Hogwarts doesn’t exist, the Dursleys are good, and Dumbledore is Death

Recalling fan theories on the anniversary of the last Harry Potter movie

Reading time 6 minutes

The Wizarding World stories premiered exactly ten years ago. Over the course of the franchise’s existence, fans have come up with theories, some of which completely overturn the usual story of the magical world.

Neville is the Chosen One

One of the most argued theories is that Harry was never the Chosen One. The real savior of Magical Britain is Neville. Although bumbling loser Longbottom doesn’t look like a superhero, he could have been the Boy Who Survived. According to the prophecy of Voldemort’s demise, the wizard will be killed by a boy born in July. Also, the child must be part of a family that has defied the Dark Lord three times. Not only do the Potters fit the description, but also the Longbottom. Why Tom Riddle decided it was Harry who would destroy him is not clear. Perhaps the wizard wanted to deal with Neville and his family after but did not have time.

Further events of the story also make you doubt Harry’s selectivity. The prophecy says that the child has a special gift. Potter had no gift (the boy’s knowledge of the snake language was passed down from Voldemort), but Neville had a strong knowledge of herbalism.

Theory #1: Neville is the Chosen One

Harry, Severus and Tom Riddle are brothers in the «Deathly Hallows» tale

The tale is about three brothers. Death gives them the Elder Wand, the Cloak of Invisibility, and the Resurrection Stone. Harry, Severus, and He-Who-No-Name resemble the Peverell brothers. Voldemort wishes to get his wand so he can wield power like his older brother. Snape, the middle one, is obsessed with the love of a dead woman. Harry wields the Cloak of Invisibility, which makes him look like the younger brother.

If you follow this theory, Death is Dumbledore. The Professor is the only one who possessed all the Hallows. Also, when Harry is killed by the Dark Lord, it is Albus who waits for him and meets him as an “old friend.” – Another reference to the fairy tale.

Theory # 2: Harry, Severus and Tom Riddle are brothers in the «Deathly Hallows» tale

Draco is in love with Hermione

Many fans believe that Draco was in love with Hermione. He was always bullying the girl, calling her a «filthy dirty girl» following on the heels of the Golden Trio, all to get Granger’s attention. This behavior was caused by the fact that Malfoy grew up in a family where Muggles were considered the scum of society, but the boy himself thought otherwise. The version about the Slytherin’s crush is common among fans of movies because there Draco is shown as a deeper and more compassionate person.

Theory #3: Draco is in love with Hermione

Harry is to blame for the bad temper of the Dursleys

In the books, the Dursley family had a strong dislike for the Boy-who-survived. Harry lived in a closet, subjected to insults and hard labor. There is a theory: the character of the relatives was influenced by Potter, or rather by Voldemort’s Horcrux imprisoned in the wizard.

In «Deathly Hallows» Harry, Hermione and Ron wore a locket around their necks – part of the Dark Lord’s soul. The teenagers were negatively influenced by black magic: they argued, fought, were aggressive. The theory is that Harry’s presence had the same effect on the Dursleys. Although this assumption does not explain why the boy did not influence his friends and other wizards in his surroundings.

Theory #4: Harry is to blame for the Dursleys’ bad temper

Harry made up the world of magic

What if there is no magic world? That’s probably the saddest theory. Its proponents are certain that Harry never left the house on Tees Street, never received a letter from Hogwarts, and never fought Voldemort. The boy-who-survived- made it all up, and the fantasy is an attempt to escape the brutal reality. The writer believes this viewpoint fits into the original story.

Theory #5: Harry made up the world of magic

 

 

Seven Lives of Sherlock Holmes

The most famous images of the detective in cinematography

Reading time 7 minutes

Sherlock is a character created by English writer Arthur Conan Doyle. Consulting detective lives in Victorian London on Baker Street and helps Scotland Yard police in solving crimes. Works about the adventures of Holmes and Dr. Watson have become classics of the detective genre, and screenings are still successful.

The first film adaptation is considered to be a thirty-second silent movie «Sherlock Holmes Baffled». The short sketch was premiered in May 1900. The names of the actors are unknown. The only copy was lost until it was restored by cards in 1968. «Baffled» is the first detective in the history of cinematography.

