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  • Originally posted by Vitaly View Post
    Yesterday and the day before yesterday, I watched new (2007) Russian movie "Lenin's Testament". 12 parts 45 minutes each (see www.imdb.com/title/tt1047803/). This is made on "The Kolyma Tales" by Varlaam Shalamov

    The movie is very good, IMHO. I did not expect that Russian cinema is still able to make such good movies... If you will find it with English subtitles, I recommend you to spend some time for it...

    This movie is not about WW2 (although covers some specifics of GULAG life during the war time). But it shows very well the political and mentality mainstream of that time, IMHO.
    the movie is good but it was done by the same people who had made "Shtrafbat".

    as i think they went too far

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    • Originally posted by Andrey View Post
      can you make a vidcap of that guy? i'll say is he a cosack or not
      I don't have it, I rented it. Maybe he wasn't a cossack - fine, maybe I just thought he looked like one because I don't know a lot about cossacks - my apologies to any and all non-collaborationist cossacks everywhere .

      Comment


      • Originally Posted by Andrey: as i think they went too far
        What do you mean "too far"? In my opinion they screened 'The Kolyma Tales' closely to the original text, even with a less number of cruel details...

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        • Originally posted by Andrey View Post
          It depended from movies.

          In "Liberation" the German generals were played by German actors from East Germany. Hitler from this movie is the best Hitler I have seen. All the German Generals in the movie were played by real Germans - Manstein, Model and the others.

          If there were no German actors moviemakers tried to use Soviet actors from Baltic countries.

          Usually it was only about Germans who were main heroes or Generals.

          Ordinary soldiers usually were played by local Soviets actors who looked like Germans.

          To the point there were Soviet super-stars of German nationality - Alisa Freindlikh, for example. She was a Soviet citizen, was born in the USSR and Russian was her native language.

          There were a couple of funny stories about "17 moments of spring".

          1. It was necessary to show again and again a lot of young SS-men (in Hitler's bunker, in ReichsChancellory and so on).

          The person who sorted out the actors for episodic roles was a Jew and he sorted out many of his friends-Jews to play SS-men in the movie. In result it was very funny to see SS-men with typical Jews appearance.

          The director (Lioznova) saw it and ordered to stop this idiocy.

          In the result the SS-men were played by cadets-Latvians, Estonians and Lithuaians of a Military College which was in a Baltic Republic of the USSR.

          They looked like real Germans.

          2. There was a scene where a platoon of Volkssturm was to march in the background of the main hero. There was a problem where to get the people for the scene.

          Lioznova came to the nearest public bar.

          Itis necessaru to say that a Soviet public bar differed from ordinary Western bar. Normal people visited it very rarely. Girls were there very rarely. It was a place to drink beer. Usually people who liked to drink visited it. They often had unhealthy color of faces and unhealthy figures (fat or think, round-shouldered). The most of them were 40-50-years old men and their faces had traces of difficult life and of drunken alcohol.

          And Lioznova entered there and asked: "Comrades, I offer you to take part in my movie."

          The people from the bar were dressed as Volkssturm soldiers, got rifles and PanzerFausts.

          They assumed a platoon's formation and began to move along the street. Lioznova looked at this and was amazed. The best there was! She saw a real platoon of German Volksstrurm how she imagined it!
          I thought that the Swiss actor who acted Hitler in the Film 'Downfall', a couple of years ago, (his name was Bruno Graz I think), was by far the best Hitler I have seen.

          Funnily enough, as we know from many verbal witnesses, and writing, Hitler when not doing a speach in front of cameras, and thousands of people, acted and talked like anybody else...

          And the ONLY footage of Hitler when he was relaxed, and thus the only source where an actor could get his way of speaking and mannerisms, were the secret filming and recording of Hitler, when he visited Mannerheim (total suprise to the Finns by the way, it was Hitlers last attempt to get Mannerheim to attack Leningrad and the Murmansk railway). Anway, the Suopo, the Finnish secret police secretly filmed Hitler when he was checking out maps, and talking with Mannerheim.

          The only surviving camera footage where Hitler didnt know he was being filmed, and didnt 'perform' in any way...

          Bruno Graz, if I recall correctly the actors name, went through this material very painstakingly, and gave us the most correct portrayal of Hitler when not in front of 'the audience'...

          Quite a soft spoken man, and completely without any shread of empathy. A Sociopath par exellence, if exellence is a word that can be used in conjunction with herr Hitler?
          "SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM" - " If you want peace, prepare for war".

