Author Topic: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS  (Read 70669 times)

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Offline Jane

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #90 on: March 30, 2004, 11:07:07 AM »
Greg and Bob,

Thank you both for posting your thoughts on Klimov's film.  I am going to look forward to having a "Russian" night and watching both "Agoniya" (Rasputin's flat!) and "A Slave to Love" (another one I've picked up and put down several times at the video shop).

For some bizarre and unknown reason, despite being intested in this subject since I was a teenager, I really haven't watched Soviet-made films about Imperial Russia.  I've watched plenty of Russian films otherwise (fave is "Ballad of a Soldier"), so who can explain?  Maybe I am too demanding as a viewer.  I read so much (as does everyone here  :)), and I develop images and pictures in my own mind, and historical inaccuracies in film drive me bonkers.  That was one of the reasons the HBO film didn't set well with me.  I did recently devote an evening to "Russian Ark"---ohh what a feast for the eyes!  Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Jane


Offline Silja

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #91 on: March 30, 2004, 03:03:23 PM »
Too me Agonya is too impressionistic. It's not only very soviet but very Russian. I find it boring, but I have to admit that the portrayal of Rasputin is very good.
Indeed Agonya was the first Soviet film to present Nicholas as a human being. However, I agree with Bob regarding the other characters. Alexandra is not only  presented saying "I hate this country" but she is also presented speaking German.  Also Anna Viroubova's characterization is somewhat bizzare.

Offline Silja

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #92 on: March 30, 2004, 03:07:18 PM »
Bob, did you see Panfilov's film?

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #93 on: March 30, 2004, 08:07:16 PM »
No, I didn't see the film  - although I saw them filming it in the Kremlin.  They were planning to reedit it, do some other tweeking and then release it in the USA.  They contacted me to do a site for the film about six months ago and asked me to do some other work on it.  Nothing happened after that.  I don't know what their plans are now.

None of the Russian films on Nicholas and Alexandra have been a success in America.  I think we look at them from a different perspective and these films don't 'translate' very well.  We focus on them as individuals rather than historic figures or symbols of a greater national tragedy.

Bob

Offline 3710

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #94 on: March 31, 2004, 04:03:01 AM »
Slave of love (''Raba liubvi''?) with Elena Solovei? Bolsheviks were so NOT shown as heroes there. At least this was not the impression I have got.
Watched Agoniia when it was first released(early 80s?).  
If Klimov just meant to condemn Romanovs (again) he would have found easier ways. Historians would always complain of inaccuracies, it happens with almost every film based on history.
Alexei Petrenko (Rasputin) is a great actor. Happy to agree with Greg on something! :)
One might want to watch another Romanov related movie, called ''the Barber of Siberia''. (Same director as the Slave of Love and one of sane monarchists BTW - Nikita Mikhalkov makes an appearance as Alexander III). Russophobes be warned - it is VERY unappologetically(!) Russian.
Bob are you asking about ''Romanovy: Ventsenosnaia sem'ia?'' I am slightly worried by pompous title. Have not seen it yet. But Gleb Panfilov is a very serious director, so it must be worth it.
Somehow I never ever  liked any Russia-related film done in the West. They always look fake. Sort of like restaraunts which have to adjust with local tastes to survive.
Is it not always the case that each country is somehow better qualified to produce films about itself?
Galina
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 3710 »

Offline Janet_Ashton

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #95 on: March 31, 2004, 06:23:23 AM »
Quote
Slave of love (''Raba liubvi''?) with Elena Solovei? Bolsheviks were so NOT shown as heroes there. At least this was not the impression I have got.
Watched Agoniia when it was first released(early 80s?).  
If Klimov just meant to condemn Romanovs (again) he would have found easier ways.


I agree. I felt that the portrayal of Nicholas was intended to be sympathetic, if certainly not admiring. He comes across as haunted and bowed-down. As usual, it's A. who gets the short end of the stick.
As Bob says, there was a  ten-year gap being Agoniia being made and being released, and according to some accounts the suppression was due to the favourable impression of Nicholas - but I wonder whether the eventual release was actually due to changes being made (as Bob says), or whether it was because of perestroika? (It came out in 1985, I think). I have only ever seen the Russian version; I think the version called "Rasputin" differs in various scenes, but I don't know by how much.

Quote
One might want to watch another Romanov related movie, called ''the Barber of Siberia''. (Same director as the Slave of Love and one of sane monarchists BTW - Nikita Mikhalkov makes an appearance as Alexander III). Russophobes be warned - it is VERY unappologetically(!) Russian.


Do you think so? To me it came across as quite western - or at least as appealing to what has been the usual western conception of imperial Russia - all lush scenery and clothes and jewels and glamour. It was fun; I liked it a lot. I enjoyed the stiff portrayal of Minnie, I'm afraid - and the moment where her husband mutters at her sideways,
"If it was up to you, my dear, we'd never have had children at all!" :-)

Quote

Is it not always the case that each country is somehow better qualified to produce films about itself?
Galina


Point taken on scenery etc - but human experience is universal....

Janet

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #96 on: March 31, 2004, 06:47:13 AM »
Quote
Greg, those rooms must have been creepy...

Bob


Not at all creepy, though a little odd, as that was my Rasputin day-having done the Moika Palace that morning, then gone out to the Islands and the bridge from which R's body was dumped, then to his flat.  The flat was depressing-as might be expected with peeling wallpaper and three families crammed in-but still atmospheric.  But then I'm probably one of about 3 people in the world who actually likes Rasputin and think's he's never had a fair shake; even in the best biographies of him the writers miss so much of the important background to understanding him, from his Siberian character to his own view of Othodoxy.  He's someone who needs a good, extensive, sympathetic bio that sets the record straight and really examines his life in depth.

