Aug 022008

In keeping with my policy of making superficial comments in this blog, I need to ask, why this movie convention of portraying a babe in arms as some stiff-as-a-board object covered up in baby blankets? The above scene is from the wonderful musical film, Obyknovennoye chudo, but I can’t think of a Russian movie that doesn’t portray babies this way. There may have been an attempt in Komissar to depart briefly from this convention. But even there, the mother is holding some lightweight object that certainly doesn’t have the heft of an actual baby, nor does it have the flexibility and fragility of one.

There is a scene in Brilliantovaya Ruka that parodied this convention, so I don’t think it’s only outsiders who notice.

What do they actually wrap up in those blankets? A stick of styrofoam? Balsa wood?

Aside from the babies, it’s too bad that the subtitles go away for a while in this YouTube segment, just at a point where there seems to be an important explanation that would help make such sense of it as can be made. I can understand a few words of what is being said, but not enough to catch the meaning.

Even without that, I am coming to view Obyknovennoye chudo as one of the great movies. There are stories within stories and well-done acting and musical touches that make it good for repeated watching. There is more to learn and appreciate each time.