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[May 24, 2010] Mosfilm debuts online cinema

By Natalya Belogrudova, Delovoi Peterburg | May 18, 2010 | No Comments

In an effort beat back the Internet pirates on their own turf, Mosfilm, Russia's oldest film studio, debuts its online cinema.

Mosfilm has launched a historic website, www.cinema.mosfilm.ru , which is likely to become Russia's first legal Internet theater. The cinema is making a strong pitch for western audiences, with all the films subtitled in English and other languages.

Many of Russia's most powerful films of the past two decades have not made it to western screens due to a lack of subtitles and poor distribution.

Since its soft launch a few weeks ago, more than one hundred Mosfilm productions have already been posted from the studio's archive. For now, the cinema is showing one film per day on a trial basis. But by summer, Mosfilm said it will offer screenings from morning until night and vastly expand its repertoire of films.

The authors of the project hope to be able to compete with network pirate resources that offer the same service by offering better quality, a powerful server and an online signal channel that will spare the viewers irritating buffering.

Ultimately, the films will be viewed in three ways: free online according to a posted schedule, online at any time for 25 rubles or less than a dollar, or by downloading a film for 65 rubles or a little more than two dollars. Mosfilm may expand its catalogue to include Western films. Should this happen, Mosfilm's Internet cinema will deal a hard blow to illicit DVD producers.

Vladimir Shaidakov, Director of Cinema House, believes that Mosfilm's well-known brand will attract an audience. "Today's viewer needs a quality product and has no time to surf the Internet in search of portals where he can watch a film comfortably. So, when faced with a choice between 'Mosfilm presents...' and 'Slob and Sons present...' he will opt for the former."

Legal Internet cinemas have a bright future in Russia, experts believe. After all, only Moscow and Petersburg have large distribution networks, while the choice of films in the provinces is meager at best.

But is this really an international project? Will the Mosfilm brand garner a western audience? Russia watchers see here an opportunity for the brand to link up with Russian studios and film departments. Ideally, Mosfilm will want to offer all kinds of Russian films, not only Mosfilm flicks, however.

[May 9, 2005] Farewell of a Slavic Woman

Famous Russian military march (1912). Agapkin composed his march "A Slavic Farewell - Farewell to the Slavic Woman" in 1912, and it has been used to say farewell to Russian troops going to front ever since.

The song was composed in 1912, as Russia was awash in rumors about the impending new Balkan War, in which the Slavs would be pitted against the Ottoman Turks, and Orthodox Christianity aganst Islam. Although, this particular war did not materialize, the song spread like wildfire, and became the most popular military march during WWI as well as WWII

Although it has its author, V. Lazarev, the text of the march that has become part of the urban folklore exists in several version. One of them, by A. Mingalev, is full of patriotic and martial spirit that is rather out of keeping with the elegiac and, perhaps, more authentic tone of the original. A more recent version was produced by Aleksandr Galich (1941 and 1970)..

[May 9, 2005] The Seattle Times Nation & World U.S. Army plays tribute in Moscow streets By Kim Murphy

He said he still is stirred by the sounds of the old Russian martial music, such as Vasily Agapkin's lush and melodic "Farewell to Slavyanka," which will be played by all the bands as a finale tonight. "

Los Angeles Times

U.S. Army Europe Band performs yesterday on Tverskaya Street, Moscow's main thoroughfare, during celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany


MOSCOW — When someone called to strike up a stirring military march for a parade through central Moscow, hardly anyone imagined it would be "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

Or that the Stars and Stripes itself, hoisted by an Army sergeant, would lead the U.S. Army Europe Band up the Russian capital's main thoroughfare, past cheering crowds, to greet a train full of Russian war veterans.

"I've met every president. I've met hundreds of kings and queens. But marching through Moscow behind three of my soldiers carrying the American flag is pretty much the highlight of my career," said Lt. Col. Thomas Palmatier, commander of the Army band, which came here with President Bush and other U.S. officials to help mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

"We played inside the Kremlin walls. We played 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' on the streets of Moscow. It was a pretty emotional experience," Palmatier said.

Military bands from France, Britain and Russia also marched in yesterday's opening parade, part of an international celebration that couldn't help but be dominated by the stirring martial music Russians have always linked with their nation's stature as a global power.

With the arrival of more than 50 world leaders, there are military bands outfitted in dress greens and marching caps on major street corners and parks.

Today marks the keynote performance of the Moscow International Festival of Brass Music, featuring orchestras from the Russian, U.S., British and French armies, navies and air forces.

"Military music is incredibly important for Russians, because military music is a component of the Russian army, and the army has always played a crucially important role in protecting Russia's great statehood and in making it a powerful nation," said Col. Valery Khalilov, chief military conductor of Russia.

There is a Russian military band associated with nearly every major national endeavor, more than 300 in all, including the Exemplary Orchestra of the Border Troops of the Federal Security Service; the Military Brass Orchestra of the Baikonur Spacedrome of the Space Troops; and a band whose name may be as long as some of its pieces: the Military Orchestra of the Hero of the Soviet Union S.K. Timoshenko Military University of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense.

