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Doctor Zhivago

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by writing irish, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    Calling all Russophiles...and/or cinematic types...

    So yesterday I'm fixing to buy a DVD of Doctor Zhivago for my mom for Christmas...and I'm strolling toward the checkout, when I look at the box...and hey, THIS IS NOT OMAR SHARIF. (cue Talking Heads) AND THIS IS NOT JULIE CHRISTIE. MY GOD, WHAT HAVE THEY DONE?

    I was holding a new version of Doctor Zhivago. Missed the memo on that one...anyone out there know anything about this new Doctor Zhivago?

    What a great film...yes, it's cheesy in parts, but it was made in 1965. I enjoy relics from the pre-ironic era of popular culture.

    My favorite scenes...

    10. "Comrade Medical Officer. We are Red Partisans and we shoot deserters!" Yurii, it's your ass, buddy.

    9. Yurii and Lara sexual tension in the hospital near the front lines. "Look what you made me do!"

    8. Seeing Strelnikov revealed as the young Pasha, all grown-up to be a Trotsky figure, looking all pissed-off and determined as his "war train" speeds through the taiga...

    7. Yurii writing a love poem for Lara, while the wolves outside the abandoned house menace their love-nest. Heavy-handed, I know...

    6. Lara shoots Komarovsky at the Christmas ball. Take that, Rod Steiger, you fat fuck!

    5. More violence: Russian troops at the front mutiny...the old Tsarist officer stands on a barrel and berates the troops...the top of barrel the collapses and he falls into the water...but the slapstick moment turns creepy as the troops execute him on the spot.

    4. The anarchist in chains on the refugee train. "I am the only free man on this train! The rest of you are cattle."

    3. Opening scene: the young Yurii at his mother's funeral. The music, landscape, Orthodox ritual, the subtle brutality of the whole scene say one thing: Strap yourself in, you are about to watch a story about fucking RUSSIA.

    2. Yurii and Lara finally get it on. (cue Barry White singing in Russian...)

    1. The final scene, of course...a Stalinist but cheerful Alec Guinness blesses Yurii and Lara's daughter. "It's a gift!"
  2. I'll have something as soon as I get over something I saw in its original theatrical release being referred to as a "relic."
  3. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I love David Lean movies. He does epics like no other.
  4. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member

    Yeah, Fenian lost his virginity in the backseat of his dad's 57 Bel Air at the Big Sky Drive In just as Yuri died of a heart attack. You can understand why he is verklempt at you calling the movie a relic.
  5. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    I love this movie (it's a favorite of my wife's), but I swear the first couple of times I saw it I assumed that the old guy (Omar Shaif's character's father or stepfather, I forget) was a British ex-patriate living in Moscow. Eventually I realized Lean just didn't bother changing the actor's accent.

    Or maybe I'm wrong, and he really is an ex-pat.
  6. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    finishthehat, what is your sig from? :)
    My Dad had a million of those sayings.

    Re: Zhivago as relic...well since the era of irony in popular culture didn't really get a full head of steam until the 1990s, that makes the overwhelming majority of 20th-century cultural output "relics" from the pre-ironic era of popular culture.

    Of course we could debate at infinitum as to when The Era of Irony officially began, since irony wasn't exactly a 1990s invention. As a generation X-er, my view is influenced by youth culture...to me, the rise of "so uncool that it's cool" ethic was the advent of something different. When hipsters started wearing REO Speedwagon t-shirts and basing their band logos on corporate logos, that signaled to me the end of the pre-ironic.

    That happened right around 1990 or so. That was the beginning of a bad time for youth counterculture. One morning I woke up and half the punk rockers in the world had become neo-hippies. At least that's how it seemed to an old-school punker like I was at the time. Things just got worse after that. cf. Thomas Frank, "The Conquest of Cool."

    Anyway, back on topic, if the "old guy" is Alec Guinness, that's actually Yuri's (Omar Sharif's) older brother in the movie. All the characters are Russian...yes, no one's accent was changed.

    If you like the movie, the book makes for great winter reading. Boris Pasternak was pressured into turning down his nobel prize. Then, as now, life in Russia can be an SOB.
  7. Perry White

    Perry White Active Member

    I haven't seen it, but it's a fairly recent British TV production with SportsJournalists.com favorite Keira Knightley: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0324937/
  8. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    I'm not as olf as FB but I distinctly remember my folks getting a babysitter to watch us while they went to see Dr. Zhivago when it was first released.
  9. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    The sig is from a funny novel called "The Egyptologist," about a rival to the guy who discovered King Tut's tomb.

    And I checked IMDb and the "old guy" I'm thinking of is Ralph Richardson, who played Alexander Gromeko. He's the guy who sighs in exasperation when he reads about the Tsar's death in the paper.
  10. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    "Oh, that's a savage deed..."

    Yurii's foster father.
    The orphaned Yurii Zhivago is taken in by the Gromekos, but there's no blood relation...thus it's all jake when he marries Tonia Gromeko.

    An Old Saturday Night Live vesrion of Zhivago would have been good:
    Yurii Zhivago - Dan Aykroyd
    Lara Antipova - Laraine Newman
    Tonia Gromeko - Jane Curtin
    the evil Komarovsky - John Belushi
    Yevgrav Zhivago - Garrett Morris
    Pasha Antipov (Strelnikov) - Chevy Chase
    Mr and Mrs Gromeko - Bill Murray and Gilda Radner
  11. Contrary to what you may have read in popular slander, I saw the Docski at an actual movie theater that showed talkies. However, my college sweetheart saw it with her high school beau at a drive-in and told me that all she remembered was "a lot of snow."
  12. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    Just wanted to give this one a bump to see if anyone on the night shift has seen the new, British version of Zhivago.


    If anyone has a word on this, I thank you advance for your comments...
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