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The Tailor from Torzhok

(Zakroyshchik iz Torzhka)
USSR 1925. Dir: Yakov Protazanov. 58 min. DCP

Made shortly after his acclaimed futuristic fantasy Aelita, Queen of Mars (screening November 16), director Yakov Protazanov’s brisk, lively comedy is set against everyday life in a small Russian town during the time of Lenin’s New Economic Policy. Comic actor Igor Ilyinsky (the amateur detective in Aelita) is Petya, a humble tailor working in the shop of widow Shirinikina. The strong-willed widow decides she wants to take Petya for a husband — and is not going to take no for an answer! Petya, meanwhile, is falling in love with Katya, a local domestic. The purchase of a lottery ticket, and its subsequent loss, plays a major part in the comic antics. The film was commissioned by the USSR’s State Lottery Loan.