«Sherlock Holmes Baffled» // Frame from the restored film of 1900

The most popular screen adaptation among the Russian public is the Soviet series with Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin in the lead roles. The series «The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson» was released in 1979-1986 and consisted of eleven episodes. The plot was based on stories «A Study in Pink», «The Final Problem», «The Hound of the Baskervilles».

The TV series was appreciated abroad: the film critic Alan Barnes in his book «Sherlock Holmes on the screen» (1999) wrote that the detective performed by Livanov is the best of all time.

Frame from the Soviet series «The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson»

In 1970 the American film «The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes» was released. Oscar-winning director Billy Wilder worked on the picture, and the main character was played by British Robert Stevenson. Holmes and Watson visit the ball of Russian ballerina and bathe in women’s attention. Unlike his3 friend, Sherlock is not glad about this arrangement. At the same time, a standard detective line develops: the detective investigates the case of the disappearance of the man. The search brings the heroes to Loch Ness Lake.

Frame from «The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes»

«Sherlock Holmes» by Guy Ritchie was released in 2009, two years later – a continuation under the title «Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows» . The characters of the detective and the doctor were performed by Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. The friends save London from Moriarty’s plans and investigate terrorist attacks. Critics praised the screening, and the first film was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe. The third part of the franchise will be released in 2021.

Frame from «Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows»

«Sherlock» (2010) by the BBC is probably the most unusual of all. The action takes place not in Victorian England, but in the modern one. John Watson (Martin Freeman) blogs about his friend instead of notes. The image of Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, turned out to be extraordinary. Sherlock calls himself a «highly active sociopath», fights against drug addiction and denies the existence of feelings and emotions. The main antipode of the detective is James Moriarty.

At the moment, 4 seasons and a special episode  «The Abominable Bride» have been released. It is not known whether there will be a continuation.

Poster for the fourth season of «Sherlock» by the British company BBC

In 2012, CBS offered to the producers of the British «Sherlock» with a proposal to make a remake. The BBC refused to sell the copyrights, so the company created a TV series from scratch. «Elementary» was released in September of the same year.

Holmes comes to New York for treatment in a rehabilitation center and remains to work as a police consultant. Joanne Watson – in this adaptation the doctor became a girl – supervises the detective.

«Elementary» // Sherlock (John Lee Miller) and Joan (Lucy Lew)

«Enola Holmes» is an online platform project created by Netflix, released in autumn. Producer and main actress – 16-year-old Millie Bobby Brown. The focus is not on Sherlock, but his teenage sister Enola. The image of the detective turned out to be interesting, though not canonical. In the story Mycroft, Sherlock and Enola are looking for their missing mother.

«Enola Holmes» // Enola (Millie) and Sherlock (Henry Cavill)
«Enola Holmes» // Enola (Millie) and Sherlock (Henry Cavill)

There was also a scandal: Doyle’s heirs sued on Netflix. In their opinion, the producers used stories that are not yet in the public domain.

Reading time 6 minutes

Banksy is a British street-artist and a political activist. He is the most famous graffiti artist in the world but works incognito. Banksy’s mysterious personality makes him and his art extremely intriguing and popular: the artist’s works are worth millions of dollars and exhibited by top world galleries. 

Today Banksy’s anonymity has become his unique feature and seems to be a metaphorical part of his image. However, its origin is pretty simple. In Britain there is a law about property damage that protects some city buildings. Drawing graffitis on their walls may entail serious legal sanctions.

A monkey mask and a black shirt – a basiс Banksy’s look

«In the era of the Internet and social media it is hard to hide something. Banksy remains anonymous, and this fact itself is a piece of art. Still, the main factor is the talant, not the artist’s personality. His art is perceived differently by everyone, but the irony, sophistication, and complexity of his works is obvious», — says the founder of street-art festivals Ivan Panteleev to «Kommersant».

1. A girl with a hoop

Someone made a graffiti of a girl spinning a tire-like hoop on a wall of some Nottingham building. This work appeared in October 2020. There was an abandoned bicycle without a tire near the mural. Several days after the graffiti had appeared Banksy posted the picture of this work on his instagram page.This was a confirmation of him being the creator. This place instantly became one of the most popular both for the citizens and tourists.

