You go step by step with the author through New testament and see how different artists of the Middle Age and Renaissance were picturing its events: f...moreYou go step by step with the author through New testament and see how different artists of the Middle Age and Renaissance were picturing its events: from Annunciation to the birth of Jesus, all along his life and up to Passion, Crucifixion, Easter and Ascension.
Wording is cut down to a minimum in this book: only short explanation of the event painted and few details in each picture, pointed by the author (usually 4 or 5). Other then that the book has nothing but great old pictures clustered by different New Testament themes. I like the idea just number of pictures for each event was too small for me - usually 2 or 3, when 7-8 would give a much broader and better view IMO.(less)
There are two words for "russian" in Russian: "rossijsky" and "russky". First one relates to the state, to all people who live in the country. Second...moreThere are two words for "russian" in Russian: "rossijsky" and "russky". First one relates to the state, to all people who live in the country. Second one describes something that is ethnic russian. For example, jewish person who lives in Russia and is russian citizen, she is "rossijsky grazhdanin" (means russian citizen), there is no russky grazhdanin. But Pushkin, despite of his african origin, is a "russky pisatel" (russian writer), because he speaks and writes in russian as a national language (not Swahili for example). Vasiliy Shukshin was Russky. He was one of the so-called "village writers", which is completely made-up term, that joins several (very different) great post-WWII writers who dedicated their work to ordinary ethnic russian people, mostly living outside big cities, but to urban people as well (Belov, Rasputin, Nosov, Abramov and others). Soviet state didn't like them that much, although acknowlendged their existence and published their books (all people who lived in USSR had to be soviet in a first place and only then ethnic russians, estonians, ukranians etc.) Shukshin started as a filmmaker, he attended same class as Tarkovsky for 5 years. His films were very very succesfull in Russia, critics and ordinary people both loved them. Same thing with his books - it was impossible to find his short stories in soviet book stores - all prints were being immideately bought out. At the same time his fame on the west was rather minor if there was some. He died in his forties (in 1974) while being filmed as an actor (another great part of his personality), but still loved and remembered here. This book is a carefull and respectfull biography, which rather describes Shukshin's way as a writer then as a person or as a filmmaker.(less)
Author of this book, first prime-minister of Free Russia died today, he was 53. He was widely hated in his country. In 1992, when Russia was on the ver...moreAuthor of this book, first prime-minister of Free Russia died today, he was 53. He was widely hated in his country. In 1992, when Russia was on the verge of starving he released prices for goods and empty state stores collapsed. Pretty quickly new private stores somehow was filled with food and other products. Vast majority thought he stripped ordinary people from cheap food and clothes (although those were not available for several years already) and he was removed from his office. (there is a big debate about his reforms and I also don't think that whole Milton Freedman theory should be implemented so easily. Too many people suffered and became unreasonbly poor (scientists, teachers, classical scholars, etc)
This book is clever. Main point: Stalin's regime made some sort of silent pact with soviet people: you are being cheaply fed but you have to sit quietly in political sense, you have to accept dictatorship. Untill people indeed were fed the pact worked. But when Ronald Regane administration crashed oil prices down, one side of the pact - Soviet state - couldn't perform its obligations according to the pact (to feed its own people) and collapsed ("Гибель империи" means "Fall of the Empire"). That's how Soviet Union died. Every word proved by numbers, tables and diagrams.
There's one thing I don't agree (that's why 4 stars). He thought and tried to prove in this book, that separation of Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia in 1991 was the natural progress of events which I strongly believe wasn't so.(less)
After about several hundred books about Tarkovsky' spirituality, humanism, poetry and loftiness of ideals someone decided to tell the world that he al...moreAfter about several hundred books about Tarkovsky' spirituality, humanism, poetry and loftiness of ideals someone decided to tell the world that he also happened to visit bathroom, sleep with women, like money and suffer from hangover... BIG SURPRISE!!!(less)
"That is why I never liked Solzhenitsyn and mocked him in "Moscow 2042" book. Quietly and thoroughly written though, without any sign of histeria or p...more"That is why I never liked Solzhenitsyn and mocked him in "Moscow 2042" book. Quietly and thoroughly written though, without any sign of histeria or polemic fervor.(less)
-Stalin and Andrei Platonov (how Stalin's dogs maltreated this great writer and led him to death (his 15 years old son was taken hostage because he supposedly prepared terror act against Stalin (nonsense of course), catched ТВ in prison and died. On son's death bed Platonov kissed the son and cathed same illness and died few years later)(less)
Instead of reviewing this book, which would largely repeat my older review of book I in the series (Stalin i Pisateli. Kniga 1, I'd better tell you on...moreInstead of reviewing this book, which would largely repeat my older review of book I in the series (Stalin i Pisateli. Kniga 1, I'd better tell you one story I've found in this one.
