Russian

Servant of the People / Слуга народу

Servant of the People (Слуга народу) is a Ukrainian political satire comedy TV show, produced by Kvartal 95 Studio and directed by Alexey Kiryushchenko. The premier of the first season was released on November 16, 2015, on the Ukrainian TV channel 1 + 1. As if it was predicting a political phenomenon that will actually […]

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Russian Programmatic Symphonic Works: From Glinka to Tchaikovsky

Russian composers contributed greatly to the genre of programmatic symphonic works. Although many were initially attracted to it by Spanish inspirations, one reason for the genre’s eventual massive popularity was that it gave the composers a popular musical form to incorporate not only native Russian tunes and harmonic structures, but also to focus on other […]

Four Examples of Russian Music in American Popular Culture

Russian music has long permeated American popular culture even despite a backdrop of long-time political tension. Russian musical themes from poignant folk melodies to complex classical pieces have become tunes that nearly everyone who grew up in America can recognize as having heard before. Often, they are specifically associated with popular cartoons, video games, or […]

Tarkovsky: Films of Eternal Complexity

Russian film critic Maya Turovskaya writes in Tarkovsky: Cinema as Poetry that when she attended a special screening of Andrey Tarkovsky’s first film, Ivan’s Childhood, at a meeting of the Union of Cinematographers of the USSR, the prevailing opinion amongst the audience was that of awe mixed with confusion. This feeling of mystification, of seeing […]

Chernukha: Russia’s Tough Truths Through The Filmmaker’s Lens

Glasnost’ (Гласность), a political and social policy spearheaded by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev (Михаил Горбачёв) in the USSR in the late 1980s, described an increased ability of Soviet citizens to openly discuss problems in their country. Glasnost’ affected nearly all aspects of society, including filmmaking. Filmmakers of the late Soviet period used their newfound freedom […]

Three Great Soviet Composers of the USSR

The twentieth century was a dynamic period for Soviet composers who often had to work around censorship to create their great contributions to world music. Under the USSR, artists were expected to produce works that glorified the Communist Revolution and the new lives of the new Soviet masses, often while criticizing the capitalistic West. Soviet […]

The Hunter (2011): Learning Russian Through Film

The Hunter (2011; Охотник), directed by Bakur Bakuradze, is a film of few words. Starring Mikhail Barskovich, Tatyana Shapolova, and Gera Avdochenok, the film employs lesser-known actors in the creation of this deeply moving picture. The film was critically well received and was nominated for the UN Certain Regard Award at the 2011 Cannes Film […]

Leviathan (2014): Learning Russian Through Film

Leviathan (2014; Левиафан) is a powerful film that lives up to its theological title. The film stars well-known actors who participated in director Andrey Zviaginstev’s other pictures, namely Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, and Roman Madyanov. Zviaginstev is known for his landscape-heavy film style in which the sublime seems to play its own character. This can […]

The Bremen Town Musicians: Songs of Freedom and Controversy

The Bremen Town Musicians (Бременские музыканты) is one of the first animated rock operas released in the USSR. It has since become popular among all generations, first in the Soviet Union and later gained reputation internationally. One of the film’s main draws was its unforgettable soundtrack and style, which drew from the latest global fashions […]

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