sun 26/10/2014

Tolstoy

DVD: Anna Karenina

Joe Wright’s screen adaptation of Tolstoy’s giant of a masterpiece, scripted by Tom Stoppard, takes a big risk that pays off: the many-layered late 19th-century novel is stripped to its bare bones with astonishing brio. He sets most of the story in...

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10 Questions for Director Bernard Rose

Who ever said making a movie was a glamorous business? Shooting the climactic scene of his most recent film Boxing Day, British-born director Bernard Rose (pictured below right) found himself in the freezing Colorado mountains - so cold you couldn’t...

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Boxing Day

You don’t need to know that Bernard Rose’s Boxing Day is an adaptation of the Tolstoy story Master and Man, but it does help - somewhat. You may well know it anyway, given that it’s the third film in a loose series that Rose started just more than a...

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Anna Karenina: The Rave

A curtain rises at the start of Joe Wright’s thrilling film version of Anna Karenina only for the finish several hours later to be accompanied in time-honoured fashion by the words “the end”. But for all the deliberate theatrical artifice of a movie...

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Anna Karenina: The Pan

“You can’t ask why about love,” Aaron Johnson’s Count Vronsky croons tenderly to his beloved, pink lips peeking indecently out through his flasher’s mac of a moustache. Maybe you can’t, but you certainly can ask why you’d take a thousand-page...

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Anna Karenina, Eifman Ballet of St Petersburg, London Coliseum

An apocryphal story tells of an awful theatrical adaptation of the story of Anne Frank. When the Nazis arrive to search the house where the family are in hiding, an enraged theatre-goer shouts, “She’s in the attic!” Well, I didn’t quite point Anna...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Russian Choreographer Boris Eifman

No choreographer so divides American and British critics as Russia's only international dancemaker, Boris Eifman. He's "an amazing magician of the theatre", according to the late, great US critic Clive Barnes. He "flaunts all the worst clichés of...

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theartsdesk in Moscow: Nikolai Ge at the Tretyakov Gallery

The Nikolai Ge retrospective at Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery marks the 180th anniversary of the artist’s birth – not the kind of round centenary or bicentenary landmark that often brings such projects to fruition. But the show is literally a...

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Anna Karenina, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Opera House

It is claimed that the philosopher GE Moore had a fantasy. After many years’ work, Tolstoy had finally finished War and Peace. Sonya had copied it out for the umpteenth time. The thing goes off to the printer. Peace reigns. And then, in...

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50 years since Nureyev defected and Kirov Ballet debuted in London

The Mariinsky Theatre: The cradle of Russian Classicism, bred from a French balletmaster with Italian influences

It's 50 years since the mighty Kirov Ballet made their debut London tour - reeling from Nureyev's defection days before at the Paris airport. The tour was promoted by the unique impresarios of Soviet culture, Victor and Lilian Hochhauser. Half a...

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War and Peace at the Circus, Giffords Circus

A village green, a little big top - and War and Peace. Sometimes large ambitions come in the smallest packages, and one can only take one’s hat off to the ambitious, pocket-sized Giffords Circus for setting out to squish Tolstoy’s four-volume epic...

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theartsdesk in Kabul: Talking Books in Dari and Pashto

Nearly 90 per cent of Afghan males listen to the radio. Soon this young man will be able to listen to 'Talking Books'

One Friday afternoon this spring, a friend led me to a low, dusty room in an education institute in the Afghan capital, Kabul. A few dozen men sat in neat rows. Most were young and wearing leather jackets, a few were older and in tweed jackets or...

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