07/28/2015  
Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 28The Blacklist: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray & DVD Aug. 18What We Do in the Shadows on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 21Goodbye to All That on DVD Jul 14My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests on DVD Jun 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Ted Cruz backs out of scheduled 'Daily Show' appearance...
'Ant-Man' inches past 'Pixels' to take No. 1 spot at bo...
Jake Gyllenhaal's Evolution of Hotness, From Bubble Boy...
Judd Apatow: Bill Cosby "One of the Most Awful People t...
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Split 10 Years After ...
Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4...
Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18...
Marvel reverses scale, elevates comedy with compact her...
The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 2...
California water district OKs Tom Selleck's settlement ...



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

television, late night, jon stewart, ted cruz, david mccullough, movie, ant-man, disney, marvel, pixels, adam sandler, jurassic, inside out, minions, trainwreck, southpaw, jake gyllenhaal, october sky, donnie darko, bubbly boy, brokeback mountain, prisoners, celebrity, jeff apatow, cnn, new day, bill cosby, music, blake shelton miranda lambert, you are the reason god make oklahoma, gunpowder and lead, drama, payton reed, paul rudd, michael douglas, corey stoll, evangeline lily, horror, tom selleck, calleguas municipal water district, movies, star wars, harrison ford, dead pool, ryan reynolds, muppets, batman v superman, ben affleck, westworld, hbo, j.j. abrams, the gallows, cassidy gifford, kathie lee gifford, frank gifford, amy schumer, judd apatow, bill hader, comedy, inside amy schumer, ariana grande, dough-nut licking video, wolfee donuts, netflix, wet hot american summer: first day of camp, michael showalter, david wain, elizabeth banks, michael ian black, bradley cooper, judah friedlander, janeane garofalo, joe lo truglio, ken marino, christopher meloni, marguerite moreau, zak orth, amy poehler, david hyde pierce, molly shannon, sci-fy, star trek, justin lin, star trek beyond, zoe soldana, chris pine, donald trump, republican presidential candidate, nbc, televisa, ora tv, lupita jones, carlos slim, larry king, sex-assault lawsuit, associated press, george m. gowen iii, disneyland, disney california adventure, selfie sticks banned, california screaming, coachella, lollapalooza, jimmy fallon, tonight show, hand injury, x files, david duchovny, gillian anderson, fox, january 24, 2016, apple music, allen kovac, motley crue, taylor swift, elvis costello, calvin harris, animation, kids, the tonight show, colin ferrell, vince vaughn, true detective, nbc nightly news, brian williams, anchor, matt lauer, today, msnbc, lester holt, mark feldstein, pixar, mindy-disgust, amy poehler-joy, phyllis smith-sadness, fear-bill hader, anger-lewis black., nbc evening news, robert barnett

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

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

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