«Everyone needed such a ray of positivity in these corona times », — Nicola Marshall said to BBC when she came with her son to see the mural.

Cr: BBC
Cr: BBC
2. EU flag without a star

This work is dedicated to inglorious Brexit. The long procedure of leaving the EU caused some backlash in society. The mural shows a worker that is removing one star from the EU flag.

Cr: RBС
Cr: RBС
3. Slave labour

The graffiti was spotted on a wall of a London store in 2012. It shows a little boy bending over a sewing-machine. He is sewing together several British flags. This work is Banksy’s reaction to the news about usage of child labour for souvenirs’ production for 2012 Olympics.

This mural appeared right before the birthday of Elizabeth II. A year later this part of the wall was removed and stolen.

Cr: RIA News
4. Balloon girl

A child with a heart-shaped balloon emerged on a wall of a central London building in 2004. Some believe that the graffiti is a metaphor of hope. Others think that it symbolizes the cruelty of modern society which forces children to grow up yearly and abandon their dreams.

Later Banksy made a copy of his work on a canvas. In October 2018 on the Sotheby’s auction it turned out that the frame had a shredder inside.The canvas self-destructed after it was sold for 1.4 million dollars. This was a projection of the creators’ discontent with the sale of his work.

Cr: Gazeta.ru
5. Kissing coppers

This is one of the most famous and controversial works of the British artist. Banksy portrayed two passionately kissing policemen. He wanted the public to pay attention to the problems of LGBT-community. After time passed, the graffiti turned into a symbol of rebellion. Due to a grand backlash it disappeared: it was covered with black paint by anonymous people.

Cr: bit.ua

Banksy doesn’t reduce himself only to street-art. In 2010 he became a director of the movie “Exit through the gift-shop”, it was nominated for the Oscar. Additionally, several years ago the artist opened an amusement park called “Dismaland”. However, the park had nothing to do with conventional entertainment: it was a platform for modern artists and their works.

Angels and “demons”: did aliens really contact saints?

Depictions of UFOs in Christian churches and pictures since the 11th century

Reading time 4 minutes

Did the humans descend from Adam and Eve? Not quite, some of the researchers say. We can see an increasing amount of assertions and so-called “facts” that human beings are under the control of aliens.  Some ufologists state that extraterrestrials allegedly contact some of us. However, the Church’s official representatives do not just reject all these statements but even a theoretical possibility of such kind of “interaction” between a man and “beings from other planets and not just”. Why does the Church with so much vigor try to “retain its monopoly” on the Human Origins?

2014 almost the whole scientific community was curious about an unusual finding. A strange fresco with a supposedly depicted flying saucer was found in a Romanian church. Moreover, the same kind of enigmatic inscription from the Bible was written at the bottom of the image in German: “Israel hoffe auf den herrn” (“O Israel, hope in the Lord”). Apart of a flying saucer, in this story we face 2 more additional mysterious facts:

  1. The fresco dates from the 14th century and there is an original line in German, although Bible was translated by Martin Luther only in 1522.
  2. At that time there lived the ruler of Wallachia Vlad II who was father of Vlad the Impaler also known as Vlad Dracula.
Biserica Manastirii, or Church of the Dominican Monastery, in the town of Sighisoara, Romania (14th century)
Biserica Manastirii, or Church of the Dominican Monastery, in the town of Sighisoara, Romania (14th century)

One more similar discovery happened in 2017 in Georgia. There, during the reconstruction of the church, scientists found the mural painting of 12 apostles and Jesus during the crucifixion dating from the 11th century. At the top of the picture one may see 2 unknown flying objects which resemble alien spaceships.

"Crucifixion of Jesus" on the walls of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Georgia (11th century)
“Crucifixion of Jesus” on the walls of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Georgia (11th century)

Two other images of the Jesus’ crucifixion with flying saucers being present are the “Crucifixion of Christ” in the monastery Visoki Decani dating from the 14th century and a picture “La Tebaide” created  by Paolo Uccello (1396-1475) .

