Bob Atchison - The Alexander Palace Time Machine Blog
The Moscow SkyscraperLast night I watched a documentary on Sundance called The Moscow Skyscraper. Here's what Sundance has to say about it:
Documentary filmmaker Pavel Lounguine casts a critical eye on Russian society and history by focusing on the story of a monumental apartment building designed to house Stalin’s KBG officers and the Moscow elite. Built by prisoners of war and Gulag detainees, the massive neo-gothic high-rise still houses descendants of Stalin’s inner circle, who now prize their prime Moscow real estate. Focusing on the skyscraper’s current inhabitants, Louguine paints an ironic and revealing profile of a country still riven by the dark shadows of its past.
It doesn't look like Sundance is going to rebroadcast this film anytime soon but you can see a clip of the film on the Sundance site.
The filmmaker points out how Soviet citizens under Stalin lived in a constant state of both fear and exhilaration and how buildings like the great Stalinist towers ringing Moscow caused great pride and fear at the same time. I was struck by a visual and psychological similarity to the tripods in Speilberg's War of the Worlds, which both mesmerized and terrorised the helpless victim-cities they attacked.