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Ok, I might be biased, given that at Russian Life we're focused 24/7 on things Russian. But lately it seems like Russians are popping up everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places.
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...
Life is always stranger than fiction, or, in this case, it may have been imitating [bad] fiction. Or at least so it seems from the transcripts of the case against Anna Chapman.
Avatar has become the largest grossing movie in Russian history. But, more interestingly, a spin-off photo morfing site (which seemed to be connected to McDonald's Finland) allowed visitors to turn pictures of famous people into the blue Na'Vi. A Russian newspaper tried it with Medvedev and Putin. Here are the tinted results. First Putin:
Our annual consideration of some great gift ideas for Russophiles. Now available online as well!
When it comes to bogeymen, China, Cuba, even North Korea can't hold a candle to old Mother Russia. This week, as tempers flared and theatrical protests abounded around health care, a woman offered this irrational take on proposed reforms at a town hall meeting ...
President Obama gave a nice tribute to Russian culture in his speech to Moscow college students.
In our 100th issue, we have a long feature, "100 Things Everyone Should Know About Russia," with loads of factoids, notes, lists and essays. We figured our list of the "must read" fiction and "must see" movies would be a bit contentious (and certainly foreshortened). So we are posting the lists here for reader comment and supplementation...
Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol is one of Russia's greatest and yet least appreciated writers. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, author of Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov and other classics, said that "we all came out of Gogol's Overcoat." What he meant is that Gogol was completely unlike any Russian writer who preceded him, and that all Russian literature that followed was indebted to him.
In most countries, Independence Day conjures up images of grand celebration, fireworks, family get-togethers, parades and so on. These celebrations commemorate the declaration and establishment of sovereignty by a colony or nation occupied and governed by another nation. This is not exactly the case with Russia's Independence Day.
I get so much spam trash, that today I decided to harvest a line or two from each spam I got (well, the PG or less ones) and shuffle them together into a found poem. Trash into art? Not quite. But something...
Saw an entry from Stanislav Mishin's Mat Rodina Blog, when it was posted to Johnson's List. A superb and well-argued summary of several things Russian business people need to attent to if they want to do business with the West.
I just stumbled across this nice interview (July 07) of Victor Bogorad, who does the cartoons for our Survival Russian feature. Too bad the video is not archived online...
Editor's choice of books about Russian folklore and folktales.
A Modern Russian Wedding: The Art of Getting Married. A look at Russian wedding traditions, past and present.
Many have scoffed at Cindy McCain's defense of Alaska Governor (and GOP Veep candidate) Sarah Palin's foreign policy chops with the assertion that "Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia." Scoff not. The truth is so more startling still.
This hilarious YouTube satire video by the Perm KVN group gives a bit of background on the recent Russian election, and how Medevedev was recruited for his role. The dubbing is superbly done. (All in Russian)...
In the 2002 film Olig, by Russian director Pavel Lungin, the main character predicts his own downfall, saying, "Russia is a bear. You think you are playing with it and it devours you."
Hilary Clinton stumbles over the name of the next president of Russia, and a Ukrainian TV host offers a pronunciation lesson.