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Messages - Silja

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The Russo-French Rasputin was now shown on German TV. I thought it was a great disappointment, especially Fanny Ardant as Alexandra. Her part was almost silent, and when she spoke it was pretty irrelevant. Ardant's character had nothing whatsoever to do with the real empress. There was nothing of Alexandra's haughtiness or firmness of resolve to protect the monarchy, nothing of her suffering and stress over her son's illness, nothing of her love for her husband. In fact the film doesn't even much discuss the origin and nature of Rasputin's influence at court. I think Alexei's hemophilia isn't even mentioned. I remember only one scene when Rasputin is actually called on to help the tsarevich in any way. Last but not least the film bored me to death as nothing dramatic was happening. It is worlds apart from the version with Alan Rickman.

French Royals / Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« on: February 10, 2013, 02:14:13 PM »
I thought the idea of presenting the atmosphere of Versailles from the point of view of the servants rather original, but the film was rather boring in my opinion.
Marie Antoinette came across as rather bitchy I thought.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Her Accent
« on: September 23, 2011, 06:58:15 AM »

it seems crazy that it is so requested in the EU, but almost non existant outside of it. Besides Pennsylvania Dutch, I don't think it's widely spoken in the States. Could this be because while England and France were colonizing places Germany was doing something else?

The Germans were late to colonize, and after WW I lost most of the few colonies they had.
In Namibia, a former German colony in Africa, you can find traces of German, mainly in street names.

The Tudors / Re: Anne Boleyn
« on: November 28, 2010, 01:59:46 PM »

Chapuys's reports are likely to have been true about Henry tiring of Anne, but at the time, as even Chapuys himself acknowledged, it was not necessarily significant. Particularly since Katherine of Aragon was still alive,

Of course Anne was perfectly safe in her position as long as Katherine was alive. But after the latter's death and her own miscarriage she was doomed, and not because of Cromwell's machinations,  or because of some disputes over politics, but because Henry was convinced he wanted another wife who would give him a son.

The Tudors / Re: Anne Boleyn
« on: November 24, 2010, 03:23:17 PM »

The fact that Chapuys acknowledged Anne as queen by bowing to her does not actually invalidate Ives' theory that Anne stood in the way of an Anglo-Spanish alliance. Here, it is important to remember that Anne had stood for everything the Spanish opposed for too long. While the Katherine of Aragon may have been dead, the old wounds would not be healed so quickly. At Easter Anne indeed proclaimed she was supportive of a Spanish alliance, but this does not automatically mean that such an alliance could suddenly be brought about now by her change of heart. The point is that Charles agreed to acknowledge the validity of Henry and Anne's marriage, but only if Mary were to be reinstated into the line of succession. Yet, both were not possible at the same time. That Anne would have agreed to Mary taking precedence over Elizabeth is highly doubtful.

But it would not have mattered a bit whether Anne had or had not agreed to Mary taking precedence because the only one to decide in this matter was Henry. Henry never intended to legitimise Mary. Nor did he restore her to the succession until very much later. Even after Anne was dead Mary took precedence over Elizabeth only because she was the elder sister, but not because she had the superior rank.

But I'm one of those who do not believe in Anne's fall having been so sudden anyway. I actually do believe Chapuys's earlier reports about Henry having shown signs of being tired of his wife.

In reference to Hollywood, European and  British actors and actresses in the drama and film business, there is no one in my opinion with the talent to play the roles today,compared to the the 1974 Fall of Eagles
cast,you will probably have to scrape the barrel to find some decent actors compared to the  golden age of american,british and european films and actors from the 1930's to the 1990's.

I totally disagree. I think there would be plenty of fabulous actors and actresses who could play such parts today if only there were the producers interested in the subject.

Imperial Russian History / Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« on: October 22, 2010, 01:41:02 PM »
I think AIII and his reign need a fresh look. Its easy to criticize hm for his failure to prepare Nicholas to be Tsar but then again he didn't know he would die so young.

But this is no excuse. At the time Alexander III died his son was 26. When would Alexander have started preparing him? You have to start preparing your heir when he's a child.

