreciation limited), I can really see the validity of the Stalker references (and to other Soviet era science-fiction like Veld, Thirteenth Apostle and the children's 'Stalker' series called 'Posrednik'.) or even post Soviet sci-fi like Ugly Swans.
Very bleak, surreal and visionary, it is incredible that this remains virtually unknown. This would make a very worthwhile subtitle translation project as I believe there is most definitely an audience for this film.
Please get in touch if you are willing to translate part or all of the film (get your Russian friends involved!). It would be great if we could get a few people working on a single film, maybe ten minutes of dialogue each! ” - kosmikino
"Ghoul" is a short television episode taken from the sixties Polish series "Świat Grozy" or "World of Horror" and is based a story by Alexei Tolstoy concerning the discovery of vampires amongst the guests at a ball.
A young man hopes to become engaged to a young woman whose grand-mother and her friend happen to be vampires. As the story unfolds, a suitor of a previous relative of the grand-mother appears at the ball to inform the young man that she was killed by vampires and the same will happen to him and his bride-to-be unless they escape.
Filmed in black and white, the atmosphere this short film evokes is just electric in its gothic-horror romantic feel and reminds me very much of the Czech surrealist classic 'The Saragossa Manuscript'.
I have no information about the series itself and would be fascinated to discover more and whether other episodes survive. ” - kosmikino
"Das Tapfere Schneiderlein" or 'Brave Little Tailor' is a 1956 fairy tale film adaptation made by the then East German (GDR) DEFA studio, based on a German fairy-tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.
DEFA studios made some wonderful, surreal and psychedelic fairy-tale/folk-tale films & very few of them have English translations.
There are exceptions, such as the DEFA produced 1957 film 'The Singing Ringing Tree' which was dubbed over into English and shown on the BBC in the sixties (other DEFA fairy-tale films were dubbed into English by the BBC but none survive as far as I know).
There was an American dub into English of this film released in 1969 by 'Childhood Productions' but I have never seen it available anywhere.
This is such a unique and beautiful and surreal film and it would be great to have a revised and cleaned up version of the machine-translated subtitles. ” - kosmikino