In 1946 Anna Akhmatova and Mikhail Zoshchenko were attacked by different goverment bodies. They were condemned, their books were forbidden, their food cards were taken away. They were insulted with the baddest words and manners ("bastard", "whore" - in an official document!). There was an official ban by the goverment decree for any publications of their works. Akhmatova's son and husband were arrested (husband later executed). This was a part of big campaign against russian intellectuals, who believed the country shall get more freedom after Great Victory.
Same attacks were made against composers, film-makers, etc.
this tragedy was very well-known in a western world at those times, some researchers even thought it was a start of Cold War and Iron Curtain (exaggerating at best of course)
Several years after large group of Oxford students came to Moscow. They expressed their desire to meet cursed and slandered writers. This meeting has happened in one of the main soviet halls. all the higher-ups of the soviet state were present. Akhmatova and Zoshenko knew they will be asked by those students about decree and they had two choices: either tell them what they really think and be punished even more or tell the students about their consent with the decree and get away with this.
Akhmatova is sitting on the stage and looking, searching: who, who will be THAT guy who will ask. And there was one and another. First one asked Zoshenko and Zoshenko said he didn't understand the decree and never agreed with it. After that he was maltreated all over again and died. Akhmatova said she accepts everything as right. Goverment left her alone and ten years after she came to Oxford as a tourist.(less)
- This book is about Andrey Tarkovsky, famous russian film director and written by his course mate, Alexander Gordon, also film director not even clos...more- This book is about Andrey Tarkovsky, famous russian film director and written by his course mate, Alexander Gordon, also film director not even closely succesfull as Tarkovsky, husband of Tarkovsky' sister
- few words about "course mate" thing, which slightely connects me to the story: Diring USSR era there were practically only one film school here called VGIK for all the professions in the film industry. This way of things pretty much stays the same right now, with the exception that there are tons of other new private film schools, but their value on the job market equals zero.
- Inside VGIK (that film school) there were (and is) system of "masterskaya" - masterships or maybe workshops, don't know right translation. Basically it looked like that: state appointed one, old venerable film director, loyal to the system of course, he picks 15-20 people and teaches them his arts, after graduation (usually only half or less gets to this part) gets permanent job on one of the main studios and gets production. Some of those venerable mentors were good, some awfull, but the best one was Mikhail Romm. Not so great as a film director, but greatest teacher. Literally every good Russian director of that era (50-70) was his student, Tarkovsky included (I'm deemed as Romm's "grandson", because we were teached by a group of his students).
- This book is written by a man who attended same "masterskaya" as Tarkovsky, filmed several shorts with him as a co-director and married his sister.
-Book doesn't claim to be a fully documented biography, it's his view of the person, his interconnections with him.
-I practically never read a book as badly written as this one. He cannot write a paragraph with simple words, only humane. Lack of details where you want them, excessive details on his, Gordon's "poetic" view of the events, which is of course not even slightely poetic.
- as the result he fails at his declared goal - to tell about his work and relationships with Tarkovsky, because of his obvious writer ambition (first book, he is in the late 70s), but his writer ambition cannot succeed cause he sucks as a writer.(less)
Mainly this book is about difference between the material artwork and human perception, but also it guides you through centuries of spatial compositio...moreMainly this book is about difference between the material artwork and human perception, but also it guides you through centuries of spatial composition development, from Ancient Egypt to our days. Irreplacable for artists, filmakers, photographers who would like to understand spatial composition from scietific point of view. I've read this book as a thriller actually.(less)