          If acted upon in time, ww2 could have been stopped without a single bullet being fired. - Sir Winston Churchill

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          • Originally posted by 17poundr View Post
            I thought that the Swiss actor who acted Hitler in the Film 'Downfall', a couple of years ago, (his name was Bruno Graz I think), was by far the best Hitler I have seen.
            have you seen Hitler from "Liberation"?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Vitaly View Post
              What do you mean "too far"? In my opinion they screened 'The Kolyma Tales' closely to the original text, even with a less number of cruel details...
              everythinh was done in extremely "black colour".

              it's not a good time for westerners to look it. they had enough such info. their first image of the USSR is GULAG. It's enough to reinforce this image. They need to get more balanced view.

              Comment


              • Originally Posted by Andrey:

                everythinh was done in extremely "black colour".
                I do not agree. For example, even NKVD people (e.g. the former husband of Galina, Berzin) are shown as quite human persons. Internally conflicting, often spoiled, but still human persons...

                Also, Shalamov keeps some humor even in extremely bad situations...

                it's not a good time for westerners to look it. they had enough such info. their first image of the USSR is GULAG. It's enough to reinforce this image. They need to get more balanced view.
                First, this movie was made most of all for us Russians...

                Second, the problem is not in such movies or books (Shalamov, Solzhenicyn, etc). The problem is which movies Western mass-media prefers to show about Russia. Several years ago one my friend has had a talk with Swedish journalist working in Russia. He (the Swede) said that Swedish mass-media mostly accepts only negative reports from Russia (about bandits, prostitutes, corruption, etc.). He could make a positive report but nobody would buy it...

                There is a lot of movies which show other, positive, sides of the life in USSR and modern Russia but who shows them in the West? Now they often show here in TV the clown-like The marrige (by Lungin; although it is a good movie after a close look IMHO) but they never show The Island (by the same Lungin).

                So, the problem is not in movies (I do not talk about rubbish like 9th company or Strafbat) but which selection of movies is available for the most of Westerners...

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Vitaly View Post
                  First, this movie was made most of all for us Russians...

                  Second, the problem is not in such movies or books (Shalamov, Solzhenicyn, etc). The problem is which movies Western mass-media prefers to show about Russia. Several years ago one my friend has had a talk with Swedish journalist working in Russia. He (the Swede) said that Swedish mass-media mostly accepts only negative reports from Russia (about bandits, prostitutes, corruption, etc.). He could make a positive report but nobody would buy it...

                  There is a lot of movies which show other, positive, sides of the life in USSR and modern Russia but who shows them in the West? Now they often show here in TV the clown-like The marrige (by Lungin; although it is a good movie after a close look IMHO) but they never show The Island (by the same Lungin).

                  So, the problem is not in movies (I do not talk about rubbish like 9th company or Strafbat) but which selection of movies is available for the most of Westerners...
                  1. If it is for Russians so don't offer it to westerners.

                  2. If the westerners had enough negative info so why do you offer to them one more negative movie? Think what you are doing!

                  Comment


                  • Originally Posted by Andrey:

                    1. If it is for Russians so don't offer it to westerners.
                    Well, all Soviet and Russian movies were made most of all for Russians :-) (I mean the movies made in primary film studios - in the national republics the situation was different but similar) Made with Russian actors, in Russian language, often with specifics of Russian mentality (even Soviet movies). Then, if we follow your suggestion, we may not offer any our movie to Westerners... ;-)

                    2. If the westerners had enough negative info so why do you offer to them one more negative movie? Think what you are doing!
                    I think they have real heads; not heads of cabbage :-) They (at least these which participate in this furum) understand that no one movie can give 100% information about the real life. It is obvious that we should watch diffrent movies. And even having red and watched many books and movies we'll know not so much about the real history...

                    So, we should offer just good movies, both positive and negative. And they'll decide themselves what thew should watch and which decision then can draw afterwards.

                    We all, Russians and Westerners (but Russians in the first place!), should know and remember about such things as GULAG! And if you make a movie about GULAG, in can not be very 'positive' story, to put it mildly...

                    Comment


                    • Vitaly, I mainly agree with you, but I think you are being too kind. Look at how many people believe the movie Enemy At the Gates showed how the RKKA behaved?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Vitaly View Post
                        Well, all Soviet and Russian movies were made most of all for Russians :-) (I mean the movies made in primary film studios - in the national republics the situation was different but similar) Made with Russian actors, in Russian language, often with specifics of Russian mentality (even Soviet movies). Then, if we follow your suggestion, we may not offer any our movie to Westerners... ;-)
                        We should try to give them the balansed view of Russia and the USSR and not only the movies about "black" sides of reality.

                        I think they have real heads; not heads of cabbage :-) They (at least these which participate in this furum) understand that no one movie can give 100% information about the real life. It is obvious that we should watch diffrent movies. And even having red and watched many books and movies we'll know not so much about the real history...

