Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 18:32:43
21 September 2018


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Art

From art to film, from music to photography.

Modigliani and Akhmatova in Paris
Modigliani and Akhmatova in Paris

We know comparatively little about the relationship between Akhmatova and Modigliani, but sometimes a few pictures can speak volumes. In honor of Anna Akhmatova's birthday (June 11, old style; June 23 new style), we reprint this essay, originally published in Russian Life, Jan/Feb 2011.

Grozny
Grozny

This week, we visit Grozny with local journailst Khava Khasmagomadova.

Tags: Grozny, Chechnya, photography
The Force is Strong There
The Force is Strong There

There are some fascinating hidden connections between Star Wars (the movie) and Russia. Let's explore them, shall we?

 

Tags: Star Wars, movies, film
War, Peace and Cable
War, Peace and Cable

On Monday, January 18, a new BBC six-part miniseries of Lev Tolstoy's War and Peace comes to American television. Here's your crib sheet.

Tags: Tolstoy, war and peace, television, movies, film, literature, war
5 Reasons Silver is Precious
5 Reasons Silver is as Precious Poetically as Metallically

As a metal, Silver means second place; as a period of poetic production in Russia, the Silver Age is unparalleled. The years 1890-1925 (give or take) stand out for the explosion of poetic voices, forms, and innovations. With help from the recently published Russian Silver Age Poetry, we explore what sets that period apart.

Tags: poetry, silver age, symbolism, history, literature, Merezhkovsky, Gippius, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Khodasevich, Khlebnikov, Balmont, Severyanin, Bryusov
Faberge Documentary is a Jewel
Faberge Documentary is a Jewel

It is nice to come across a documentary about Russia that is not all Sturm and Drang, Stalin and Purges, mafia and Putin. The story of Peter Carl Fabergé and the jewelry empire he built is a truly remarkable story, and it is the focus of this new documentary from Arts Alliance.

Tags: Faberge, faberge eggs, Romanovs, art, history
Decoding Leviathan
Decoding Leviathan

Leviathan is not, as virtually every mainstream critic has presumed, “anti-Russian.” I watched the movie resolutely prepared to intensely dislike it. I fully believed it would shamelessly pander to an American public eager to see a film that demonized Putin and made the country seem like a hellish landscape of unsalvageable bleakness. But that was not at all the case. 

Tags: leviathan, film, oscars, zvyagintsev
Returning to Putorana
Returning to Putorana

We asked Ivan Kobilyakov, whose story on filming wild wolves in Putorana appeared in the Sep/Oct 2014 issue of Russian Life, to give us an update on the project and how filming has gone this summer. He also supplied new photos.

Tags: nature, siberia
The Many Homelands of Sergei Parajanov
The Many Homelands of Sergei Parajanov

Start with an Armenian base, drop in some Tbilisi, some Moscow, some Kiev, stir in amazing cinematography and strong political convictions, season with a Siberian labor camp – and voila! You're getting close to the legendary filmmaker Sergei Parajanov.

Tags: film, ussr, soviet union, sergei parajanov, traditions, cinema, dissidence
Spies Like Us
Spies Like Us

The Americans, on FX, is a brilliant episodic drama that recreates the 1980s with only minimal anachronisms but plenty of tension, plot twists, double-dealing and moral relativism.

Anna Karenina: The Puppet Version
Anna Karenina: The Puppet Version

The movie is almost too silly to discuss, as if Saturday Night Live decided to do a parody, but nobody but the costume-director and scene-making crew were ready. A puppet resembling Keira Knightley plays Anna; although thin, even scrawny, the animators make her look almost human.

Tags: reviews, movies, anna karenina, tolstoy, keira knightley
Anna Karenina The First Time
Anna Karenina The First Time

In this, the second of two posts on Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, the author recounts his discovery of the greatest novel of all time: "I had never lived a book as I lived Anna Karenina."

Tags: anna karenina, tolstoy, literature
Anna Karenina Every Day
Anna Karenina Every Day

Lev Tolstoy's Anna Karenina has been called the greatest novel of all time. But can one really appreciate it as much in English translation versus the Russian original?

Tags: literature, tolstoy, anna karenina
Lyubov Orlova
Lyubov Orlova

Lyubov Petrova Orlova was born January 29, 1902 and became the first Soviet movie star and sex symbol. She was also Stalin’s favorite film actress and a highly gifted singer. This is an extended biography of the artist (an abridged version ran in the JanFeb 2012 issue of Russian Life).

Tags: orlova, film, cinema, alexandrov, stalin, volga-volga, jolly fellows
Antiquities from Ukraine
Antiquities from Ukraine

Starting October 1 and running through February 19 of next year, The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis will be hosting an exhibit devoted to gold and ceramic relics dating from the Neolithic age to the Byzantine era, and unearthed in present-day Ukraine.

Tags: art, ukraine
Chtenia 15 and Summer Movies
Chtenia 15 and Summer Movies

In her introduction to the next issue of Chtenia (coming in July to a mailbox near you!), Tamara Edelman writes several Russian films set in summer, including a Mosfilm classic I Step through Moscow. "Summer," she writes, "is a time for growing up, a time for educating the senses, for better understanding one's self. It is a time for transformation."

On PBS this Month: The Great Famine

Today, Herbert Hoover – the 31st president of the United States (1929-1933) – is probably most associated with the onset and deepening of the Great Depression. Few know that prior to his presidency he was a successful international mining engineer (and had some lucrative investments in Russia before the Revolution), and later headed up the ARA (American Relief Administration), designed to deliver needed foreign aid to Belgium in the aftermath of World War I. 

On PBS next week: Desert of Forbidden Art
Igor Savitsky single-handedly saved over 40,000 works of avant-garde Soviet art by hiding them in plain sight. Well, in plain sight in a completely out of the way museum in Nukus, Karakalpakstan (Uzbekistan).
Moscow, Winter of 1908

Now that winter has officially arrived, it is appropriate to send along this link to an AMAZING video of Moscow in 1908, over 100 years ago.

Notable New Film: The Concert

A new movie opens July 30 starring Melanie Laurent and Alexei Guskov and it sounds like a fun summer diversion for Russophiles. We're waiting for our review copy to deliver a judgement, but here is a synopsis...