“Crucifixion of Christ” in the monastery Visoki Decani, Kosovo (14th century)
“Crucifixion of Christ” in the monastery Visoki Decani, Kosovo (14th century)
“La Tebaide” Paolo Uccello (1396-1475)
“La Tebaide” Paolo Uccello (1396-1475)   

So, what do the Church’s officials say about the “extraterrestrial contact” and existence of other civilizations beyond Solar system?

Regardless of being Orthodox and Catholics, Jews or Evangelicals priests are convinced that all the information from so-called witnesses is nothing else as a part of their vivid imaginations, nightmares or even a proof of their sinfulness and connection with the devil.

One of the most logic explanations of such kind of Church servants’ reaction is just a lack of this sort of information in holy scriptures. The Church fears to lose its impact on people, its dominating presence in people’s life in terms of accepting the fact of existence of more developed and powerful forces. It fears to get a lower rank position in people’s world outlook and as a consequence a loss of its respect and authority.

"Baptism of Christ" Aert De Gelder (1645-1727)
“Baptism of Christ” Aert De Gelder (1645-1727)

Anyway, it looks a bit illogical from priests’ side that in view of the absence of information they do preserve only a negative attitude regarding flying saucers as they are depicted in temples near saints and not in a “hostile” way. Why in case of their existence cannot they be helpful to us?

A good example of it is a depiction of Moses receiving commandments from God. It is a world-famous fresco which is placed on one of the walls of the Belgian Cathedral Conti Dotremond.

A painting on wood near the castle Conti Dotremond, Belgium. Moses is receiving the tablets. Date and artist unknown
A painting on wood near the castle Conti Dotremond, Belgium. Moses is receiving the tablets. Date and artist unknown

It depends on you whether believe or not in aliens and their possible “visits” to our planet but in no case we have a right to accuse somebody to be inadequate, mentally ill or “linked to the Lucifer” as it sometimes happens. Nevertheless, we should not trust everyone who has seen “them” as too many people create stories for different reasons.

Theatricality in Cinema

What is the relationship between these two arts

Reading time 4 minutes

What makes the languages of theater and cinema so different but at the same time so good complement each other?

Perhaps the most obvious difference between the cinema and theater is that the first one is fragmented. To achieve the desired effect, the director can use many takes – he has a few chances to «replay» the planned. But the viewer has no opportunity to «touch» the action. Film production and the process of consumption of the finished product by the viewer are separated in time.

«Stop! Cut!»

On the contrary, theatrical processes are continuous. The performance implies constant interaction with the viewer, who acts as a «creator». The degree of influence of production depends mainly on the audience involvement, its concentration on what is happening «here and now».

The theater is the art of reflecting (c) Konstantin Stanislavsky

The degree of the conventionality of both cinema and theater is closely connected with communication (mainly non-verbal) between actors and audience. The emotional connection of the viewer is a necessary condition. The theater aims to unite actors and spectators in a single spiritual effort. But both cinema and theater strive to lead us to a state of “secondary belief” – appealing to our personal experiences, associations, and feelings. We empathize with the characters, project the events and behavior of the characters on themselves, interpret meanings, and rethink what we see.

Another important feature is the illusion of reality, and in cinema, it is much higher than in the theater. The director is able to recreate almost any historical epoch, and modern technology makes this task much easier. In the theater, all «special effects» are built-in, and the main mechanisms of influence are the actor’s mimicry and scenery. Spatial restrictions (stage frames) also have an effect.

Cinema should make the viewer forget that he is sitting in the movie (c) Roman Polanski

There are films that are on the verge of theater and cinema. «Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead»(1990, directed by Tom Stoppard) and «Anna Karenina» (2012, directed by Joe Wright) are interpretations of classics in which the artistic possibilities of theater and cinema complement each other.

In the first of them, the techniques of anachronism, demonstrative violation of sequence and visual citation (these resources give the cinema) are combined with the involvement of the heroes-observers in the course of the action: the world for them at some point becomes theater, they move to the stage, in the heart of Shakespeare’s «Hamlet» – so there is an external conditionality (theatrical feature).

