Anna Pavlova (film)

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Anna Pavlova
Anna Pavlova 1983.jpg
Directed by Emil Loteanu
Produced by Michael Powell
Screenplay by Emil Loteanu
Story by Emil Loteanu
Starring
Music by Eugen Doga
Cinematography Yevgeny Guslinsky
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Poseidon Film Distributors
Release date
  • August 1983 (1983-08) (Soviet Union)
  • March 10, 1985 (1985-03-10) (United Kingdom)
Running time
  • 155 minutes
    (Original cut)
  • 133 minutes
    (UK cut)[1]
  • 275 minutes
    (TV cut)
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • Soviet Union
Language
  • English
  • Russian

Anna Pavlova, also known as A Woman for All Time, is a 1983 biographical drama film depicting the life of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, written and directed by Emil Loteanu and starring Galina Belyayeva, James Fox and Sergey Shakurov. It depicts Pavlova's passion for art and her collaboration with the reformers of ballet including Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky and Sergei Diaghilev.

A co-production between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, famed British director Michael Powell served as a producer and featured American director Martin Scorsese in a cameo role.[2][3]

Plot[edit]

The film opens in the cold Saint Petersburg with a scene where Anna as a young girl observes through a window young dancers practicing. Although she catches a cold, Anna decides that she does not merely want to be a dancer but that she wants to be one of the best.

It is shown how classical master dancer/ballet teacher Marius Petipa helps Anna on to the path to glory and her rise in the imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Here she meets the young choreographer Mikhail Fokine with whom she rehearses The Dying Swan – the world-famous solo.

In 1909, Sergei Diaghilev founds the Ballets Russes in Paris for which he recruits the best Russian dancers and choreographers including Anna Pavlova. But after a short time she decides to move to London. Here, she also celebrates major success and her triumph is worldwide; for example she performs in the United States, Mexico and Venezuela. Always present is Victor Dandré – her manager, companion and husband.

Her biggest wish to once again to perform at her native Mariinsky Theatre remained unfulfilled. Anna died from pneumonia at the age of 49 in the year 1931 during her farewell tour in The Hague.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Martin Scorsese, a great admirer of Michael Powell's films, originally convinced Robert De Niro to play the American impresario Sol Hurok[4] [5] [6] and Jack Nicholson to portray Pavlova's husband and manager, Victor Dandré.[7][8] The casting was rejected by the Russian Ministry of Culture, as The Deer Hunter in which De Niro acted was conceived as anti-Communist, and Nicholson had made disparaging remarks about the Soviet Union in interviews. Nicholson's role was eventually played by James Fox and De Niro's by John Murray, the brother of Bill Murray.

The ensemble of the Leningrad Kirov Ballet danced the original choreography, and in original decor and most of Pavlova's repertoire is performed.

Post-production[edit]

There were tensions at Mosfilm during editing due to its almost three hour length. The contract stated that Loteanu had control over the English version, yet the film was shortened dramatically. Loteanu stated "Had I known at the outset that the contract would be broken, I would not have made the film at all."[9]

Release[edit]

Anna Pavlova was theatrically released in the Soviet Union in August 1983, via its original 155-minute version. It was released in the United Kingdom on 10 March 1985, here in a 133-minute edit.[1]

The television version, which premiered in 1986, consists of five parts, each 55 minutes apiece: "Rossi Street", "Undying Swan", "Tulips and Loneliness", "Dreams of Russia" and "Touching the Sunset".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "PAVLOVA: A WOMAN FOR ALL TIME". British Board of Film Classification.  Retrieved 25 August 2017
  2. ^ "Anna Pavlova (1983–) Full Cast & Crew". IMDB. 
  3. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | PAVLOVA - A WOMAN FOR ALL TIME (1983)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  4. ^ Mikhail Kazakov. "Сошедшие с экрана. Воспоминания Михаила Казакова" (in Russian). Isskustvo Kino. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "Как Роберта де Ниро прислали сыграть эпизодическую роль в фильме молдавского режиссера Эмиля Лотяну" (in Russian). Komsomolskaya Pravda. 2014-07-24. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  6. ^ Evening Urgant. "Robert De Niro interviewed at the Evening Urgant" (in Russian). YouTube. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Лебединые песни – Как балет превратился в триллер" (in Russian). Woman Hit. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Эмиль Лотяну и Роберт Де Ниро - титаны мирового кино" (in Russian). Moldovenii. 2016-04-22. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Richard Owen (1985-03-07). "Clutural detente that ended in discord". The Powell & Pressburger Pages. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 

External links[edit]