Russia, France – Sokurov, 2009
A Russian grandmother (Galina Vishnevskaya, a famous Russian opera singer) visiting her grandson Denis (Vasily Shevtsov), a sergeant in the Russian army. He’s stationed at a remote Chechen outpost, and from the moment Alexandra arrives, she is out of place. The army base is barren and secluded, a closed system with its own code and structure. This visitor creates an immediate juxtaposition between the outside and the inside, and Sokurov patiently tracks the old woman as she explores the camp, talking to soldiers, and even going beyond its perimeter to the local market, where she befriends some of the occupied people.
(A longer review – rogerebert.com/reviews/alexandra-2008)
Continue reading “Alexandra – Александра”
Mother – a silent movie by Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1926
Structures shaping into motion, motions reshaping into structure, against each other, so that the whole thing is like a snowstorm rolling down a hill; gathering itself to itself. Which is to say the people to the people, in an effort at once to reshape and portray the reshaped world.
Continue reading “Мать – Mother”
Ten Days That Shook the World
October was one of two films commissioned by the Soviet government to honour the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution (the other was Vsevolod Pudovkin’s The End of St. Petersburg). Eisenstein was chosen to head the project due to the international success he had achieved with The Battleship Potemkin in 1925. Nikolai Podvoisky, one of the troika who led the storming of the Winter Palace, was responsible for the commission.
Continue reading “October – Октябрь”
King’s MLC presents
a talk by the author
“The revolution and accompanying Civil War was the main event, or the main catastrophe, of the 20th century for Russia. It was a momentous and tragic period.”
In this talk,
Alexei Makushinsky addresses the subjects of the Russian Revolution and Civil War, particularly the psychology of revolution; the mental and ideological premises of the revolutionary action.
Continue reading “Writing about Revolution”
English event at King’s College, Strand, on the day after. Follow this link!
“Мне кажется, что искусство — это, прежде всего, приближение к какой-то реальности, или какой-то правде, или, наоборот, к какому-то идеальному тексту, какой-то в условиях земного бытия невоплотимой красоте… Во всяком случае, к чему-то, чего мы никогда не достигаем и что, парадоксальным образом, всегда уже нам «дано», всегда уже есть, в нас и вокруг нас.”
Алексей Макушинский, Интервью в журнале Eclectic.
Continue reading “Чтение и разговор с писателем Алексеем Макушинским”
Vladimir Menshov (1979)
Moscow of the late ’50s is the initial setting for this movie of three young girls out for love – the upwardly mobile Lyuda (Irina Muravyova), the secure Tonya (Raisa Ryazanova) and the head-over-heels Katya (Vera Alentova). The film re-engages the trio 20 years later, focusing on their varied life changes.
John Bush for allmovie.com
Москва пятидесятых годов. Три молодые провинциалки приезжают в Москву в поисках того, что ищут люди во всех столицах мира — любви, счастья и достатка. Их судьбы складываются именно так, как предполагает характер каждой из девушек.
Continue reading “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears”
6:30pm – 9:30pm
The tale of an ageing monarch descending into madness, filtered through a Communist perspective by Russian director Grigori Kozintsev in the latter’s final film.
This monochrome King Lear has an epic sweep, which emphasizes the catastrophic impact of feudal misrule upon the country’s starving masses. A commanding title performance by Estonian actor Yuri Yarvet, some striking landscape imagery, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s anguished score help make for a spirited adaptation.
Join our contributors Owen Hatherley and Dawn Foster in conversation to mark the launch of the Autumn 2016 New Humanist.
The Chernobyl accident of 1986 is one of the greatest catastrophes of the nuclear age, yet its aftermath was followed by a wave of local solidarity and international co-operation. Does it take a disaster to get people to help one another? Should such an event make us think again about the potential of new technology?
Continue reading “New Humanist – autumn launch party”
An evening of Yiddish and Russian Songs
by Yuri Vedenyapin
A perfect way to round off the week
Continue reading “Mame-loshn and Mother Tongue”
On April 26th, 1986, reactor four at Chernobyl nuclear power station explodes, sending an enormous radioactive cloud over Northern Ukraine and neighbouring Belarus. The danger is kept a secret from the rest of the world and the nearby population who go about their business as usual. May Day celebrations begin, children play and the residents of Pripyat marvel at the spectacular fire raging at the reactor. After three days, an area the size of England becomes contaminated with radioactive dust, creating a ‘zone’ of poisoned land.
On Atomic TV ⇒
On Youtube ⇒
Continue reading “HEAVY WATER – Mario Petrucci”