The Best Soviet Comedies – “Hello, Galochka...you're about to die!”
"They don't shoot like this anymore" - they say with nostalgia about Soviet comedies. These tapes have been popular for decades: the familiar characters with their incredible adventures still make adults and children laugh.
Perhaps it's hard for a person unfamiliar with Russian history, the Soviet way of life or the cultural code of the Soviet man to understand how Lukashin from "The Irony of Fate" could have mistaken St. Petersburg for Moscow, arrived at the address "at home" and wandered into his (spoiler - someone else's) apartment without noticing the catch.
Or How can one understand where in a simple Soviet apartment - Three tape recorders, three foreign film cameras, three cigarette cases domestic, suede jacket ... Three...
Or why caviar, eggplant caviar, is a delicacy, but you can eat black and red caviar with spoons.
Similarly, it is difficult to understand the wordplay and subtle humor of Soviet comedies. - Are you a son of a bitch, an impostor, squandering the government lands?! You can't spare any parishes!
In these and many other phrases there will always be references to the history or culture of our state. And it is put in a joke... it's almost impossible to get by a person from abroad.
But, anyone who really wants to understand Russia even a little bit should watch these comedies at least because we have half the country talking in phrases from these comedies - yes, literally every day.
You'll find out that "I'll tear your jaws out and poke your blinkers out" is... a joke, not a threat. And that "Student, Komsomol girl, athlete, and just plain pretty!" shouldn't offend your political beliefs in any way.
In short, just to understand Russia a little closer, be sure to watch these comedies.
1. Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future (Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession ) - 1973
The story begins in Moscow in 1973, where engineer Alexander "Shurik" Timofeyev is working on a time machine in his apartment. By chance, he sends Ivan Vasilievich Bunsha (Yuri Yakovlev), the superintendent of his building, and Georgy Miloslavsky, a burglar, back in time to the time of Ivan IV the Terrible. The pair are forced to disguise themselves: Bunsha disguises himself as Ivan IV (the Tsar), while Miloslavsky disguises himself as the Prince of the same name. At the same time, the real Ivan IV (also played by Yuri Yakovlev) uses the same machine to get into Shurik's apartment, he has to deal with modern life while Shurik tries to fix the machine to get everyone back to their places in time.
2. The Diamond Arm - 1969
Diamond Arm has become a cult Russian film, and many Russian contemporaries consider it one of the best comedies of all time.
3. Operation Y and Shurik's Other Adventures - 1965
The story is about the adventures of Shurik (alternate spelling - Shurik), a naive and nerdy Soviet student who often gets into ridiculous situations, but always very neatly finds a way out.
4. Kidnapping, Caucasian Style - 1967
The kind but naive ethnography student Shurik, known from previous films as a student at the Polytechnic Institute, goes to the Caucasus to study the ancient customs and traditions of the locals, including the local "myths, legends, and toasts." At the beginning of the film, Shurik is riding down a mountain road in the Caucasus on a donkey. Suddenly a young woman named Nina walks along the road. "A college student, an athlete, a Komsomol girl, and finally a beauty."
5. Gentlemen of Fortune - 1971
The film tells the story of an affable kindergarten director named Troshkin, who looks a lot like a violent criminal nicknamed Docent (Docent, literally docent) who stole Alexander the Great's helmet at an archeological dig.
The Docent and his gang are caught by the police, but the Docent is in a different prison than his comrades. Since Troshkin looks identical to Docent, the police send him undercover to the real criminals in prison to get information about the stolen helmet. He must pass himself off as the real criminal Docent, so to be convincing, Troshkin, an educated and good-natured man, has to learn the lingo and manners of criminals.
6. Office Romance - 1977
The action takes place in Moscow in 1976. Anatoly Yefremovich Novoseltsev, an awkward single father of two sons, works in a statistical bureau. His boss is Ludmila Prokofyevna Kalugina, a stern, lonely woman in her 30s, nicknamed "our hag" by her subordinates. Novoseltsev dreams of a promotion and a raise, but is timid to talk to his boss about it. She can not dream at all or it just seems so…
7. The Irony of Fate - 1976
A Soviet romantic comedy film directed by Eldar Ryazanov.
