Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Noch pered Rozhdestvom / The Night Before Christmas (1913)


Noch pered Rozhdestvom / The Night Before Christmas (1913). Lidiya Tridenskaya as the witch Solokha and Ivan Mozzhukhin as the Devil.

Ночь перед Рождеством / Notsh pered Rozhdestvom / [Jouluaatto] / [Jouluyö {the name of Gogol's story in Finnish}] / Christmas Eve / Noc' pered Rozdestvom / [La veglia di Natale]
    RU 1913. PC: Aleksandr Hanzhonkov / Khanzhonkov & Co. D+SC+CIN+AN+AD: Wladyslaw Starewicz.
    Based on the short story by Nikolai Gogol in the collection Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka / Вечера на хуторе близ Диканьки (1829–1832) / Dikankan iltoja [in Finnish by Irma Grönroos, Maija Pellikka, Margit Salmenoja / Ex Libris, 1972].
    C: Lidija Tridenskaja / Lidiya Tridenskaya (the witch Soloha / Solokha), Ivan Mozzhuhin / Ivan Mozzhukhin (Devil), Pjotr Lopuhin / Petr Lopukhin (the blacksmith Vakula), Olga Obolenskaja / Olga Obolenskaya (Oksana), Aleksandr Kherumimov (Golova), Pavel Knorr (Chub). 1115 m /16 fps/ 61 min
    Premiere: 26 Dec 1913.
    A Gosfilmofond restoration of 1989 with reconstructed intertitles by Natalia Nusinova and Yuri Tsivian.
    A Gosfilmofond print with e-subtitling by Mia Öhman and live pianism by Ilari Hannula screened at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Nikolai Gogol), 10 April 2018

The Night Before Christmas is the earliest surviving feature film by Wladyslaw Starewicz. The artist and entomologist had for a few years ago emerged as a prolific and versatile film-maker at the Khanzhonkov studios – as animator, art director, cinematographer, screenwriter and director. All those skills are on display in The Night Before Christmas, a weird adaptation of a work of youth, Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, by Nikolai Gogol, based on Ukrainian folklore, fairytales and horror stories. Even Starewicz's first live action film, Strachnaya mest / A Terrible Vengeance, made the year before, had been based on the Dikanka tales.

The star of both A Terrible Vengeance and The Night Before Christmas is none other than Ivan Mozzhukhin, the greatest Russian star of the 1910s and the 1920s. He incarnated memorably  characters of Russian classics (Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky) and was able to cover decadence and lyricism, comedy and tragedy.

Mozzhukhin is unrecognizable as Starewicz's Devil. He never made a crazier interpretation than as the Devil who makes uninhibited love to the village witch Solokha (see image above) and steals the Moon from the sky. The performance was probably influenced by Georges Méliès, and I suspect that Benjamin Christensen, who played the Devil in Häxan, must have seen Mozzhukhin's performance because of striking similarities in details.

Mozzhukhin's is not the best performance in this film, and he fails to convey the Devil with the same panache as Méliès. There is a genuine ensemble spirit in the village fantasy with colourful and humoristic characters.

More uncanny than Mozzhukhin's Devil is the Zaporochian Cossack Patsyuk who is believed to be in league with the Devil.

The blacksmith Vakula is a funny premier. He is rejected by Oksana who insists in being presented the Czarina's cherevichki slippers as a condition for accepting his proposal. With the help of the Devil even this preposterous demand can be fulfilled. But by then Oksana is already prepared to accept Vakula unconditionally.

The women are sensual and original, starting with Lidiya Tridenskaya as Solokha (see image above) whom no man can resist and who has to hide a growing queue of male visitors in flour sacks. Olga Obolenskaya is attractive as Oksana, a young woman of independent spirit.

