Select language:

Vera Glagoleva: Turgenevs Language Is Endlessly Beautiful

 /  / Russkiy Mir Foundation / Publications / Vera Glagoleva: Turgenevs Language Is Endlessly Beautiful

Vera Glagoleva: Turgenevs Language Is Endlessly Beautiful

28.08.2013

Vera Glagoleva, one of the most popular actresses of the late Soviet period, has not starred in a film for the past five years. However, the People’s Artiste of Russia will soon be presenting her new film. Glagoleva’s film was one of 20 selected by the Ministry of Culture for financial support. The selection of this film, called “Two Women”, was no coincidence, as it is based on Ivan Turgenev’s play “A Month in the Country.” The fact that Ralph Fiennes plays the leading role is enough to make this a highly anticipated picture. It has been particularly popular lately to make films based on Russian classics; however, not so many of them have been big successes. Glagoleva says that she turned to Turgenev because “Turgenev’s language is endlessly beautiful.”

On location for the shooting of Two Women

— Why did you choose “A Month in the Country”?
 
— Out of a desire to show the audience in addition to the omnipresent action film format a story can be old in beautiful way, with a beautiful language. Turgenev’s language is endlessly beautiful. That’s how the play is written! The heroes experience such feelings! The most interesting thing for any actor and director is figuring out what needs to be acted out, rehearsals, and Turgenev provides enormous opportunities: delving into his work, you can open new horizons. So that is why I chose Turgenev, “A Month in Country”, and probably also playing a role here was Anatoly Efros’s production in 1977 (at the Malaya Bronnaya Theater in Moscow – ed.). That production was a major event in the theatrical world. In part because there had not yet been any film version of this work. But there were many stage productions. Strangely enough, most were in Europe, as Ivan Turgenev himself was a man of Europe. In France, England and Germany his works are always being performed. The role of Natalya Petrovna is an event of biographical importance for every actress.

— Were foreign actors brought into the film as a nod to the cosmopolitanism of the writer?

— Yes, the German tutor is played by a German (Bernd Moss – ed.), as in the 19th century it was customary to hire tutors from Europe. Natalya’s companion is a Frenchwoman. Actress Sylvie Testud beautifully reads Voltaire in French. It is quit logical. Rakitin is played by the British actor Ralph Fiennes, because in terms of his internal world, chivalry and attitude toward life his is absolutely a man of the 19th century, and this choice was now coincidence. It seemed to me that Rakitin was just this type of person.

— Today it is popular to change the text of the author. How did you approach the original text?

— We worked on the text. In 1909 Stanislavsky, when he was putting on this play, ruthlessly cut it down and believed that he was right to do so. We took some of the theatrics out of the text. In the play there are a lot of internal monologues which are spoken from the stage in order to show the audience the hero’s feelings. But this is not necessary for film.

— In our television series based on great literature, such as Sergey Soloviev’s “Anna Karenina”, one can see fake vases and other artificiality. You shot the picture using real film. Were you focused on accurately portraying the spirit of the time?

A scene from the film Two Women

— It would be unethical to comment on Soloviev. There are quality television series, such as Vladimir Khtinenko’s “Dostoevsky”. But by and large everything seems rather templated. We really strived to transmit the spirit of the time and selected Glinka’s estate as the location. It is very pretty there. The museum management and department of culture of the Smolensk region were very accommodating and we received a lot of help.

— How do you feel about the most recent films made based on Russian classics? Take for example Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina” with Keira Knightley in the lead role.

— If we watched this film and it wasn’t called Anna Karenina and did not have any connection to the great novel, then I would say that it is a wonderful, interesting film with a large number of novelties from the director. It is a good entertaining film, surprising film. Everything is beautiful and shallow. You don’t worry about the heroine, you don’t pity anyone.

— Should classical literature not be made more modern?

— Why not, if you do it as talentedly as Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet” with DiCaprio playing the main role. It is grandiose and amazing because it is a modern story and young people and for young people. Another example is Ralph Fiennes’ “Coriolanus”. This is also Shakespeare but in a modern presentation. There are relatively few successes – when classical literature placed in the present – because there is an obvious difference between what the heroes experienced then and now.

— Are you completely occupied with your film or do you already have plans for the future?

— I am not even thinking about it. Right now the most important thing is to complete it. The editing and sound. The post production will be rather complicated. As far as further plans are concerned, I would again like to take a look at the classics. Chekhov is fathomless. We’ll see.

— Does out film industry make enough use of the classics?

— Not often enough because few are interested in this. When we approached television channels about our project they declined. They said that classics aren’t needed. That seems indecent, don’t you think? We hope that with the release of “Two Women” something might change. The Ministry of Culture and Cinema Fund were accommodating, allocated money and had faith that there is a place in modern cinematography for the classics.

Anna Pozina, Oleg Karmunin
Izvestiya

   
Rubric:
Subject:
Tags:

New publications

Early this year the Solzhenitsyn House of Russia Abroad received the key to a new building, where the Museum of Russian Immigration is to open soon. Now is the hardest part of work, placing the exhibits so that they would talk to the visitors. Igor Domnin, the deputy director for the Solzhenitsyn House of Russia Abroad and Andrey Vovk, the director for the Russian branch of Ralph Appelbaum Associates are discussing the ways to do it.
Not so long ago Russkiy Mir Foundation published news about the grave of the first wave emigrant Georgy Gorchakov in Tunisia. The grave is situated at the local Gammarth cemetery located near Tunis. Our compatriot Natalia Kupcha lives for 40 years in this country, was a good friend of Georgy Nikolaevich.
Around a thousand people took part in the All-Latvian parents meeting in Riga. Parents, teachers, principals of Russian schools, local governments and Euro Parliaments deputies, both Russians and Latvians are persuading the countrys government to stop the reform aimed at banning the Russian language from schools. Here is the report made at this meeting by a well-known human rights activist Tatiana Zhdanok, one of the leaders of the Russian Union in Latvia.
150th birth anniversary of the great Russian writer Maxim Gorky is celebrated in Russia and all over the world. How well do we know his works today, they are still actual? Why his heritage still engages people around the world? Professor, Head of the Department of A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences Lidia Spiridonova elaborates further on these topics.
Dozens of divers from all over the world, from Ireland to Ethiopia, come to Republic of Karelia, Russia, every year to learn ice diving techniques. What attracts them to Russia is not only the unique White Sea (the only sea in Europe that freezes), but also highly skilled professional Russian coaches.
The West has firmly decided to show Russia Kuzma's mother, (A Russian saying meaning to teach somebody a lesson). That was the first thought, which came to my mind when I heard the news from London that Moscows punishment for poisoning a former Russian doubleagent Sergei Skripal would be very severe. Very severe indeed
Russian higher education becomes more and more popular abroad. The best confirmation is the growing number of foreign students in Russian universities. The guest of 11th Russian Mir Assembly, the President of Association of Foreign Students of Russia Adu Yao Nikez talks about life of foreign students in Russia.