12/19/2014  
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 on DVD Dec 16Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray Director's Cut Dec 16Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16Moveable Feast With Fine Cooking - Season 1 on DVD Dec 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2...
Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray ...
A Salute to 'The Colbert Report' ...
Ex-Anonymous hacker questions North Korea's role in Son...
Quandary for Sony in Terror Threats Over 'The Interview...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RR Rich Rosell

DOWN AND DIRTY WITH JIM NORTON...
WE FEED THE WORLD...
THE BUCKET LIST...
CRUDE IMPACT...
DEXTER: THE SECOND SEASON (BLU-RAY)...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

DVD Review: THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY



Studio: Kultur
Year: 2011
Cast: Alan Yentob, Vladimir Tolstoy, Rosamund Bartlett
Director: Rupert Edwards
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Rating: Not Rated for (adult themes)
Run Time: 02h:04m:00s
Genre(s): documentary

"Tolstoy was a professional troublemaker. He troubled the conscience of Russia." - A.N. Wilson

THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY

Buy Now @ Amazon

 
  

A challenging travelogue walks in the footsteps of Russia's biggest troublemaker.

Movie Grade: B+

DVD Grade: B

The very characteristics that make Leo Tolstoy fascinating as man also make him virtually impossible to fully grasp. Looking at any single slice of his life would convey a wholly inaccurate impression. The soldier and war novelist became a committed pacifist. The sex-obsessed sensualist and inveterate gambler was, at other times, also an ascetic and virtual flagellant. Born to a noble family, he swore off private property and adopted a form of anarchism. These weren’t easy, gradual transitions; they were halting and changeable, and every bit as dramatic as one of Tolstoy’s novels. Our window into this complexity is aided and abetted by the sheer volume of autobiographical material left behind. War and Peace and Anna Karenina, his two best remembered works, certainly contain elements of biography, but his essays and explicit diaries are full of the types of raw insights that most of us would never, ever want scrutinized. Anything that you could ever want to know about Tolstoy, his life and philosophy can be known. The problem is sorting through it all.

It’s this complicated task that Alan Yentob sets himself in The Trouble with Tolstoy, from a 2011 set of episodes of his BBC One series Imagine. Yentob follows the life of Tolstoy in a somewhat literal fashion, by visiting the most important locations in his life and career, beginning at the rail station where Russians and the international media held vigil while Tolstoy lay dying. We visit his house at Yasnaya Polyana, which annually hosts a reunion of the scores and scores of surviving Tolstoy descendants (suggesting that abstinence was not the defining element of his later philosophy). Through Yentob’s recreation of Tolstoy’s travels, we visit sites of war, the forbidding Russian steppes, and sites of splendor like St. Petersburg. The climax is a moving and revealing recreation of Tolstoy’s final weeks, during which he abandoned his home and family. It’s a travelogue for the most angst-y vacation you’d ever care to take. As an attempt to come to grips with the many contradictions of Tolstoy’s life and philosophy, it’s extraordinarily effective. Tolstoy's lived at the birth of the modern era, so there is much surviving film and photography which Yentob's team makes good use of, along with lovely contemporary footage well-presented on the DVD. Certainly, it’s tough to understand any important figure without knowing a bit about where they came from, and late-nineteenth-century Russia is as much of a crucible as any place and time. Take Tolstoy out of his context, and it’s hard to know what would be left.

By looking back, Yentob also moves toward an understanding of what has made Tolstoy so problematic a figure for Russians in the century since his death. The novels may remain widely read, but his popularity with the peasant class (Russia’s 99%), Christian-pacifist philosophy, and well-known anti-authoritarian streak made him tricky for the Bolsheviks, dangerous to the Soviets, and awkward for the modern-day government of Russia. Yentob reminds us that the recent centennial of Tolstoy’s death went almost entirely unremarked-upon by Russian leaders, and it’s perhaps not hard to see why. Popularity and an anti-establishment bent have always been an explosive combination, and Tolstoy is likely to remain as troubling a figure as he was in his own time.

Posted by: Ross Johnson - May 8, 2012, 11:48 am - DVD Review
Keywords: art, documentary




Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

documentary, horror, television, comedy channel, stephen t. colbert, colbert report, final show, movie, the interview, united states, north korea, soney, hector monsegur, china, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, drama, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald, world aids day, bono, bruce springsteen, chris martin, espn, monday night football, star wars 7, john boyega, stormtrooper, samuel l. jackson, billy dee williams, james earl jones

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store