                        So, we should offer just good movies, both positive and negative. And they'll decide themselves what thew should watch and which decision then can draw afterwards.

                        We all, Russians and Westerners (but Russians in the first place!), should know and remember about such things as GULAG! And if you make a movie about GULAG, in can not be very 'positive' story, to put it mildly...
                        They had large shortage of positive movies. They heard, read and watched enough about GULAG.

                        Comment


                        • Originally Posted by Emil_G:

                          Vitaly, I mainly agree with you, but I think you are being too kind. Look at how many people believe the movie Enemy At the Gates showed how the RKKA behaved?
                          Yes, you are right :-) In reality, by their own wish, many people wear heads of cabbage at the shoulders:-) Both Russians and Westerners :-)

                          Originally Posted by Andrey:

                          We should try to give them the balansed view of Russia and the USSR and not only the movies about "black" sides of reality.
                          Andrey, I am quite agree with you about a "balansed view" but this should obviously be done not by banishing 'non-positive' movies but by advertising 'positive' ones. Actualy, we do it in the present thread. We talked about "The alive and the dead", "Torpedo bombers", "Come and see" and many other good and 'positive' movies. Alongside with this, we also talk about "Cold summer of 1953", "Lenin's testament", etc. - also good but 'non-positive' movies.

                          So it is OK with the "balansed view"...

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Vitaly View Post
                            Andrey, I am quite agree with you about a "balansed view" but this should obviously be done not by banishing 'non-positive' movies but by advertising 'positive' ones. Actualy, we do it in the present thread. We talked about "The alive and the dead", "Torpedo bombers", "Come and see" and many other good and 'positive' movies. Alongside with this, we also talk about "Cold summer of 1953", "Lenin's testament", etc. - also good but 'non-positive' movies.

                            So it is OK with the "balansed view"...
                            Nobody speaks about banishing.

                            But you are doing the advertising of the movies with negative image (moreover, they aren't related to the theme of the thread).

                            And it is not OK with the balansed view. There are many other guys somewhere who are doing negative image.

                            And it is wrong that I gave military movies with positive image only. I gave the info about GOOD military movies that can help to Westerners to understand what WWII was for the people of the Soviet Union.
                            Last edited by Andrey; 20 Mar 08, 20:52.

                            Comment


                            • Originally Posted by Andrey:

                              Nobody speaks about banishing.
                              Hmmm... When you write above "it's not a good time for westerners to look it", for me it looks like a banishment. A 'soft' banishment similar to that of the Soviet time, when "responsible comrades" often decided that "this is a good movie/book but better people will not see it because it differs from nice image of the Soviet 'reality'" :-) So called 'social realism'...

                              But you are doing the advertising of the movies with negative image (moreover, they aren't related to the theme of the thread).
                              I talk here about different movies, not only 'negative'. If you have a look at my posts, you will see it clearly. "The Lenin's testament" is the first my post which does not directly connected to a war theme (although, as I said above, it covers some details of the life in USSR during WW2").

                              And it is not OK with the balansed view. There are many other guys somewhere who are doing negative image.
                              If we speak about the present thread, it is quite balanced IMHO.

                              Yes there are such guys. But you will not stop them by banishing 'negative' movies. They will find a lot of other themes to throw mud at Russia: Rasputin, Letvinenko, etc. etc...

                              And it is wrong that I gave military movies with positive image only. I gave the info about GOOD military movies that can help to Westerners to understand what WWII was for the people of the Soviet Union.
                              I actually do the same :-)

                              Question for the Westerners which read this theread: what do you prefer: 1) to get to know about all good Russian movies and then decide what you want to see and what not to see or 2) to trust to somebody who 'knows it better'?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Vitaly View Post
                                Question for the Westerners which read this theread: what do you prefer: 1) to get to know about all good Russian movies and then decide what you want to see and what not to see or 2) to trust to somebody who 'knows it better'?
                                Don't turn it into the question of censorship.

                                The Westerners are very sensitive about the theme of censorship so I think 90% of the Westerners will vote for freedom.

                                I'll not banish you, I'm asking what are you thinking by while you are entertaining such movies? Be responsible fir the result iof your advertising.

                                I am able to call a few hundreds good movies that are off-topic...

                                For example, "Granitsa. Taezhyi roman" ("The Border. Romance in Taiga"). It is a very good modern mini-TV-series about Soviet militaries in Far East in 70th. I think it will give to Westerners much more useful info about the USSR (including its army) than one more description of GULAG.
                                Last edited by Andrey; 21 Mar 08, 15:05.

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