Thursday, 25 August 2011

Day and Night in Chekhov Country

The early evening and night in the Russian countryside is a unique phenomenon. Mute in its stillness but full of sound and movement as if the earth itself has come alive. Humming and buzzing with  life. A myriad of creatures, birds and insects live out their fate and the forest stirs with unseen movement. It is the time when the emotions become attuned to the world and it seems we hear the fullness of its shifting chords and languid phrases. It is the time which Chekhov often chose in his plays to reveal the heightened awareness of the characters, where they re experience life's betrayals and traumas as the intensity of the night encloses around the already enclosed world of the dacha.
Anyway that's enough lyricism for one blog - on with the work. I work all day now, writing and sifting through the material for the films. I work better in the open air and even better when it rains for some reason. The long days give ample opportunity for prolonged activity and for thinking through ideas. Step by step the plans are beginning to take shape, gradually gaining coherence as well substance. Early days still but good progress.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Report on the start of a new film project series from Chekov Country

These are the first steps of a new project. We have come out to the Russian Country side to start preparations in what could be called Chekhov Country or Russian Dacha country. Its a fitting location to start these projects which are about Russian Theatre in the late 19th and early twentieth century. The films will consist of two documentaries. One about  Vahktangov and one about the role of carnival in Russian theatre of this period. Plus a feature type adaptation of Bloks play The Fairground Booth. For the next two or three weeks while We are here I will be writing and researching these projects and documenting them here in this blog and elsewhere. These films will follow on from the two films already completed about Russian Theatre “Meyerhold Theatre and the Russian Avant-garde” and “Stanislavsky and the Russian Theatre” to make up a series of films about the topic of Russian theatre of the early twentieth century. Using footage I will shoot out here I will try and give a flavour of life in the Russian countryside as well as documenting the start of this project.