There are living portrait credit titles. Masks and vignettes are in use. Interestingly for an animation wizard the flight sequences are clumsily performed, more clumsily than earlier efforts by Méliès and R. W. Paul. The films starts unpromisingly but soon a good fantastic-humoristic flow emerges. There are two pioneering scenes of animation combined with live action. In one varenyky dumplings are galloping into mouths (in a scene with affinities with Aleksander Medvedkin's Happiness). In another one, at Empress Catherine's court, the Devil shrinks to pocket size.

The story takes place on Christmas Eve, but there is no religious content. I believe this secularity stems from Gogol's original but even if it wouldn't there was a ban on the representation of the Church in the cinema of the Russian empire. The first men of the church in Russian cinema appeared only after the fall of the Romanov empire, in films such as Yakov Protazanov's Father Sergius (produced in 1917, released in 1918). There was also a ban on the representation of the Romanov family which is why Catherine the Great is omitted and we see Prince Potemkin presenting Vakula the Empress's cherevichki.

Mostly the visual quality is good, including in interesting sequences of depth staging. The beginning has been copied from battered material. The movement is smooth and natural at 16 fps.

OUR PROGRAM NOTE BY MIA ÖHMAN AND THE RUSSIAN WIKIPEDIA ENTRY:
OUR PROGRAM NOTE BY MIA ÖHMAN AND THE RUSSIAN WIKIPEDIA ENTRY:

Wladyslaw Starewicz (1882–1965) tunnetaan myöhemmän tuotantonsa ohella erityisesti hyönteisten ihmismäistä elämää kuvaavista varhaisista animaatioistaan Kameramiehen kosto (1911) ja Heinäsirkka ja muurahainen (1913). Puolalaisista vanhemmista Moskovassa syntynyt, isoäitinsä hoivissa Liettuassa kasvanut ja Tartossa opiskellut Starewicz nimitettiin vuonna 1910 Kaunasin luonnonhistoriallisen museon johtoon. Ensimmäiset animaatiokokeilunsa hän teki oikeilla hyönteisillä. Vuonna 1911 Starewicz muutti Moskovaan ja työskenteli ohjaajana Hanzhonkov-elokuvastudiolla. Animaatiot herättivät ihastusta, ja tuottaja Aleksandr Hanzhonkov antoi Starewiczille tilaisuuden ohjata myös ihmisnäyttelijöitä Gogolin aiheen pohjalta.

Jouluaatto (myös Jouluyö) oli Venäjällä hyvin tunnettu tarina, jossa noita Soloha lentelee jouluyönä luudallaan ja hulluttelee Paholaisen kanssa niin että kuukin katoaa taivaalta. Solohalla ei ole miestä, mutta kosijoita riittää. Solohan poika, seppä Vakula, haluaisi mennä naimisiin kauniin Oksanan kanssa. Oksanalle vain pitäisi tuoda keisarinnan kengät, että hän suostuisi vaimoksi. Pjotr Tshaikovski oli säveltänyt Gogolin tarinasta kolminäytöksisen oopperan nimeltä Seppä Vakula jo vuonna 1874, ja muokannut sen edelleen nelinäytöksiseen muotoon Tsherevitshki eli Keisarinnan tohvelit (suomeksi Tohvelit) vuonna 1887. Myös Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov kirjoitti tarinan oopperaksi Jouluyö (1895). Tarinassa esiintyy tsaaritar, keisarinna Katariina II Suuri (1729–96). Sensuuri oli kuitenkin kieltänyt keisariperheen näyttämisen elokuvissa. Kieltoa kierrettiin niin, että Katariinaa ei näytetty. Vakulalle sanotaan palatsissa: ”Miksi te kysytte onko tämä tsaari? Sehän on itse Potjomkin!” Sotamarsalkka Grigori Potjomkin (myös Potemkin), Taurian ruhtinas, oli yksi keisarinnan rakastajista ja kuului myös hallitukseen. Historiaan hän on jäänyt ”Potjomkinin kulisseista”; väitettiin, että Potjomkin kiillotti ankeiden syrjäseutujen kuvaa Katariinan silmissä pystyttämällä kulissijulkisivuja ja puutarhoja matkan varrelle, kun hovi teki kiertueen Krimin niemimaalla. Juttu on herkullisena päätynyt esimerkiksi Juri Iljenkon elokuvaan Juhannusaatto (1968). Potjomkinin perustamia kaupunkeja ovat mm. Sevastopol, Mariupol, Simferopol ja Odessa.

