Archives for posts with tag: Russia

On May 24, 2003, Paul McCartney makes his first visit to the Soviet Union, and performs his greatest hits, including “Maybe I’m Amazed,” for over 100,000 people at Red Square in Moscow — moving even grown men to tears. This clip is from McCartney Live in Red Square (2003), available at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE CONCERT: For the Russian audience, McCartney’s appearance in Moscow is little short of a miracle. The Beatles were banned for decades by the Soviet government, which regarded their music as the epitome of Western decadence and propaganda, and the fans’ only access to the group was through the occasional black market album. Their reaction to his 2003 visit is a mixture of frenzy and rapture. In interview after interview, what one fan calls the Beatles’ “gentle intervention” is credited with helping to bring down the whole Soviet system, simply because they represented a creativity and freedom that had been almost totally silenced.

Image

COLD SOULS (2009)
written and directed by Sophie Barthes

If you like the films by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), you’ll probably enjoy the comedy-drama Cold Souls.

Screenwriter Sophie Barthles, who also directed the movie, based the story on a dream where Woody Allen was carrying around a jar that contained his soul, which looked like a chickpea. From this germ of an idea, Barthles has created a fun cross-genre romp that’s part sci-fi, part existential art film, and part flat-out comedy.

As an angst-ridden actor, Paul Giamatti (playing a character named Paul Giamatti) has trouble separating himself from the characters he plays, so he decides to  try soul extraction — a new technology he’s read about in the New Yorker.

During the course of the film, Giamatti has his soul removed, tries to get it back, but it gets stolen, so he borrows someone else’s soul, then decides to retrieve his stolen soul, and on and on — from New York to Russia and back. The story moves quickly, but has a lot of depth — exploring what, after all, makes us human. 

Find it at Amazon.com.

Image
THE WIND BLOWS
by Galaktion Tabidze

Blowing wind, blowing wind, blowing wind,
Leaves are swept along its path…
Rows of trees, armies of trees bend and sway
Where are you, where are you, where are you?

How it rains, how it snows, how it snows
You are not to be found!
Your image follows me, haunts me
Everywhere, every moment, always!

A distant sky seeps misty thoughts…
Blowing wind, blowing wind, blowing wind!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Galaktion Tabidze (1892–1959), born in Georgia, then part of Imperial Russia, was a leading Georgian poet of the twentieth century whose writings profoundly influenced all subsequent generations of Georgian poets. He survived Joseph Stalin’s Great Purge of the 1930s, which claimed lives of many of his fellow writers, friends and relatives, but came under heavy pressure from the Soviet authorities. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

Image

COLD SOULS (2009)

written and directed by Sophie Barthes

starring Paul Giamatti

If you like the films by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), you’ll probably enjoy the comedy-drama Cold Souls.

Screenwriter Sophie Barthles, who also directed the movie, based the story on a dream where Woody Allen was carrying around a jar that contained his soul, which looked like a chickpea. From this germ of an idea, Barthles has created a fun cross-genre romp that’s part sci-fi, part existential art film, and part flat-out comedy.

As an angst-ridden actor, Paul Giamatti (playing a character named Paul Giamatti) has trouble separating himself from the characters he plays, so he decides to  try soul extraction — a new technology he’s read about in the New Yorker.

During the course of the film, Giamatti has his soul removed, tries to get it back, but it gets stolen, so he borrows someone else’s soul, then decides to retrieve his stolen soul, and on and on — from New York to Russia and back. The story moves quickly, but has a lot of depth — exploring what, after all, makes us human. Highly recommended for people who find it easy to enter an alternative universe and suspend disbelief. 

Find it at Amazon.com.