My dear friend Brianna has recently visited Russia. One of the destinations was St. Petersburg, the place she has never visited before. And of course I wanted to hear all about it. Russian museum was something she was fascinated by the most. We all know that The Hermitage, like Louvre, like The Met (It’s about time we Met – will always be one of my favorite advertising slogans of all times. And the classy Upper East Siders who give you their buttons upon exiting the museum, so that you can go in for free, even though it’s donations only) contain art collections from all over the world. But the Russian Museum is all about Russian art. So Bri had no idea what to expect. I went to the Russian Museum 6 years ago, and the painting that impressed me the most was “Sadko” by Repin.
The painting is based on the famous Russian epic folk tale, which you can read if you follow this link!
http://www.artrusse.ca/byliny/sadko.htm (all in English too, for those of you lovers of Russian art and culture!) Now imagine my surprise when Brianna said that this was her favorite painting too. I told her that there was also a movie made back in the day, and that it can be found on YouTube with English subtitles. So after this happened I decided to do some research on what movies are available for those of you interested in learning more about Russian culture (Russian and Soviet both) and the language as well.
Here is my top 5 Russian Movies Worth Watching (with links):
1. Sadko – gives a good idea about Ancient Russia – architecture, entertainment culture, clothing, music, singing, dancing! If you love fairytales this will also be a good alternative toThe Little Mermaid.
2. Mission “Y” and other adventures of Shurik/Operaciya “Y” ili drygie Priklucheniya Shurika – a great movie that includes 3 episodes from the life of a Student of a Polytechnical University and all the shenanigans he gets himself into. Needless to say it has some of the best Soviet actors and depicts USSR of the 60s!
3. The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy your Bath (The translation on the original CD)/ Ironiya Syd’by ili s Legkim parom – This is not a movie anymore, it is a New Year’s tradition here in Russia. The story of one man’s New Year mishaps has made it into everyone’s home, and even a modern sequel, with both old and new actors. The movie makes fun of the ordinary (lifestyle, similarity, lack of options and choices in the 80′s, from wallpaper, to the apartment building design, and even names of the streets) , tells us a love story, and also warns the young ones that you will end up on the plane to a different city if you keep drinking vodka like the Russians.
4. Office Romance/Slyjebnyi Roman – a love story between a clerk and his man-like female boss, who undergoes a makeover at one point. The boss’s secretary is a die hard 70′s fashionista, who will do anything to get a rare pair of new suede boots! Made in the late 70′s this love comedy will definitely become one of your favorites!
5. Now last but not the least is The Master and Margarita – based on the famous novel by Bulgakov. Shows Russia and Russian life of the 1920′s, and tells the unbelievable, mystical, weird love story that has captured the hearts of many.
Now, I hope you all realize that these movies are broken down into several YouTube episodes, so make sure you click on the right ones after watching the first one! Good luck to you all in your journey to learning more about Russia!
PS. I will definitely write a post about cartoons, because this world is yet to come up with something as good as Russian Cartoons!