Wednesday, 11 October 2017

A Dancing Lenin in the ballet 'Hammer and Sickle'

Here is Lenin in the ballet "Hammer and Sickle" performed by the Kazakh State Accademy Dance Theatre. The leader of the world revolution appears to the music of Time Forward, one of the most well-known pieces of music from the Soviet era.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Ivan Tuzov's Pixellated Lenin's

A visit to the former winery turned arts centre near Kurskaya station last week meant that I discovered one more Lenin-related series of art works. Namely Ivan Tuzov's pixellated Lenin's. Lenin becomes a character for a computer game. As Tuzov states in an interview in his art Lenin (and other historical figures) lose their historical baggage. One of his exhibitions was entitled "Lenin Father Christmas' (Ленин Дед Мороз). He relates this to how he remembers being told about Lenin at nursery school. So Tuzov's Lenin is a kind of monument to his young memory of the figure of Lenin.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Lenin (Peter Steen) as ambulant beer seller in crazy Danish musical comedy Lenin, You Rascal, You (1972)

Haven't been able to find much information about this film at all but it appears that Lenin turns up as an ambulant beer seller among other things in the demential comedy about Lenin on his way back to Russia in his sealed train to start the revolution. Here's a scene:

 Google translating a short synopsis from the Danish one comes up with this:

Lenin's journey in 1917 on the sealed train from Zurich to Saint Petersburg, served as a crazy comedy. The great revolutionary theorist goes through numerous crazy conflicts before he can reach home and start his October Revolution.
Would love to see the rest of the film. Here are some more scenes on youtube (without subtitles but the film seems to have many musical numbers):

Some Cyberpunk Lenin's

Lenin Peak (the highest Lenin bust in the world, in the Pamir Mountains)

Rather inacessible Lenin's don't just include the Lenin in the Antarctic but also those 7,000 metres above sea-level. One of the highest points in the Pamirs in Tajikistan. As wikipedia states:

Lenin Peak is the highest mountain in the Trans-Alay Range of Central Asia, and in the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan it is exceeded only by Ismoil Somoni Peak (7,495 m). It was thought to be the highest point in the Pamirs in Tajikistan until 1933, when Ismoil Somoni Peak (known as Stalin Peak at the time) was climbed and found to be more than 300 metres higher. 

Here is a picture of the Lenin at the peak (arguably the highest Lenin bust in the world, unless someone can prove otherwise):

Here the wikipedia link to Lenin Peak (named in 1928)

Friday, 27 May 2016

Recycled Lenin's turning up as Pirandello's...or a Camilleri fantasy?

A curious letter from Gaia Servadio in London Review of Books suggests that Lenin statues have the capacity of making some strange transformations:

A few years ago the mayor of Porto Empedocle, the Sicilian town where Pirandello was born, was under pressure to put up a monument honouring the great playwright. But there was no money. During a trip to a ‘twinned’ town somewhere in Ukraine, the mayor noticed that many statues had been discarded on the ground; they represented a man with a bald head and slanted eyes, peculiarly similar to Pirandello’s. So he asked whether he could buy one. ‘As many as you please,’ was the answer: there was nothing to pay. The mayor couldn’t believe his luck. Thus, after a few adjustments here and there, Lenin’s stone face became Pirandello’s. And so far as I know there he now stands, on the main square of a town which not long ago voted 92 per cent for Berlusconi.

However, this story (how cool if it were true!) seems to have been concocted by the author of Montalbano thrillers, Andrea Camilleri, who is also from Porte Empedocle. Camilleri was reported to have been speculating about the Leninist provenance of the Pirandello statue to the author and journalist Stefano Malatesta back in 1997. But it is clear from the article this strange trip to Russia (transformed into the Ukraine much later) was purely in the imagination of the writer who found the Pirandello statue rather ridiculous. A pity but as they say 'Se non e' vero, e' ben trovato...'

Here's the head of the statue:

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Lenin as 'signor Drin-Drin'

Lenin as fisherman

from Gorky's obituary of Lenin (1924):
(Lenin) had a magnetic quality that won the hearts and sympathies of the working people. He could not speak Italian, but the fishermen of Capri who had seen Chaliapin and quite a few other prominent Russians intuitively assigned him a special place. There was great charm in his laughter-the hearty laughter of a man who, able though he was to gauge the clumsiness of human stupidity and the cunning capers of the intellect, could take pleasure in the childlike simplicity of an “artless heart”.
“Only an honest man can laugh like that,” commented the old fisherman Giovanni Spadaro.
Rocking in his boat on waves as blue and transparent as the sky, Lenin tried to learn to catch fish “on the finger", that is with a line, but no rod. The fishermen had told him to snatch in the line the instant his finger felt the slightest vibration.
“Cosi: drin-drin. Capisci,” they said.
At that moment he hooked a fish, and hauled it in, crying out with the delight of a child and the excitement of a hunter:
“Aha! Drin-drin!”
The fishermen shouted with laughter, like children too, and nicknamed him Signor Drin-Drin.
Long after Lenin had left, they still kept asking:
“How is Signor Drin-Drin? Are you sure the tsar won’t catch him?”