Friday, May 25, 2018

Silent Film: "Salome" (1910)

This 1910 Italian film Salome is a rather crude 9-minute silent drama directed by Ugo Falena which claims to be based on Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name. I’m not sure Wilde would have appreciated them for cramming his wordy opus into a few brief scenes of gesticulating performances. The colors are a bonus, however, as this is hand-tinted throughout. Some of the music could have been better chosen.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

"Doctor Zhivago": An Orthodox Perspective

By Fr. Andrew Phillips

My first conscious exposure to Orthodox culture was through Doctor Zhivago, the novel by Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), the Russian poet, writer and translator of Shakespeare. This was when I was aged nine. The story overwhelmed me with its sense of destiny. I felt deeply at home in the culture portrayed. It came to influence me deeply and in my teens I knew many of its wholly Orthodox Christian poems by heart, feeling completely at home in their ethos. Later I was able to speak of this to Pasternak’s sister, Lydia Slater, in Oxford.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Amazon Video Debuts Russian Series About Catherine the Great

Russia is experiencing a golden age of fantastic, high quality historical dramatic TV series. Over the past couple of years subjects have included: the life of Russian civil war hero Admiral Kolchak, Rasputin (making the case he was a great guy, slandered and murdered by the British Secret Service), a screen adaptation of the epic novel Quiet Flows the Don, chronicling the experience of the Don Cossacks during WW1, the revolution, and the Russian civil war, and one following the history of the Romanov Tsars, among others.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Amazon Video Debuts Russian Series "Sophia"

Currently streaming on Amazon is the Russian television series "Sophia". Currently the first season of eight episodes is available.

According to the description:

In 15th Century Russia, the last Princess of Byzantium, Sophia Palaiologina, moves from Rome to Moscow to marry Czar Ivan III. Destined to become the first influential female figure of the Russian Empire, Sophia overcomes court intrigue and betrayals and helps Ivan consolidate the fragmented country, push Mongolian invaders out, and build the Kremlin. Russian language series with English subtitles. Starring: Mariya Andreeva, Eugeniy Tsiganov, Vilen Babichev.