Archive for the ‘Russia’ Category

Beauty and the Beast: Russia considers ban over ‘gay moment’

The movie's trailer had almost 130 million views in 24 hours

The movie’s trailer had almost 130 million views in 24 hours

Russian officials are coming under pressure to check if Disney’s new film Beauty and the Beast breaches the country’s law against “gay propaganda”.

One MP described it as “shameless propaganda of sin” and Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said action would be taken after the checks.

The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast features Disney’s first ever gay character and love scene.

A Russian law prohibits the spreading of “gay propaganda” among minors.

The 2013 legislation, which angered human rights activists and the international gay community, suggests that homosexuality – described as “non-traditional sexual relations” – is alien to life in Russia.

Many homophobic attacks have been documented in Russia.

Director Bill Condon has spoken of an “exclusively gay moment” in Beauty and the Beast.

Tolstoy Death & Funeral/ Video

img_2365

Tolstoy Death & Funeral/ Video.

“Requiem” by Anna Akhmatova/ Audio

Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

Requiem by Anna Akhmatova/ Audio.

Anna Andreyevna Gorenko, better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova, was a Russian and Soviet modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.

Akhmatova’s work ranges from short lyric poems to intricately structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935–40), her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror. Her style, characterised by its economy and emotional restraint, was strikingly original and distinctive to her contemporaries. The strong and clear leading female voice struck a new chord in Russian poetry. Her writing can be said to fall into two periods – the early work (1912–25) and her later work (from around 1936 until her death), divided by a decade of reduced literary output. Her work was condemned and censored by Stalinist authorities and she is notable for choosing not to emigrate, and remaining in Russia, acting as witness to the atrocities around her. Her perennial themes include meditations on time and memory, and the difficulties of living and writing in the shadow of Stalinism.

Primary sources of information about Akhmatova’s life are relatively scant, as war, revolution and the totalitarian regime caused much of the written record to be destroyed. For long periods she was in official disfavour and many of those who were close to her died in the aftermath of the revolution.

Madame Blavatsky, biographical documentary

Madame Blavatsky

Madame Blavatsky

Biographical documentary about H.P. Blavatsky, produced by the Theosophical Society in England and the Blavatsky Trust.

“What kind of person questions that a historical episode actually took place?”: Neil Langdon Inglis

Neil Langdon Inglis

Neil Langdon Inglis

In his essay “Remembering Robert Conquest”, to be published in Interlitq´s “English Writers 2” feature, Neil Langdon Inglis, U. S. General Editor of Interlitq, and a contributor to Issues 18, 19, 20 and 21 of Interlitq, and Interlitq´s “English Writers 1” feature, begins:

“What kind of person questions that a historical episode actually took place?  Some 15 years ago, I stumbled upon a public lecture by Apollo denialist Ralph René who argued that the lunar landings were trick photography and nothing else.  Afterwards, I pointed out to René that cosmonauts Leonov and co., and indeed the entire Soviet space fraternity, would have monitored the Apollo flights from Baikonur; furthermore, the Soviet regime would not have passed up the propaganda opportunity afforded by such an audacious deception. Not so, Rene replied: the Americans had bought Soviet silence with much-needed grain shipments.”