Jouluaatto noudattelee Gogolin kertomusta. Starewiczin tyyli on lennokas ja hilpeä, ja Ivan Mozzhuhin ottaa selvästi kaiken ilon irti hassusta paholaishahmostaan. Aikalaiskriitikot kirjoittivat elokuvasta ylistäviä arvosteluja, joskin huomautettiin, että lentokohtaukset olisi voinut ehkä toteuttaa paremminkin ja kansan kuvaus ei välttämättä ole aivan oikeanlaista. Erityisesti kehuttiin Mozzhuhinin ulkoasua ja näyttelemistä, oivallisia trikkejä ja Gogolin maailman onnistunutta siirtämistä valkokankaalle.

Starewicz ohjasi Venäjällä myös Gogol-aiheiset elokuvat Kauhea toive (1913), joka sai suomalaisen nimen Punanen kosto eli puolalaisten kauhu, Muotokuva (1915), Velho (1918), Sorotshinin markkinat (1918) ja Toukokuun yö eli Hukkunut (1918). Näistä on ilmeisesti säilynyt vain osa Muotokuvasta. Viimeiset elokuvat syntyivät Jaltalla, mihin Hanzhonkov siirsi elokuvatuotantonsa vallankumouksen myötä. Monen muun elokuvantekijän lailla Starewicz päätti lähteä perheineen Eurooppaan. Starewiczit matkustivat Italiaan vuonna 1919 ja siirtyivät sitten Pariisiin osaksi venäläisemigranttien yhteisöä. Työskenneltyään jonkin aikaa kameramiehenä Wladyslaw Starewicz ryhtyi jälleen tekemään nukkeanimaatioita, jotka palkittiin sittemmin monilla festivaaleilla ja tunnettiin laajalti. Animaatioiden tekoon osallistui koko perhe monessa sukupolvessa. Nukkemestarin nimi vaihtui Ranskassa muotoon Ladislas Starevich. Muitakin kirjoitusasuja on käytetty.

Neuvostoaikana Gogolin ukrainalaistarinoista tehtiin satuelokuvia. Jouluyö-kertomukseen perustuu Valentina ja Zinaida Brumbergin piirroselokuva Notsh pered Rozhdestvom vuodelta 1951, samoin Aleksandr Roun värikylläinen, satumainen näytelmäelokuva Vetshera na hutore bliz Dikanki: Notsh pered Rozhdestvom (Iltoja lähellä Dikankaa: Jouluyö) vuodelta 1961.

Alkukuvana nähdään Sojuzmultfilmin vuonna 1974 valmistunut lyhyt nukkeanimaatio Tshitshikovin seikkailut: Manilov, joka kuvittaa Gogolin Kuolleiden sielujen maailmaa. Ohjaus on Boris Stepantsevin, ja kertojan ja hahmojen äänet näyttelee Juri Jakovlev. Hänet muistetaan esimerkiksi kaksoisroolista Leonid Gaidain vuoden 1973 komedi-assa Iivana Julma vaihtaa ammattia.

 – Mia Öhman 1.4.2018

Ночь перед Рождеством (фильм, 1913)
Материал из Википедии — свободной энциклопедии

Жанр:  Kомедия, Фантастика
Режиссёр: Владислав Старевич
Автор сценария: Владислав Старевич
В главных ролях:
Иван Мозжухин
Ольга Оболенская
Лидия Триденская
Павел Лопухин
Оператор: Владислав Старевич
Кинокомпания: А. Ханжонков и Ко
Длительность: 41 мин.
Страна: Россия
Язык: Русский
Год: 1913
IMDb ID 0003214
Файл: Ночь перед Рождеством. (1913).webmВоспроизвести медиафайл
Ночь перед Рождеством.

