Dec 192009


It was at this point in Five Evenings, before I got a good look at his face, that I suspected I had seen this guy before. It was the way he stood with his back straight, hands in his pockets, weight not quite balanced on both legs. It’s a younger version of the same guy who had played Uncle Vova in Kin-Dza-Dza!

I had to look up his name again. It’s Stanislav Lyubshin.


I didn’t recognize Lyudmila Gurchenko from her posture, though. It was not until she showed this facial expression that I recognized her.

I do try to read the film credits at the beginning, but I somehow missed these names. I would have recognized Gurchenko if I had read the subtitles, but I try to read the Russian instead, and am slow enough at it that I rarely have time to check the English. I’m getting better at it, but still can’t read them all as fast as they roll by.

I did catch Nikita Mikhalkov’s name in the credits, though. It’s OK. Just because I don’t like him doesn’t mean he hasn’t done some very good work Actually, his work as a director has usually been quite good, with a few exceptions like 1612: Chronicles of the Dark Times. His work as an actor is often not so good, though there are exceptions, like the role he gave himself in Unfinished Piece for Player Piano. His politics these days are not good, and sometimes his movies have a repressive political agenda – as in Twelve. Well, maybe that’s the only one. I suppose some people may see a foreign policy agenda in 1612, but if he took advantage of the opportunity (e.g. in the Russian attitude toward Poland) it was in nuances I was not able to detect even though I was looking for them.

We’ve only watched the first three YouTube segments of Five Evenings so far, but are looking forward to the rest. Myra and I enjoy watching movies about the 50s, even if it’s about countries where the 1950s were different than in the American midwest where we grew up. Or maybe especially if it’s about the 1950s in other countries.

We’re starting to get used to the idea of life in communal apartments, too. (Just the idea. We have no intention of looking for an opportunity to try it out ourselves.)