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Fitil' (Post-Soviet era)

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Fitil' (Post-Soviet era)
Fitil' (Post-Soviet Era).jpg

Fitil (TV).jpg

The swan song of Sergey Mikhalkov's career.
Genre: Satire, Comedy, Documental
Running Time: 10 Minutes
Country: Russia
Release Date: 1992-2003 (theatrical releases), 2004-2008 (TV Version)
Created by: Sergey Mikhalkov (original idea), Igor Ugolnikov (TV Version)
Starring: Alexander Pankratov-Cherny, Yuri Chernov, Boris Novikov, Leonid Kuravlev, Valery Prokhorov, Vladimir Kashpur, Alexander Lebedev, Alexander Pyatkov, Ramses Dzhabrailov, Nikolay Averyushkin, Andrey Saphonov, Alexander Semchev
Episodes: 61 Issues (1992-2003), 187 Issues (TV Version)

"Fitil'" is a satirical film journal produced by various film studios of short films of the USSR and the CIS in 1962-2004 and a satirical TV program of the same name produced by order of the TV channel "Russia" in 2004-2008, which also produced stories of various Russian film studios, television associations, and foundations, as well as the Irreal Pictures studio of the Republic of Belarus. Even though most of the original issues were well received, the same can't be said for these issues, which were panned by Russians. This article will be talking about the Fitil' issues from USSR's death to TV Version.

Bad Qualities

1992-2003 Issues

  1. Awfully weak writing.
  2. Terrible acting, especially by Honored and Popular Actors of Russia.
  3. Cartoon shorts were no longer shown in this era.
  4. Some of the shorts are bland rip-offs/rehashes of classic shorts, for example, "It's gone!" is a rip-off of "Bad, but good".
  5. There are lots of mean-spirited moments, for example, at the end of "Men's Conversation", a boy gives his grandfather a magazine with naked women, which makes him perplexed, in "It's gone!" teacher accepts parents as members of the parent committee, because their children smoke only cigarettes, drink only portwein and use birth control devices, and in "History Lesson" the old people tell all sorts of nonsense instead of history to their grandson.
  6. Lot of stock music, for example, at the end of some shorts, the same jazz music plays, which can get boring.
    • It played in shorts, likes "Tic-tac-toe", "Simple diagnosis", "Maturity Test", "New Times", etc.
      • Inappropriate popular songs of the 90s were also used in this issue, for example, Masha Rasputina's song "Tarakany" plays in short "The Engine of Trade".

Fitil'-Digest (TV Version)

  1. Old opening with a twisted wick has been replaced with a new CGI intro that looks atrocious.
    • CGI-Bumpers in this show also look very cringy.
  2. Poor and cringe CGI effects. Short "Interplanetary Auditors" is the main example of bad animation.
  3. The TNT pop-up boxes that show the year the shorts were created are also annoying. Some of them indicate the wrong year.
  4. The issues use stock music, which is just inappropriate like in Seely Six.
  5. Obnoxious use of Hanna-Barbera sound effects that will get on your nerves, especially in live-action/cartoon shorts from soviet issues.
  6. Some classic shorts are over-voiced terribly, for example, the phrase "GET OUT!" in the short "Boor" of 1968.
  7. Some classic shorts are supplemented with voice-over text, which is also inappropriate and voiced. Cartoon shorts "Tangle" and "Hot Season" are the main examples of inappropriate voice-over text.
  8. New cartoon shorts (starting with Financial Control) looks very cheap and poorly animated.
  9. This show is also known for competitive scripts with awfully weak writing and horrendous acting.
  10. Some of the shorts are bland rip-offs/rehashes of classic shorts, for example, "Down with corruption!" is a rip-off of "Sharp turn" and "Instant vodka" is a rip-off of "Eureka!".
  11. Classic shorts like "Victim" and "The Last Parade" also contain inappropriate sequels.
  12. There are lots of mean-spirited moments, for example, transformation into a goat in "So much for maa!".

Good Qualities

  1. An old opening with a twisted wick is used in 1992-2003 issues, despite one change.
  2. There are still plenty of great shorts from this era (especially in 1992-2003), such as "Simple Situation", "Va-Bank", "Good Host", "Big Change", "Care", "Blonde behind the wheel", "Give me a coin, front-line soldier" and "Meanest journalist". Some shorts are relevant.
    • Some scripts were written by such outstanding satirists as Anatoly Trushkin, Grigory Gorin, Mikhail Zhvanetsky, Felix Kamov, and many others.
      • Documentary shorts is still good. They still tells about the problems of Russians.
  3. The phrase of Pankratov-Cherny "I was joking!" from short "Blonde behind the wheel" became a meme.
  4. Although the animated shorts were no longer shown in 1992-2003 issues, the short "Survival School" from 364 issues ended on a high note.


Stanislav Sadalsky, who starred in the old issues of "Fitil'", called the new TV journal a primitive:

"I was lucky enough to star in the old issues of "Fitil'" at the time. And recently we managed to compare them with the new ones. They invited me to participate in the filming, and I can say unequivocally that the new magazine is primitive. The plots are terrible, and it is unclear what they are about, what their meaning is. Everything is very long before one story lasted three or four minutes, and now 10 minutes, which also does not make the new "Fitil'" better. He's become too boring. I remember how they used to wait for a film journal, it was interesting, there was caustic satire. What about now? Some kind of parody of new plots on old ones. It's not my cup of tea now, I refused to continue acting in the "Fitil'". I think that the new journal is up to the old one - as before the Kremlin star."
Stanislav Sadalsky


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