Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Oblomov (1979) - Olga singing "Casta Diva"

Russell Scott Valentino notes that the question of Russia's cultural relationship to Western Europe occupied not only nineteenth-century writers like Dostoevsky, Turgenev and Goncharov, but also twentieth-century Russian and Soviet filmmakers.

He claims that "the musical introduction of Olga, her off-camera performance of the 'Casta Diva' cavatina from Bellini's Norma, conveys a realm within which she develops throughout the film. While suggestive of beauty and lyricism it also represents an assumed, Western, non-Russian orientation to life.... one effect of this initial linkage of Olga to West European Romantic opera is to draw her authenticity (her 'Russianness') into question" (156-7).

Valentino, Russell Scott. "Adapting the Landscape: Oblomov's vision in films." Russian and Soviet Film Adaptations of Literature, 1900-2001: Screening the Word. Ed. Stephen Hutchings and Anat Vernitski. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2005.

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