Russian Director Marlen Khutsiev Dies at 93

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Marlen Khutsiev

He collected awards at the Berlin, Locarno and Venice film festivals.

Marlen Khutsiev, one of Russia's most significant directors, died Tuesday in Moscow, the Russian union of filmmakers announced on its website. He was 93.

Khutsiev was reportedly hospitalized two days ago with internal bleeding, but the exact cause of his death has not been revealed.

Born in Tiflis, Georgia, in 1925, Khutsiev graduated from Moscow's National State Cinema Institute (VGIK) in 1952.

His first directorial effort was 1956's Vesna na Zarechnoy ulitse (Spring on Zarechnaya Street), co-directed with Felix Mironer. It was followed by Dva Fyodora (Two Fyodors) two years later.

Khutsiev came to prominence in the mid-1960s, when he made two movies that are considered most significant in representing that period's generation of young people: 1965's lyulskiy dozhd (July Rain) and 1967's Mne dvadtsat let (I Am Twenty).

Still, both were heavily criticized by Soviet authorities for failure to comply with dominant Communist ideology, which made getting funding for his subsequent films difficult. As a result, the director made only five feature films before the collapse of the Communist system in 1991.

I Am Twenty won the Special Jury Prize at Venice in 1965. Khutsiev's 1992 film Beskonechnost (Infinity) won awards at the Berlinale, and he collected the Leopard Career Award at Locarno in 2015.

Khutsiev's final film, the recently completed Nevechernyaya (Non-Nightly), is scheduled to be released this year.