Tag Archives: tolstoy

Diary: War and Peace rolls mightily… (in various forms)

Movie time: War and Peace

To be clear: this is the 1959 Hollywood/King Vidor version with Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda and others… There are several adaptations of the classic Tolstoy novel and this frankly, is not the best by any measure. Even at 208 minutes the story is incredibly compressed and huge critical chunks simply cut out. It really lacks in its reliance on camera trickery which, perhaps was innovative at the time, but has the feeling of “clean it up in post“… Especially with the sound editing/mixing, it’s a mess. All that said, I totally enjoy it Mostly because of Audrey.

There’s is a much longer Soviet-era Russian adaptation (7 hrs) by auteur Sergei Bondarchuk (co-wrote, directs and acts) from 1967 / it’s endlessly wonderfully long, came out in a series in Russian language (naturally) with various French and German as needed. It’s truly epic so you got to settle in / plan for the long-haul / rousing battle & party scenes interspersed with slow contemplative vignettes. The actors arent as pretty/shiny as other versions but hey, realism (I have this one of three long VHS tapes).

Then, there’s a BBC series from 2016 which is in general very well done – aside from a few casting choices which I for some reason find incredibly annoying (but I’m kind of like that). Pacing is good and cinematography is often great. if you’re going to settle in for one, this is probably the best all-arounder/entry point. Lily James is a worthy Natasha.

Another good all-arounder albeit a bit melodrama-esque came in a 2007 series. An international production so well done on various languages & casting actors from different cultures / a bit hard to find as was made for European release. 

There is also a 1972 British made TV series and a 1915 b&w film, neither of which I’ve seen.

Have you seen any of the series? Any opinions on a favorite? Have you read the book?

I mean, if not now, when?

##

Note:

Ted says: The Soviet version is one of the most amazing films ever made I think. It’s now on a criterion Blu-ray release.

I reply: indeed, the backstory of the creation is just as epic as well. He had free rein to state museums, use of the Army personnel and helicopters etc / Must get my hands on the criterion as I’ve only watched on the VHS tapes which, leave a little bit to be desired.

Ted: Factoring the current rate of exchange, it supposedly the most expensive film ever made. Like 800 million or something.

Me: Epic in every sense of the word! Although hard to calculate the true cost of the budget with all of the government resources/access use. Have you seen any of the other versions? Comments?

Books: War and Peace / original and erstwhile “fan fiction”

Have you read “War and Peace”? Now is a pretty good time.

It’s rather enjoyable, but if you find Tolstoy’s original *too long*, both Lenin and I did “remix” or maybe “fanfiction” of the classic.

It’s one of the only things we have in common.

PS May I interest you in my “Letters from Russia” mixed media project? It was inspired by Tolstoy and written in the form of letters from someone in Napoleon’s army going into Russia in 1812 back home to his lady friend – All associated artifacts are within this archive.

Leo Tolstoy and Father John: The rivalry of an age | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Leo Tolstoy and Father John: The rivalry of an age | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Writers and their wives: Together in love, work and legacy | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Writers and their wives: Together in love, work and legacy | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Leo Tolstoy’s greatest plot of all | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Leo Tolstoy’s greatest plot of all | Russia Beyond The Headlines

How would Leo Tolstoy use the internet? | Russia Beyond The Headlines

How would Leo Tolstoy use the internet? | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Leo Tolstoy’s greatest plot of all | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Leo Tolstoy’s greatest plot of all | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Drug Test Resistance in Belize – Choogle On! #73

Drug Test Resistance in Belize – Choogle on #73
Drug Test Resistance in Belize – Choogle on #73

On back porch, Uncle Weed shares a personal message to the chooglers international followed by a spiel about tactics to resist a golf course incident induced corporate drug test using vigilance, friendly lawyers, a trip to Belize w/ broken wrist, and Tolstoy’s War + Peace. 

Pack your bags for: Drug Test Resistance in Belize – Choogle on #73 (.mp3, 36MB, 38:45)

Continue reading Drug Test Resistance in Belize – Choogle On! #73

Background notes about Letters from Russia for “Write Now! The Art & Action of Letter Writing “

letters from russia notes for rainzine
Letters from Russia Dossier w/backstory for @rainzine – made with old-timey Underwood typewriter & Thai mulberry paper

In prep for a chat on “Write Now! The Art & Action of Letter Writing w/ DJ Snail Mail” on Free Radio Santa Cruz’s about my Letters from Russia project, i jotted down some a bit of backstory which i’m posting here lest i misplace and to share with others with interest.  So, … here ya go :

I started writing LfR while at an Evergreen College week long course “Poets and Philosophers Discuss Love and War” at Lake Crescent, WA. I had prepared with much reading about the historical context so i could make the story accurate. I then charted out the philosophical topics to address during Herni’s political transformation and personal journey.

I wrote each letter separately, handwritten on different papers and different writing instruments and only taking a piece or two to keep the letters brief and intense. Each letter was written while out on a walk/hike (so i could be in character a bit i suppose) and i didn’t edit from the original letters at all.

I also sketched/painted that summer to fill out the story and help me visualize his world and support the letters by replacing some visual narrative – and finally bound the original letters and paintings in a wood/hemp book (a few are at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncleweed/tags/lettersfromrussia/).

I lived overseas (Japan, Micronesia) quite a bit pre-Internet so am an enthusiast of printed letters and papercraft (I collect paper ephemera from trips).

I’d very much like to find someone with some deeper historical knowledge to give a read to see if there are glaring historical
inaccuracies – though i am sure on the dates and locations – before distributing the piece more broadly.