Early Russian Cinema, Volume 5: Petr Chardynin & Pushkin
Two brilliant adaptions from the great Pushkin's work are featured in this volume. The director Petr Chardynin's experience as a touring actor-manager doubtless colored his approach to these adaptations, encouraging a robust and practical approach uninhibited by excessive reverence. THE QUEEN OF SPADES was shot on a specially-built set at Krylatskoe, which proved too small to accommodate Lisa's suicide by drowning. The height of the stage prevented the poor girl from concealing herself underwater, so a pit had to be dug urgently and the scene was shot again. That was quite an event in itself in those days. The House in Kolomna. Sofia Goslavskaia features the legendary Ivan Mozzhukhin in his female role as the cook: Chardynin was worried that Mozzhukhin's enthusiastic espousal of his female role would lead to accusations of bad taste, especially in the scene where the cook helps put Parasha to bed. Together they worked to find a way of avoiding scandal while retaining the mischievous content of Pushkin's work. The result is a unique demonstration of Mozzhukhin's range before stardom trapped him in the steely, demonic roles for which he is now best remembered.
An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights
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