For the next week Stage Russia has two terrific online productions for what is truly “your viewing pleasure.”
The first is a 15-part documentary series about Lilianna Lungina called “Podstrochnik.” The filmmakers decided to transliterate the title, which is not hard to translate but is a word that may not be known to many viewers. It means a gloss, which is “a brief explanation (as in the margin or between the lines of a text) of a difficult or obscure word or expression” — and this series is an explanation said between the lines of a very difficult and yet rich and expressive life.
Lungina spent her childhood in Germany, France and Palestine, but emigrated to the Soviet Union with her family when she was 13. Despite being Jewish and facing myriad obstacles, dangers, and persecution, she became a celebrated translator from French, German, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish, translating such authors as Astrid Lindgren, August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen, Heinrich Böll, Friedrich Schiller, Colette and many others. She was married to screenwriter Semyon Lungin, was the mother of filmmaker Pavel Lungin, and friend to Leonid Pasternak, Josef Brodsky, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and many other cultural figures who were in and out of official favor.
The film was made by Oleg Dorfman at the end of the Soviet era and finally aired on Russian television in 2009. It’s safe to say that all of educated Russia sat in front of the screen, transfixed.
It is shown here in Russian with English subtitles.
The second show available for streaming from May 1-7 is Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” performed at the Satirikon Arkady Raikin Russian State Theater, directed by Yuri Butusov. It is not a classical interpretation. It stars Polina Raikina, Timofei Tribuntsev, Agrippina Steklova and Denis Sukhanov in a big, messy, over-the-top but profoundly moving and utterly exhilarating production that won the Golden Mask award.
It is shown here in Russian with English subtitles, but cannot, unfortunately, be downloaded in Russia.
For these online events Stage Russia Wilmette Theater as part of the Support Art-House Cinemas initiative. A fee of about $5 goes to the fund.