«Ночь перед Рождеством» — немой художественный фильм Владислава Старевича, экранизация повести Николая Гоголя.

Содержание

Сюжет

Сюжет в целом соответствует классической повести Гоголя.

В канун Рождества в гости к местной ведьме Солохе (Лидия Триденская) является Чёрт (Иван Мозжухин). Они вместе летают на метле, после чего Чёрт крадет месяц и прячет его в тряпицу. Подвыпившие козаки в наступившей темноте не могут попасть в шинок и решают отправиться по домам. Поодиночке они приходят к Солохе, которая одного за другим прячет их в мешки, чтобы они не попались друг другу на глаза — в том числе и Чёрта. В это время сын Солохи кузнец Вакула (Павел Лопухин) пытается посвататься к красавице Оксане (Ольга Оболенская), но она, насмехаясь над ним, требует, чтобы он принес ей черевички, которые царица носит. Кузнец в горе идет к Солохе, видит мешки и решает унести их в кузницу. Устав по дороге, он оставляет самые тяжелые мешки на улице, где их подбирают колядующие девушки и парни. Вакула, у которого остался только мешок с Чёртом, идёт к Пацюку, чтобы спросить того, как ему найти Чёрта — только с помощью Чёрта он может достать царские черевички. Пацюк говорит, что тому нечего Чёрта искать, у кого Чёрт за спиной. Вакула находит Чёрта в мешке и заставляет его отнести себя в Петербург. Там князь Потёмкин принимает его за посла от запорожцев и дарит ему черевички царицы. Чёрт возвращает Вакулу домой и кузнец его отпускает. Оксана соглашается стать женой Вакулы.

В ролях

    Иван Мозжухин — Чёрт
    Ольга Оболенская — Оксана
    Лидия Триденская — Солоха
    Петр Лопухин — Вакула
    Aлександр Херувимов — Голова
    Павел Кнорр — Чуб

Значение

    Первая известная экранизация «Ночи перед Рождеством», сохранившая букву и дух литературного первоисточника.
    В этом фильме Владислав Старевич объединил в одном кадре актёрскую игру и анимацию — в сценах со скачущими галушками у Пацюка и там, где Чёрт уменьшается и прячется в карман к Вакуле.

Интересные факты

    Из-за того, что в России существовал цензурный запрет на изображение (за исключением особых случаев) в кинофильмах особ из царствующей династии[1], ввести в фильм роль императрицы Екатерины II Старевичу не удалось, поэтому вместо неё царицины черевички Вакуле отдает князь Потёмкин.
    Фильм вышел на экраны 26 декабря 1913 года.
    Известны снятые на основе того же сюжета мультфильм Валентины и Зинаиды Брумберг «Ночь перед Рождеством» (1951) и художественный фильм Александра Роу «Вечера на хуторе близ Диканьки» (1961).
    Фильм доступен на DVD-сборнике «Ночь перед Рождеством», выпущенном в серии «Великий немой» в марте 2009 года. Саундтрек для фильма написан музыкальным проектом Messer Chups.[2]
    В 2003 году фильм был озвучен: была добавлена музыка композитора Максима Кравченко, звучавшая в компьютерной игре «Волшебный сон» 1997 года, получившую премию «Аниграф» за номинацию «Лучшая графика в игре». В озвученном виде фильм показывался в телепередаче «Иллюзион» на канале «Культура».