Greg King

Offline Adele

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #97 on: March 31, 2004, 12:24:29 PM »
I just sent away for an intriguing video;  I'm wondering if anyone has seen it (I scanned the list of videos, but I didn't see it listed, although I may have missed it!!!).

Anyway, the title is:  THE LIFE OF THE NEW MARTYR GRAND DUCHESS ST. ELIZABETH.

I received the catalog for LIGHT AND LIFE PUBLISHING (Orthodox books, etc) and was looking through it over the weekend, and saw the above video listed.  The blurb says that the video has a lot of archival film on it, which is just what I'm looking for.

I'm not certain if the video is new---or if I'm just new to it!

When I get it in the mail, and look at it, I'll post again to let you all know how I like it.  

For those of you who would like to see the website for the catalog:

http://www.LIGHT-N-LIFE.COM

---Adele

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #98 on: March 31, 2004, 12:34:54 PM »
Hello Adele,
I have the video. It´s not high quality but there are some interesting images as that of Illinskoe seen from the river, if i remember well. I saw this video only once and some months ago. It´s not my favourite but still recommend it. It contains a part of Ella´s canonization ceremony.

Offline Adele

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #99 on: March 31, 2004, 12:42:52 PM »
Hi Greg,
  I totally agree with you; Rasputin needs a new biography.

  I thought of him years ago when I came across an article in a New England journal (YANKEE?  COUNTRY LIFE?), in the 1970's.   I tried looking it up quickly, recently and couldn't find it, although I could, probably, if I did a serious search on it...

  Anyway, it was a fascinating article on a group of truck drivers in Vermont/New Hampshire area that call themselves something like 'bleeders'.

 What they do is this:  They are regular guys who drive trucks.  But they are very devout in their religious beliefs.  They all discovered early on that they can stop the uncontrolled bleeding in someone through thought/prayer.

   That sounds mysterious and strange enough to most people (although I totally accepted the premise).  But what was even stranger was that they would be driving along the highway and they would get a call on their CB radios, I think they were called back then (days before cell phones; the 1970's).

   After getting the message to call someone, say at a hospital,  they would pull alongside a phone booth at a rest stop and make the call:  it was usually to a hospital, from a frantic person whose loved one was in an accident.

      Then the driver would pray on the phone...and would say something like, "The bleeding has stopped; you don't have to worry anymore".  And the bleeding had, indeed stopped.

   After I read it, I thought immediately of Rasputin.  Also, if I were a parent of a hemoraging son or daughter and someone stopped the bleeding through prayer, I would TOTALLY believe in that person as a Wonder-Healer.

   I completely understand Alexandra's mind/heart.  And I understand (and admire) the psyche of Rasputin.

--Adele

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #100 on: March 31, 2004, 12:49:21 PM »
Greg, you are not the only one thinking that Rasputin was not the mad monk he was supposed to be. To say more, i think that even if Alexandra would have known about his "private" life, the most important thing for her would have benn her son´s life, and i firmly believe that Rasputin helped Alexey somehow. I find that many things he thought and said were not bad or stupid at all. He still remains,for me,  a character to be deeply studied.

Offline Adele

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #101 on: March 31, 2004, 01:34:03 PM »
Hi Antonio,
    Thanks!
    I'm hoping to see some footage of her!  But if not, that's ok.  I'll settle for the Canonization ceremony.
    While I'm writing this, it just occurred to me that I wish my parents were still alive to see this wonderful List.
     You're all amazing!

--Adele

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #102 on: March 31, 2004, 01:42:00 PM »
I agree that if I were the mom of an unwell child, I would put aside a whole host of misgivings if the accused could otherwise perform "miracles." Whether that would be right or not is up to question, but it would be understandable.

Rasputin may have been a charlatan as well as a lot of other disagreeable things. He was not, however,  in favor of going to war, and he wasn't an anti-Semite. In those respects, he truly was a voice crying out in the wilderness!

Offline Silja

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #103 on: March 31, 2004, 02:08:04 PM »
I also think Rasputin deserves a fairer treatment than given him by most historians and opinion in general. Besides, for Alexandra Rasputin was a link to and an embodiment of the Russian people, so this was another reason she felt so close to him.

I've got Panfilov's film, but as it is in Russian of course I understand only a little and have to guess most of the dialogue. Watching the film, one must of course take into account the author's intention. As the title suggests, Panfilov wanted to present the Romanovs as an ordinary loving family. So it also features an improbable romance between Olga and one of the guards from Tobolsk.  
What did they film in the Kremlin? The church scene perhaps? All of the interior filming was of course done in a studio in Prague.

I wonder whether the film will ever come out as a subtitled version.

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Rough List of Romanovs on DVDs and VHS
« Reply #104 on: March 31, 2004, 03:38:09 PM »
Hi Bob--

That's wonderful that you have Livadia on video!  And hopefully it will be able to be converted.

I consider Livadia one of my favorite places.  We were only there for a short time, but I consider myself so lucky to have been there at all.  Most of us at this website already know that Livadia was the palace where everyone probably felt the most carefree, though of course Alexandra did see to it that OTMAA were aware of and participated in fundraising for local charities. (Much like Princess Diana with her sons!) The combination of ocean, balmy weather, trees, flowers, and a palace commissioned by Nicholas to compliment Alexandra's own tastes is truly wonderful.  Atrocities at Yalta did occur later--after the Dowager Empress and those around her had escaped--but if one stays focused on the delight that Nicholas, Alexandra and OTMAA must have felt in staying at Livadia, it's easy to think of think of their spirits haunting--most happily--the cool corridors and sunny vistas.

By the way, some time ago the late great Peter Ustinov hosted a television series about Russia, and a companion book (which I have) was published.  The book does show a few photos of Livadia--photos that, at the time, were rare.