April 08, 2021

"The Silver Skates" on the Silver Screen



"The Silver Skates" on the Silver Screen
Ice rink on St. Petersburg's Palace Square; they definitely don't do this every year –maybe to make way for the gigantic New Year's tree. Wikimedia Commons user Pot Noodle.

Add The Silver Skates to your must-watch list. Soon, Netflix subscribers will be able to watch the 2020 Russian film in multiple languages.

The Silver Skates is a delightful skate through St. Petersburg at the turn of the twentieth century. Most of the film takes place on an iced-over Neva River. The action centers on a group of young Marxist pickpockets who deploy the physics of skating to steal from wealthy customers at the on-ice market.

The Silver Skates features gorgeous views of St. Petersburg, the quaintness of nineteenth-century material culture, and a love story that crosses socioeconomic classes. Its rather simple storyline can be forgiven for the allure of its cinematography and the charm of its near-constant ice skating.

St. Petersburg locations featured include Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Michael's Castle, Vitebsky railway station, Stieglitz Museum of Applied Arts, Yusupov Palace, Marble Palace, Sheremetyev Palace, and the House of Scientists – which has one of the most stunning staircases in the world.

Netflix picked up the film in late March. You will not find it in your Netflix queue yet, but check out the trailer while you wait for it to drop.

Nineteenth-century ice skates
Try skating on these bad boys. | The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Wikimedia Commons

 

Christopher Plummer's Last Station
  • February 08, 2021

Christopher Plummer's Last Station

In memory of actor Christopher Plummer, who died last week at age 91, we look back at his role as a dying Leo Tolstoy in the 2009 film, The Last Station.
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Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
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The Best of Russian Life

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Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

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The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
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Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
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Murder and the Muse

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The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
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93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
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22 Russian Crosswords

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