Voices from Russia

Monday, 22 January 2018

Last Respects to Late Russian and Soviet Composer V Ya Shainsky Today

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Here’s Krokodil Gena’s famous birthday song

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Here’s another of Shainsky’s sweet songs…

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Today, friends and relatives will pay last respects to the late Russian and Soviet composer V Ya Shainsky before his burial later today at Troyekurovskoye Cemetery in western Moscow. Widely known in the world of animation as the composer of the soundtrack for the famous Soviet cartoon series about Cheburashka and Krokodil Gena, Shainsky died at the age of 92 in San Diego CA USA on 25 December 2017. The Ministry of Culture quoted Deputy Minister A V Zhuravsky:

Due to the lengthy holidays, his relatives in the USA were unable to promptly obtain documents verifying his death. Moreover, relevant documents were also required to obtain permission for taking the body from the USA, and that required time.

Shainsky excelled in writing songs and music for children, marked by unpretentious but catchy tunes that very often enticed a child to sing along. He scored stunning success in composing songs for movies, and the multifilms about Cheburashka and Krokodil Gena, which now have versions in languages as different as Hebrew and Japanese, offer a shining example of it. Kid’s music wasn’t the only popular part of his output. Some of his songs for grownup audiences, like A Soldier’s Walking through the Town, surprisingly spilt over Russia’s borders. Shainsky lived in San Diego since 2007.

22 January 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/society/986182

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Sunday, 5 November 2017

5 November 2017. “Hedgehog in the Fog”: The Best Multifilm Ever Made

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Many animators consider Ёжик в тумане (Hedgehog in the Fog) one of the best-made multifilms ever. The plot is simple… a little hedgehog is on his way to visit his friend the bear cub. The two would meet every night to drink tea from the cub’s samovar. As they drank their tea, the hedgehog and the bear would chat and count the stars together. The 10-minute film is about Hedgehog’s misadventures on one of his trips to visit the Bear Cub. This is one of the most-loved Sov-era multifilms, and people still view it today.

As for the quote from the film, I’ll simply say that the only kind of friendship that I extend is the real kind. I don’t deal in alliances or temporary setups. If I extend friendship to you, trust me, you can expect me to treat your confidences as sacred. Have people betrayed me, with people that I thought friends being otherwise? Certainly… that’s why I only offer real friendship. I don’t offer it lightly. Most people aren’t worth it. The most-untrustworthy lot are clergy… I’ve never met so many phonies and poseurs in my life as I have amongst this cohort. That’s why I find honest clergy a real find. To say that such are rare finds is an understatement…

BMD

Thursday, 6 April 2017

6 April 2017. Today is the World Day of Animation… Greetings from the Evil Empire!

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Some of the most iconic Sov-era multifilm characters are in the above image. In the centre, of course, is Kot Leopold (Leopold the Cat)… there’s also the Wolf and the Hare from Nu Pogodi (Just You Wait)… Krokodil Gena (Gena the Crocodile) and Cheburashka… the Bremen Town Musicians… just to name a few. The standard of Soviet animation was very high… perhaps, better on average than that found in the USA. There was no profit motive involved, therefore, the artistic standards came first, not commercial greed…

Now, what was Potapov saying about the evil empire? It looks like he misidentified it… yes… its capital is on the banks of the Potomac…

BMD

Friday, 24 June 2016

24 June 2016. Leopold the Cat on the Unity of Holy Rus

00 russia leopold the cat lets live as one 240616

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Leopold the Cat is one of the most beloved Sov-era multifilm characters. He’s as much a part of Russian visual culture as Taz and Bugs Bunny are in the USA. The original text used the word дпужно (druzhno), which has strong overtones of “friendship”, as “together” and “friendship” in Russian have common building-blocks. That is, дпужно implies much more than “togetherness” to a Russian, it brings up images of fraternity and brotherhood, due to its similarity to the word for “friendship”. So, it’s not “let’s live together”… it’s closer to “let’s live as one”, so that’s the rendering I chose to bring the meaning home to an English-speaker.

BMD

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