Eldar Ryazanov dies at 88; Russian filmmaker satirized life in Soviet era

Eldar Ryazanov, a filmmaker who satirized and romanticized the life of ordinary Russians in his immensely popular comedies for almost six decades, died Monday. He was 88.

His death in a Moscow hospital, from what family members said was heart failure, was met with a deep sense of loss in Russia. President Vladimir Putin mourned him as a "real master and creator" whose films have become "true classics of Russian cinema and part of our national heritage, part of the history of our country."

Ryazanov was a household name in Russia, and his films are arguably the most recognizable titles in Soviet popular culture.

His movies ridiculed Soviet bureaucracy...