How Historical Movies Should Be Made
This is a fairly accurate depiction of a very intriguing story of princess Yelizaveta Alekseyevna Tarakanova, well at least one version of it, since multiple accounts of what happened exist. In another version she joins the convent and dies in 1810 under a name of sister Doropheya. Well, actually, her death in 1775 is much more likely. Lots of literature exists on her, although to this day I am not aware of any serious comprehensive scholarly work on this woman's fascinating biography. Of works of fiction, an 1883 novel by Danilevsky "Princess Tarakanova" is worth mentioning. Just a few notes on the film without revealing much - one can appreciate careful attention to small details, and in abundance, they add authenticity. Interestingly, lots of interior scenes were shot inside the museums. Museums in the late USSR really needed money so they rented the space to filmmakers, something that cannot be easily accomplished these days. Hence, the interiors are great! Another fun fact - the Italians financed this movie, so of the trilogy, Melnikov started with 'Tsarskaya Okhota' where part of the story takes place in Venice (historically correct too, by the way). I watched the film recently. I'll set aside minor gripes, it's just a personal perception of characters. What this film has is fine acting, quality camera work, etc., but besides all of the above what struck me most was great care and deference to history by the film director, something that is pretty much permanently missing in the US and European cinema, especially of late. This fine film stands in sharp contrast to pseudo-historical creations of the directors who neither care nor know anything about history. Examples of embarrassingly dumb works abound, not the case with 'Tsarskaya Okhota'. I am not certain that the version with subtitles exists, there really should be one. Russians typically shoot themselves in the foot releasing movies without subtitles. If you come across the subtitled version, by all means watch it, it's an interesting story, and you'll learn a bit of Russian history along the way. And Anna Samokhina is a Very Beautiful Actress...
- Mar 2, 2009
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