The Tudors / Re: Anne of a Thousand Days--question
« on: October 04, 2010, 02:01:59 PM »
Genevieve Bujold was perfect casting for Anne Boleyn, don't you think? Nobody else before or since has quite measured up in this role. Dorothy Tutin was very moving in the BBC's The Six Wives of Henry VIII but too old for the part; Natalie Dormer in Showtime's The Tudors was the right age and very sexy (and like Boleyn, and like Bujold and Tutin, definitely brunette) but lacked the refinement and elegance of the historical Queen Anne. Bujold somehow managed to combine all these traits, as well as the important quality of vulnerability.

I couldn't stand Richard Burton as Henry VIII, however. That beautiful voice... but he looked nothing like Henry VIII (any more than Jonathan Rhys Meyers looks like Henry Tudor!). The only adequate Henry VIII has been Keith Michell in the BBC's 1970s series Six Wives. As Michell portrayed him, the young Henry was sexy (as I'm sure the young HVIII was in spades) as well as vaguely sociopathic. He was not, in other words, completely sympathetic all or even most of the time. Whereas every other production has wound up making Henry look somehow misunderstood by everybody, especially his "bad" "inadequate" wives, who, with the sole exception of Jane Seymour, "failed" to give him a living, breathing male heir. Such is the power of the stereotype of the "powerful male ruler" and the "good royal wife."

I find Genevieve Bujold slightly too sweet in the part.

My personal ranking of  major screen Anne Boleyns is:

1. Natalie Dormer
2. Dorothy Tutin
3. Charlotte Rampling
4. Genevieve Bujold
5. Helena Bonham Carter
6. Jodhi May
7. Natalie Portman
8. Henny Porten

As for Henry, apart from Keith Michell I just love Robert Shaw.

The Tudors / Re: Edward VI and Jane Grey
« on: September 16, 2010, 05:36:50 PM »

After the Rough Wooing failed and ended any chance of his marrying Mary Stuart, I wonder how great his chances of making a grand foreign marriage would have been. Certainly no Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian or Austria would agree,

What do you mean by  "no would agree"? They might well have agreed at a later time. Alliances were being forged and undone all the time. Edward VI will surely have wanted to keep all options open. Why should he rush into marriage at the age of 15?

But would he have.  From what I have read, Nicky seemed happy to be off the throne.  They should have sent them here to Canada, they could have settled out in the praries, we have a large Russian community out there.  I could see Nicky happily working a farm somewhere.

More importantly, would the Whites have wanted this? The White Army was largely against a restoration of the Romanovs. They were well aware of the nation being pretty antagonistic to the former rulers by then.

The Tudors / Re: Edward VI and Jane Grey
« on: September 15, 2010, 04:23:07 PM »
I think Edward was simply too young to marry. Why should he have married Lady Jane when as king he would have had the option of making a prestigious and favourable foreign alliance at some later time? Why should he have married so young in the first place? Nobody expected him to die that early, and by the time it was obvious he would die a marriage with Jane Grey would not have made any difference as obviously there would not have been a child.

Of course theoretically you're completely right, Tim. The only problem is that at the turn of the 20th century, Russia itself was not quite fitted to be a constitutional monarchy.

Which was proved by the  chaotic  events in the Duma after the 1905 revolution and again after the Revolution of 1917.

Imperial Russian History / Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« on: September 09, 2010, 12:21:41 PM »

  However, the influence of a parent, especially one who was (it would seem, especially to his weak and trembling son) all knowing and all powerful, would leave lasting scars.

So wasn't it really Alexander III who betrayed Nicholas in that he didn't give him the proper training for the job? Despising a son's limited abilities and keeping  him in awe instead of fostering self-confidence was irresponsible. In view of the great task Nicholas II faced it looks almost cynical, as if Alexander III didn't really care what came after him. Maybe he was simply too dense and self-centred to really think ahead.

The Tudors / Re: Tudor costumes
« on: September 06, 2010, 04:22:38 PM »
I love the dresses...and here's a collection of images of them....

. For example, except for the shifts, corsets and support for the skirts, nobody is really sure about women's underwear for the period

They didn't wear underwear though.

The Habsburgs / Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« on: September 02, 2010, 03:01:12 PM »
Even though I myself will keep up to the suicide, I mean those letters... He certainly must have had the plan to kill himself, and Mary wrote her letters too, we should not forget that.

Precisely. Besides, he had asked Mizzie Caspar to commit suicide with him earlier on.

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