Отзывы

    «Ночь перед Рождеством» (по Гоголю) — очень хорошо инсценированная и разыгранная кинопьеса, однако, не лишенная недостатков там, где фигурируют народные группы. Из всех артистов, вообще хорошо выполнивших свои роли, нельзя не отметить перед другими грим и игру г. Мозжухина в роли чёрта. Малоудачны фантастические картины полёта Солохи на метле и Вакулы на чёрте, однако эффектный трюк с уменьшением чёрта удался в совершенстве. Картина будет иметь успех в России как живая иллюстрация к литературному произведению, знакомому всей русской публике.

    — журнал «Кино-театр и жизнь», 1913, № 2

    В этой картине помимо великолепной игры Мозжухина (чёрт) отметим мастерски проведенные трюки — реализацию смелой фантазии автора.

    — журнал «Кинема», 1913, № 1

    Некоторые сцены, как, например, сцена у Солохи, встреча Головы, вытащенного из мешка Чубом, обед Пацюка и многие другие блещут чисто гоголевским юмором и проходят под непрерывный хохот публики… Поставлена картина превосходно, не забыты самые малейшие детали, создающие обстановку украинской жизни. Все роли проведены превосходно.

    — журнал «Вестник кинематографии», 1913, № 24

Примечания

    ↑ Михайлов В. П. Рассказы о кинематографе старой Москвы. — М.: Материк, 2003. — С. 236-261. — ISBN 5-85646-083-9.
    ↑ DVD-сборник «Ночь перед Рождеством» (недоступная ссылка) на сайте «Другое кино»

On Christmas Eve the local witch Soloha (Lydia Tridenskaya) is visited by the Devil (Ivan Mozzhukhin). They fly together on a broomstick, after which the Devil steals the Moon and hides it in a rag. Drunken Cossacks in the darkness can not get into the tavern and decide to go home. One by one they come to Soloha, who hides them in bags so that they do not fall into each other's eyes - including the Devil. At this time, the son of Soloka, the smith Vakula (Pavel Lopukhin) is trying to get married to the beautiful Oksana (Olga Obolenskaya), but she, mocking him, demands that he bring her the cherevichki, which the queen wears. The smith goes to Solokha, sees the sacks and decides to take them to the smithy. He leaves the heaviest bags on the street, where they are picked up by caroling girls and guys. Vakula, who has only the bag with the Devil, goes to Patsyuk to ask how he can find the Devil - only with the help of the Devil can he get hold of the royal cherevichki. Vakula finds the Devil in a bag and forces him to take himself to St. Petersburg. There, Prince Potemkin takes him for an ambassador from Zaporozhye and gives him the Czarina's cherevichki. The devil takes Vakula back home and the blacksmith lets him go. Oksana agrees to become Vakula's wife.

In this film, Vladislav Starevich combined in one frame the acting and animation - in scenes with galloping dumplings from Patsyuk and where the Devil is reduced and hides in a pocket to Vakula.

Due to the fact that in Russia there was a censorship prohibition on the image (except in special cases) in the movies of persons from the reigning dynasty, the role of Empress Catherine II could not be introduced into the film, so instead of the tsaritsina, Vatkule is given by Prince Potemkin.

    "The Night Before Christmas" (according to Gogol) - a very well-staged and played out kinopesa, however, not devoid of shortcomings where folk groups appear. Of all the artists who have generally performed their roles well, one can not help but notice the make-up and the game of Mozzhukhin in the role of the devil in front of others. Fragile pictures of Solokha's flying on a broomstick and Vakula on the devil are unsuccessful, however, a spectacular trick with the reduction of the devil was a success. The picture will be successful in Russia as a living illustration of a literary work familiar to the entire Russian public.
    - The magazine "Cinema-theater and life", 1913, No. 2


Christmas Eve (Gogol)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
   
"Christmas Eve" (Russian: Ночь пе́ред Рождество́м, Noch pered Rozhdestvom, which literally translates as "The Night Before Christmas") is the first story in the second volume of the collection Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka by Nikolai Gogol.

