Thursday, 3 March 2011

Eldar Ryazanov: Andersen, Life without Love - Андерсен, Жизнь без любви(2006)

Director:Eldar Ryazanov
Writer:Eldar Ryazanov
Stars:Liya Akhedzhakova, Yelena Babenko,A. Demidenko

In his twenty fifth film in a career that spans half a century, Èl'dar Riazanov has created a big-budget, star-studded extravaganza that features musical numbers and special effects. Andersen: Life without Love is a decided departure for a director who for the first time tackles a non-Russian tale. Shot during the international celebration of the bicentennial of Hans Christian Andersen, this film is unquestionably the most lavish (albeit belated) Russian contribution to those activities and offers viewers a portrait of a very melancholy Dane. [1]

This is not the first time that the creator of Soviet cinematic fables has been inspired by the Danish master. As fans of Office Romance (Sluzhebnyi roman, 1977) well recall, Riazanov gracefully transplanted “The Ugly Duckling” into the rather barren soil of the Brezhnev era, preserving both the spirit and charm of the original. In the 1970s, Riazanov and long-time co-author Èmil' Braginskii had also toyed with the notion of a film that would combine Andersen's life with his fiction, but the project was soon shelved. Over twenty years later, Riazanov returned to his concept and (with a little financial help from powerful friends) brought it to fruition. The result, a highly stylized piece containing elements of slapstick, melodrama, fairy tale, musical, biography, and adult feature, Andersen has sparked ardent debate over its meaning and merits. ...

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