The key plot of the film is the dull monotony of the public architecture of the Brezhnev era, which allowed this theme to develop.
Following an annual tradition, a company of friends gathers in a bathhouse (a traditional public bathhouse "sauna") in Moscow to celebrate the New Year. Afterwards, one of them needs to catch a flight to Leningrad, and the whole group is going to take him to the airport. By the time the group reaches the airport, everyone is very drunk. No one can remember who is supposed to be on the flight. By mistake, Zhenya gets on the plane instead of Pavlik. During the whole flight Zhenya sleeps. In Leningrad, the seat neighbor (cameo of Eldar Ryazanov) helps Zhenya out of the plane. Zhenya wakes up at the Leningrad airport, believing that he is still in Moscow.
If you play computer games, I recommend you to try the game "Black Book" by Russian game studio “Morteshka”. The game was released a couple of days ago. It's based on real Russian folklore of Perm region (and not just on tales about poor old Baba Yaga who for some reason always is evil in western interpretations :).
The game is about a Russian peasant girl who becomes a witch for the sake of saving her lover. In the game you will meet various Slavic spirits, talk with them, fight them and/or take them into service. The genre is a RPG/visual novel/card game (fights in the form of a card game).
1. The developers did not have a big budget. So that is why graphics don’t exist (models are funny). Still far landscapes are pleasant and atmospheric.
2. Some of the English-speaking gamers in Steam are talking that it’s difficult to understand and follow all the lore in the game. But still they like it so just be ready for tons of text about folklore, believes, terminology, religion stuff and etc.
1. There are English subs and dubs (but I recommend Russian voices).
2. The game is based on the Russian folklore and a bit of Finno-Ugric (since Perm Region is also a home for Finno-Ugric people). There is a lot of information. If you interested in Russian folklore you MUST play it :)
3. It’s interesting and atmospheric. And that’s not just my opinion :)
4. You can meet demons who possess samovars, speaking demon-cats, depressed demons who is sad because their masters forgot them, demons who want to bring progress to common people, demons who torture sinners... and you can play with all of them in the card game (well most of them). You can help common people or curse them. You can befriend a soldier with pyrophobia, a cat-domovoi, a speaking head... Why yall still don’t play it?
There is a free demo version, try it if you are not sure: Black Book: Prologue
today my mom introduced me to the Russian meme "у меня лапки" where the text "I have little paws" is superimposed on a sad cat to imply the cat cannot do anything, because it has little paws
“I can’t do anything I have little paws”
“I can’t I have little paws”
“I would help but I have little paws”
a greeting card that says “but I have little paws”
in its simplest form, as this meme becomes so widespread and ubiquitous only a single word is needed for everyone to get the reference: “little paws”
how i study languages on my own 💬
1. grammar, vocabulary, immersion. the three pillars of language learning. in the beginning, choose one trusty resource for each. taking korean as an example, i use the amazing “howtostudykorean” website for grammar, the corresponding memrise course for vocabulary and my favorite k-dramas and podcasts (like talk to me in korean) to immerse myself in the language. there are so many blog posts with resources out there on *all* the languages.
2. collect your resources in a spreadsheet, and indicate exactly how often you want to use them in a week. the more concrete your goals are, the more likely you are to actually do them. writing down the exact time for self-study in your time table/calendar is even better!
3. once you’re gradually building up your language skills, think about getting in touch with natives, through sites like hellotalk. actually using the language is the best way forward, so even if you’re insecure, just try it out! in my experience, natives will be happy to help. language-tandem, where your language partner is studying your native language, is also a very cool method.
4. find like-minded people who also self-study languages! it’s great to have a network to motivate each other, share struggles or tips.
💭 reblog with the language(s) you are studying/want to study, i’m sure you’ll find someone to keep in touch with :)