Plot

The story opens with a description of the winter scenery of Dikanka, Ukraine, a witch flying across the night sky and the devil stealing the moon and hiding it in his pocket, first playing with it in the sky, which no one in the village notices. Since it is the night before Christmas, the devil is free to roam around and torment people as he pleases, so he decides to find a way to get back at the village blacksmith, Vakula, because he paints religious art in the church.

In the village lives a Cossack named Choub, whose daughter Oksana, an exceptionally beautiful village girl loved by all the young boys, is the object of the blacksmith Vakula’s affection. Choub goes out in the night with his cousin Panas to the sexton’s home gathering, suddenly noticing that the moon is not in the sky. Meanwhile, Vakula is trying to win over Oksana, who mentions that his mother, Solokha, is a witch. Choub and his cousin are suddenly engulfed in a snowstorm started by the devil and lose each other. While his cousin finds his way to the tavern, Choub comes upon his home, but the blacksmith, who is visiting Oksana, answers him. Choub cannot believe that the blacksmith would be in his own house, and concludes it is someone else's house. The blacksmith then sends him away.

When Vakula goes back to Oksana, she tells him she will not marry him unless he can get for her the slippers off the Tsaritsa’s feet. While their discussion is happening, Solokha is with the devil in her home, when someone knocks at the door. She hides the devil in a coal sack and admits her guest but more of her admirers continue to arrive, and when her son Vakula returns she has the Mayor, the sexton and Choub himself hidden in sacks; the latter two were accidentally placed in the same one but remained oblivious to one another. Vakula spots the sacks and carries them to his forge, taking them for coal; their excessive weight makes him think he must have lost his strength, and concludes it had to do with Oksana not loving him. He comes upon Oksana, who again belittles him, and runs off saying goodbye to her, threatening to kill himself.

He decides the only way to win her is to indeed capture the slippers, so he goes to Puzaty Patsyuk, a local Zaporozhian Cossack who is believed to be in league with the devil. Vakula asks him to tell him the way to find the devil while Patsyuk eats magical varenyky that fly down into a basin of cream and then into his mouth, Vakula brushes one aside as it rubs cream on his closed lips. After asking Patsyuk about the devil, he remarks that he cannot give directions to the blacksmith to what is already on his back. Vakula does not understand until he puts down the sacks and the devil hops onto his back. Vakula tricks the devil into thinking he will obey him, then grabs his tail and threatens to use the sign of the cross until he agrees to help.

Fearing the cross, the devil takes him into the sky en route to St. Petersburg, leaving the sacks behind. A group of locals begin to take the bags and discover the men inside, while Vakula goes to find the Tsaritsa. He is amazed by the sights of the city, and has the devil (who shrinks into his pocket) transport him into the palace, where he meets up with a few Zaporozhian Cossacks who are meeting her (i.e., Catherine the Great). When she comes to greet them, the blacksmith appeals to her and glorifies her slippers, which she finds amusing and agrees to give to him.

In the meantime Oksana gets upset because the villagers have been passing around the rumor that Vakula has killed himself. She knows that Vakula, a good Christian, would not do this, and that night she falls deeply in love with him. She is delighted to see him return and agrees to marry him even before he shows her the slippers. They get married and the story ends with a bishop passing by their beautifully painted house. In the church the blacksmith has made another painting, showing the devil in hell, which villagers spit on and the women bring their frightened children up to say “Look what a kaka (poophead)” (transliterated as: Yaka kaka!)!

Adaptations

    Vakula the Smith (1874 opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky)
    Christmas Eve (1874 opera by Mykola Lysenko)
    Cherevichki (1887 opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a revised edition of his Vakula the Smith listed above)
    Christmas Eve (1895 opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)
    The Night Before Christmas (1913 film)
    The Night Before Christmas (1951 film)
    The Night Before Christmas (1961 film)
    The Night Before Christmas (1997 film)

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