Historical drama: Alexander Nevsky (1938)
There's a lot to be said about the historical inaccuracies and the rather specific agenda propagated in Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky, but however that may be, it’s a fantastic, beautiful, and powerful movie. I’ve included it in this list because of a key scene: the Battle on the Ice. It took place in winter, when heavily-armed German knights fought Russian warriors on ice – an absolutely unforgettable sight.
Cartoon: The Twelve Months (1956)
Great animation, naturalistic scenery, the victory of good over evil, and a little bit of magic – all these components make The Twelve Months a lovely cartoon to enjoy on a winter evening, especially if you feel the need to find some hope, optimism, and inspiration in this gloomy weather.
Fairytale: Jack Frost (1964)
A movie adaptation of the traditional folk fairytale and may I say, it’s quite iconic thanks to the great cast, peculiar costumes, and the universal message of how at the end, it’s always decent and modest people who end up in a better place than the rude and greedy.
Musical: Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (2001)
This might not be an example of top-quality television, to be honest, but in recent years, my friends rediscovered tacky movies from the ‘00s such as this one and actually found them fun to watch if you’re not looking for anything too thought-provoking. It features a good dozen of famous Russian singers, so it’s also a fun introduction to the pop culture of that decade.
Comedy: Peculiarities of the National Hunt in Winter Season (2001)
I’ve always liked the entire franchise, which also includes the movies Peculiarities of the National Hunt (1995) and Peculiarities of the National Fishing (1998). I find these movies hilarious and not-that-typical for Russian cinema. They are about rather ridiculous adventures of real Russian men and their manly hobbies – hunting, fishing, going to the sauna, and drinking vodka. Oh, and fighting bears, of course.