There are two ways to become an artist. The first is to do what everyone thinks is art. Second: to make everyone think that what you are doing is art (c) Tom Stoppard

In the second – we meet the excessive acting mimicry and live plasticity, striking the splendor of scenery (the illusion of the place) with the effect of «behind the scenes» (in the design of the back of the stage).

Shootings of the film “Anna Karenina” (2012, directed by Joe Wright)

Another interesting example is «The Hateful Eight» (2015). Quentin Tarantino borrows from the theater a method of narrative division into acts: the film consists of chapters, each of which becomes our «guide» in a confusing, dark, and bloody story. Interesting here is the mise-en-scene transferred from theatricality, designed to reflect all the components of the inner life of the heroes, resulting in a struggle between them – both on the moral and ethical as well as physical levels.

«They don’t come here without a good reason»…

The theater has something to offer to the film industry – the possibilities of its language, if used by the director correctly and appropriately, are really able to make a film brighter visually and deeper – in the sense.

“There is something to lose your head from”

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin as a role model of responsible citizen at the lockdown

Reading time 5 minutes

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin is the father of contemporary Russian language. Pupils read “Eugene Onegin”, “Belkin’s Stories”, plays “Mozart and Salieri”, “The Miserly Knight”, “A Feast during the Plague” as well as adults reread. And who can remember from his youth that all these works were written at the height of the cholera epidemic of 1830?

How Alexander Pushkin got into the backwoods far away from his friends

Pushkin and Natalia Nikolaevna Goncharova were engaged in may 1830. He obtained the consent to the marriage only from the third request. The financial affairs of the bride were so up the spout that Alexander Sergeyevich himself had to earn money for the dowry which he allegedly received. Sergey Lvovich found with difficulty a not mortgaged estate that he could give to his son.

Master's house in Bolsino, family Pushkin's estate
Master’s house in Bolsino, family Pushkin’s estate

Boldino is a village of 500 souls. The father allocated to the son a nearby village Kistenevka, a part of Boldino estate. “Collegiate Secretary Alexander Sergeev, son of Pushkin” hastened to draw it up in a separate possession and pawn to get money for the wedding. For this reason, he arrived in Nizhny Novgorod province in September. He was forced to stay there for two months due to cholera quarantine.

Why should we take the poet for a model?

He didn’t lose composure

Alexander Sergeevich wrote two dozen of letters during the autumn in Boldino. He made up with the bride. Natalia Nikolaevna agreed to marry without a dowry.

Natalya Nikolaevna Goncharova, the bride and then the wife of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
Natalya Nikolaevna Goncharova, the bride and then the wife of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

At the same time, the writer did not forget about literary and critical practice. He asked Pogodin who was the publisher of the “Moscow Vedomosti” to send his tragedy “Marfa, Posadnitsa Novgorodskaya” for criticism. And in response, Pushkin sent a poem “The Hero” written on the occasion of the appearance of Nicholas I in cholera Moscow. The poet was not embarrassed to speak out against the regime naming himself but he wanted to publish the “apocalyptic song” with approval of the autocrat’s actions anonymously.

Pushkin willingly wrote many poems in Boldino. Autumn was the most fruitful time for him. The author was glad to be unexpectedly free to write what he wished and walk where he could. That feeling was expressed to his friend Pletnev in letters.

Pushkin approved of getting information in time

He read the cholera bulletins named “The Bulletin on the State of the Moscow City” which were published in the “Moscow Vedomosti”. The suspense tormented him. Alexander Sergeyevich was worried about the health of his family and the bride. He asked her to write regularly and was upset when the letters were long. Natalya Nikolaevna’s reply of October 1, he received on the October 26th. All suspicious and unverified information about the disease was rejected by him. A year earlier Pushkin had been to Arzrum where he had seen an outbreak of the plague, so he knew that the picture of devastation and the number of victims were often exaggerated.

Pushkin's letter to Praskovya Osipova. Punctured envelopes mark "cholera" correspondence. Letters were fumigated with sulfur or chlorine through the holes for disinfection
Pushkin’s letter to Praskovya Osipova. Punctured envelopes mark “cholera” correspondence. Letters were fumigated with sulfur or chlorine through the holes for disinfection
The writer was aware of necessity of precautions and lockdown

While there were no letters from Goncharova, the poet repeatedly tried to find out where the bride was. He was angry and concerned about her staying in Moscow and advised her to go to the country. Pushkin recalled a trip to the Caucasus and asked Natalia Nikolaevna to be careful and avoid cholera places. He also tried to go to Moscow and connect with his beloved. He was ready to stay in quarantine for as long as it would be necessary, though the poet did not visit the cordoned-off areas.

