Cinema: Shostakovich Swings

Song over Moscow, for Western audiences, is a cinematic curio, a satirical Russian musical about young love embattled by status seekers, bureaucratic bumblers and the apartment shortage. Giddy and boisterous, the film gulps down its pill of social realist picture-painting and produces some fascinating side effects. It affords a sly peek behind the Iron Curtain, and seems to take all its bows facing West.

The songs are by Soviet Composer Dmitry Shostakovich, who blithely dissolves ideological conflicts in a burst of tuneful Slavic borsch. Occasionally the Magicolor screen becomes a hotbed of artistic freethinking, dissolving into sets that look very MGMsky, if...

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