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Amelia

“The White Crow" - a film about Nureyev

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Well, it is about Nureyev and it leads up to the defection, but the treatment is very different. Scenes from his childhood are used very imaginatively to help inform a sense of his character and development. It is not a straight documentary narrative of his life.

It's now on general release and I do heartily recommend it.

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As an aside,  the earlier, 'Dance to Freedom' starring Bolshoi principle Artem Ovcharenk is on BBC4, Monday 25th March at 10:00 pm. White Crow doesn't appear to be available at a Cinema near me.

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I liked the Dance to Freedom film very much....particularly Artem Ovcharenko .....I think he caught Nureyev quite well .....though not quite so fierce or fiercely intense ....that quality which Nureyev had. Luckily for me I've got two cinemas showing it next week near me ....one is the arty cinema in Brighton....Duke of Yorks ....and the other is the new arty cinema in Lewes called the Depot. Our Saturday Ballet group is hoping to organise a trip next week to one of these!!!

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I can endorse Mary's hearty recommendation of The White Crow and, more to the point, so does my wife who knew Nureyev in his early London years.  Well worth 2 hours of your time.

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Well in the end we've had to split into two groups to see the film next week. So I will be going on Wednesday evening. 

And have passed on the info about the BBC 4 film this Monday. 

A week for some nostalgic Nureyev wallowing then. 

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I saw this on Friday at my local Odeon and I really enjoyed it too. The acting and cinematography were both superb and the main actor played Nureyev very well. It is definitely the best film about ballet I've ever seen--I only wish it had covered his whole life and not just up to his defection.  Hopefully someone will make a sequel covering the second half of his life too. 4/5

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Richard LH said:

I wonder if Polunin was considered for playing  Nureyev rather than Yuri Soloviev.....

 

2 hours ago, Richard LH said:

I wonder if Polunin was considered for playing  Nureyev rather than Yuri Soloviev.....

No doubting his talent and ability, but the question of his temperament, tact and reliability may have ruled him out ? 

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Polunin would be all wrong - both facially and physical proportions.  His way of dancing is very different to Nureyev's .

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25 minutes ago, Pas de Quatre said:

Polunin would be all wrong - both facially and physical proportions.  His way of dancing is very different to Nureyev's .

Polunin is slightly taller and heavier, but not a lot of difference. Oleg Ivenko is the same height and weight as Nureyev, but could this  be sufficient to tip the balance, they would have needed to stand side by side for anyone to notice.

 

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I saw White Crow this afternoon.

 

I thought it started very slowly and initially I found the backward and forwarding of time confusing.  However it did draw me in and the last half hour was so tense I forgot to breathe a few times!  This was even though I knew the outcome!

 

I thought the cast were excellent throughout.  Oleg Ivenko certainly had charisma as Nureyev.

 

I would recommend this film.

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Thanks for the review Janet it sounds like a good film 

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It is a good film. I watched it yesterday after seeing the docudrama Dance to Freedom on BBC4 the night before. The two are complementary.

The docudrama explored the relationship with Soloviev more fully, indicating that the KGB blackmailed him into informing against Nureyev. His story is tragic, he was a better classical dancer than Nureyev, a truly wonderful dancer, but his dancing and health declined as he resorted to alcoholism. Now we know why. In the docudrama his widow spoke sadly of his situation. Dance to Freedom includes other famous dancers who were involved in the Kirov and the Paris ballet scene, talking about Nureyev and the situation.

White Crow  contains some wonderful acting. The little boy who played Nureyev as a little boy was compelling and was a very good dancer. Oleg Ivenko gives a riveting performance as Nureyev and as that remarkable teacher, Pushkin, who inspired the artistry of Baryshnikov as well as Nureyev, Ralph Fiennes is remarkable, totally convincing in his subtlety. The ballet shown was a little disappointing in quality but there were lovely shots of the Paris Opera ( but the stage used for the ballet excerpts was definitely not the Garnier stage) and of Leningrad/St Petersburg. Well worth watching.

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Will get back later on this film  but very much agree with SheilaC in her comments above.....the two films are definitely complementary....highlighting slightly different aspects of the story.

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Desperately trying to find a showing of this which isn't at a completely silly time for me.  I may have to take an afternoon off, or something :( 

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A big thank you to Ralph Fiennes for making this sensitive portrayal of Nureyev and his life and events leading up to his defection. I found it truly moving. Beautifully acted, shot and edited and excellently cast. 

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I have just had the pleasure of seeing the film and can fully endorse all the praise it has garnered on this forum. The narrative is told in such an interesting way, successfully fusing the period of Nureyev’s defection, his childhood and mentoring by Pushkin. The editing at times is inspired - very moving when the film moved seamlessly between Nureyev staring out of his window in Paris to his Mother leaving the children at home while she went to gather wood.  It’s a long film, but there is no extraneous scenes and the attention to detail is impeccable. As has been said previously here, the casting is inspired. Oleg Ivenko looks uncannily like Nureyev in the scenes at the airport. Fiennes is wonderful with a restrained temperament and inner calm that contrasts so well with the fiery outbursts from his prodigy. I noted that the film is partially funded by the BBC, so I think it will be shown on tv soon. I would definitely want to watch it again. Although a very different film, it is in my opinion, on a level with The Red Shoes as the finest ballet film that has been made.

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