Yesterday, though, it was the U.S. Army that was the big crowd-pleaser in central Moscow.

Although it wasn't the first performance by a U.S. military band in Russia, it marked the first time such an ensemble has played inside the Kremlin or marched down the streets of Moscow behind the American flag.

Enthusiastic onlookers applauded, hung over balconies and stopped members of the band to take photos.

"The crowd seemed overjoyed to see us," said Sgt. Daniel Halsey, 32, a New York native who carried the flag. "People in the street were coming up to us. I personally had over 100 pictures taken of me with the flag, by everybody from vets to young children."

Spec. Yevgeny Levin is a Moscow-area native who emigrated to the United States in 1994, became an American citizen, joined the Army and came back playing American marching tunes on the streets of his hometown. He said he still is stirred by the sounds of the old Russian martial music, such as Vasily Agapkin's lush and melodic "Farewell to Slavyanka," which will be played by all the bands as a finale tonight.

"Of course, I enjoyed playing music I have known from my childhood. It's so much more natural to play something you've known your entire life," Levin said. "And 15 years ago, I wouldn't imagine I would be in a parade in an American uniform, marching down Tverskaya Street and performing inside the Kremlin."

The U.S. Army band plans to perform an excerpt from Russian composer Igor Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" and a medley of American big-band tunes, including "Take the A Train," and "In the Mood."

"There certainly is a very different style between the American bands and the Russian bands," Palmatier said. "The sounds of the bands reflect their societies and their culture. With the Americans, it's very much a reflection of our melting pot. You hear the jazz influence. ... With the Russians, just overwhelmingly, it's the Slavic might."

Elsewhere, the European war's end was commemorated in gatherings from London to Poland and beyond. Major event sites included Prague; the former Mauthausen death camp in Austria; and Birmingham, England, where people brought food and drinks for a street party, evoking memories of the massive street celebrations that broke out across Britain on May 8, 1945, the day the Berlin armistice was signed.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and German President Horst Koehler attended a cathedral service in Berlin ahead of a wreath-laying ceremony at a memorial to victims of Nazism and war.

Most Germans consider Hitler's defeat to have liberated them as well as the rest of Europe from the terrors of Nazism.

But about 3,000 extreme-right supporters rallied in Berlin to protest the "cult of guilt" they say was imposed on the nation after Germany's surrender.

A protest march planned by the group was scrapped when thousands of counter-demonstrators blocked the route.

At the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, French President Jacques Chirac re-lit the flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, watched by troops from the many nations that united to crush Hitler. They included Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and the United States.

Jets flew over the graceful tree-lined Avenue des Champs-Elysees, streaking the sky with red, white and blue smoke — the colors of the French flag.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

ODON MVD The legendary march “Slavyanka Farewell” was born in the ODON and was written by the divisions orchestra conductor V. Agapkin who was conducting the famous November parade in Moscow in 1941 when nazi were right next to Moscow.

ODON MVD (Separate Division for Operational Tasks of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) was created as a special task division on the 17th of June in 1924. In August of 1926 the division was awarded a name of Felix Dzerzhinski. At that time the division was comprised of Tula, Voronezh, Vyatka and Yaroslavl divisions of OGPU (United State Political Administration) forces and that was the reason for a new name. This new entity was named the Felix Dzerzhinski Separate Division of Special Designation. During the winter of 1930 members of the division were taking part in elimination of bandits in Lower-Volga and Northern regions of Russia, as well as in Bashkiriya, Ural, Nagorni Karabah and Central regions. In 1939 22 members of the division from shooting battalion and artillery battery were awarded orders and medals for fighting in the Finland war.

During the World War II the division was involved in patrolling the streets of Moscow, guarding the most important lines of government communication, catching enemy parachutists, erecting the defense buffers around Moscow and fighting on Western and Volhov fronts.

During the World War II the division provided 1,065 snipers who terminated 11,720 German soldiers and officers – an entire nazi division! On June 24th of 1945 regiments of the division headed by its commander Piyashev took part in the Victory Parade on the Red Square in Moscow. During this war more than a thousand soldiers of the division were awarded medals and decorations, and 12 people were awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union (the highest and most respected military honor in the Soviet Union). The division is not only famous by the combat exploits of its soldiers and officers. Famous polar explorer, Hero of the Soviet Union and the Doctor of Geographic sciences E. Krenkel, famous Soviet actor S. Lemeshev, head marshal of aviation A. Golovanov were serving their military duty in the ODON. The legendary march “Slavyanka Farewell” was born in the ODON and was written by the divisions orchestra conductor V. Agapkin who was conducting the famous November parade in Moscow in 1941 when nazi were right next to Moscow. Legendary intelligence officer the Hero of the Soviet Union Rudolf Abel was also serving in the ODON.

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