Jul 232008

No Russian movies tonight. I’m busy getting ready for some Spokesrider bike rides. I did spend some time with the Russian language, though, starting with one of Viktor D. Huliganov’s lessons.

Then, while working on my maps I listened to YouTube music, and then stumbled upon this song, which I recognize from the movie Obyknovennoye chudo. It’ll be handy having it here so I can learn the words.

And I see that Nastya Kamenskih is in on this kind of music, too. I was somewhat surprised to see her on this stage. I learned about her some months ago when doing a YouTube search for Fabrika Zvezd. Most of the music from Fabrika Zvezd doesn’t bear much repeated listening for me, but the “Ne para” that she did with Potap is one that wears well. She has a good voice, and it seems she and Potap enjoyed working together on stage. It was fun to watch the two respond to each other. I’ve also seen several more recent YouTube clips of her singing with the guy that appears with her in the above clip. (I’ve seen his name, but don’t remember it.) The songs those two do together doesn’t seem to work quite as well. Below is the one she did with Potap on Fabrika Zvezd. I don’t know that they ever topped it — at least not on YouTube.

I see I’ve wondered a long way from Ostrov — from Pyotr Mananov to Dmitri Dyushev to Tamara Gverdtsiteli to Nastya Kamenskih.

Hmmm. I still haven’t worked with my vocabulary flash cards tonight. Better go and do my quota for the evening.

Jul 212008

No movie comments today, even though Alexander Sedov brought up some good topics, and even though I just learned that the great actress, Nonna Mordyukova, died two weeks ago. Her passing deserves more than I’m going to have time to write about tonight.

What I do have is a new YouTube link for learning Russian. It’s a series of videos produced by Viktor D. Huliganov. My wife says he’s like Garrison Keilor. Well, he does have a dry sense of humor and he sings well enough, too. I think he makes his living as an accountant.

I found him by starting with the movie Ostrov. That led me to YouTube clips of Dmitry Dyuzhev, who played Father Job in that movie. Most of the clips are his singing — usually together with Tamara Gverdtsiteli. I happen to like a lot of them, though I don’t know if that’s the kind of music that’s popular among the younger generation.

Some of the clips display the words. Those I find especially useful.

Here’s one of a song titled How Young We Were (Kak molodi mi bili). It led me to want to find a translation, and that’s how I found Huliganov.

Here’s a clip titled “RL 102 – Constructions using Dative”. Following the lesson Huliganov gives a translation of the song and then sings it in a chipmunk voice. I wasn’t sure where he got that, but in other videos I saw that he actually can sing. I hope he keeps producing those lessons. They’re fun to watch, and helpful, too.

Here’s another clip of Dmitry Dyuzhev and Tamara Gverdtsiteli — one that made me want to learn the words of some of their songs. It seems to be a sentimental one that got people all teary.

And is that Barbara Brylska of Irony of Fate who was in the audience, wiping her eyes? Why yes, it is! And after the song I got to hear her voice, too. I was curious about that, because according to Wikipedia her character’s voice was dubbed in the original movie, because she had too much of a Polish accent. She has a deeper voice here than her character in the movie had, but she’s older now, too. (I don’t know if her voice was also dubbed in the sequel that was made 30 years after the original.)

Jul 192008

Three days ago I mentioned the flaws in Ostrov — the parts that didn’t seem put together very well. It’s also possible that they aren’t flaws, that there is a symbolism and profundity that I’m too stupid to notice. Whatever the reason, the Tikhon connection was one that seemed even less well done on the second viewing.

This time I’ll mention a part that was better the second time around. It was the relationship between Father Anatoli and Father Job. Somehow I didn’t catch it all the first time around. Maybe I was looking for the usual movie cliches about stodgy organized religion vs the humble, spiritually-minded maverick, so didn’t expect anything important to come of it. But there is more than that, especially if one follows the references to why Cain killed his brother. The relationship between Father Anatoli and Father Job develops to the end. Neither character quits on the other.

I can’t say that Dmitry Dyuzhev, who plays Father Job, is a good actor. (See 6 second clip above.) Nor can I say that he’s a bad one. The Russian monks with their heavy beards are somewhat limited in what they can do through facial expression, but they can use their eyes. I thought Dyuzhev did well.

It seems that Dyuzhev is no more a long-time actor than Pyotr Mamanov. Instead, he’s a singer. The above clip shows a sample.