Google Stadia is at the failure stage

Why does the company fail to gain a foothold in the gaming market?

Reading time 5 minutes

About a year ago, on March 19, one of the world’s largest media corporations named Google announced the upcoming entry into the video game market. The company launched the Google Stadia game platform, something new in this area. The main feature that the creators of Stadia noted was the full focused of the new product on cloud gaming. This reminds Netflix analogue in video games: with a monthly paid subscription, the user gets access to the games in the platform’s library. At the same time he or she has an opportunity to connect within any device without downloading the games themselves. High resolution quality is guaranteed. A stable Internet connection and Google Chrome browser are required. At the announcement stage, Stadia looked interesting and seemed to be quite different from the market leaders (Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch). But everything changed dramatically six months later.

Никто не любит жадность
No one loves greed

The release of Google Stadia took place on November 19, 2019 and turned out to be disappointing. The main object of criticism was the general technical unavailability of the platform: the first buyers noted that the games work with significant glitches and are far from 4K resolution, as was promised at the announcement. In addition, many users were outraged by the Google pricing policy: the subscription costs $ 10 per month; Chromecast Ultra prefix, which includes a controller in Night Blue color, a Chromecast Ultra adapter, a three-month subscription for two and a Destiny 2 game costs $ 130; at the same time, the average price for a game will be similar to those of Sony, Microsoft and Xbox – $ 60. The current generation consoles for all Google competitors are about $ 500. There is also a monthly subscription worth about $ 7, but exclusively for online games. For single players (story games that a gamer can play alone) this subscription is not needed, as well as the Internet connection in general. This reveals another problem: users of Stadia are very dependent on the work of the company’s internal servers: if they crash, all game progress will not be saved. Another important obstacle, partially due to the preceding paragraphs, is the quantity of games. There were only 22 games in the Google start library, after 3 months of the service’s existence only 6 more were added. 28 games is an extremely small number for a company which is trying to become a full-fledged player in the market. Moreover, among these games there is not a single exclusivity. These are games that can only be played on one console, one of the most compelling reasons to buy one. At the moment, the PlayStation is a leader in the gaming industry thanks to exclusives such as the Uncharted series, The Last of Us, God of War, Bloodborne and many others. The Xbox has a series of Halo and Quantum Break, the Switch has Mario and Zelda. Stadia has nothing. The reason is Google itself: after the release, the company weakly supports the project (6 new games in 3 months to confirm). Accordingly, the audience, which was already relatively small, is beginning to decline. Therefore, game developers have no motivation to conclude exclusive production contracts with Google, because they still will not pay off in the current platform state.

За годы существования Google всего "умерло" 198 проектов
Over the years of Google’s existence, 198 projects have “died

Thus, Stadia is a vivid example of how an excellent idea can be ruined by poor technical performance and the lack of a clear PR strategy. The future of the project looks uncertain. It is unlikely that anyone will be surprised if he soon replenishes the “Google Cemetery“.

The audience is prepared for the uncharted

Will the authors of Uncharted be able to change the idea of video game film adaptation?

Reading time 6 minutes

On March 2, it was officially announced that actor Antonio Banderas will play a role in the film “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune”. The action-adventure Uncharted movie will be the first part of the famous game series transfer to the big screen, an exclusive console of Sony PlayStation. The first game in 2007 was released by Naughty Dog, which was known for its Crash Bandicoot platformer series at that time. Immediately after the release, “Drake’s Fortune” received a very warm welcome from critics and gamers. IGN news portal recognized the game as the best one on PS3 in 2007. All subsequent parts of the series, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End were also ranked among the best games of 2009, 2011 and 2016, respectively. They were also included in the best games of both decades list. As well as another game from Naughty Dog – “The Last of Us”. Its sequel is upsetting the gamers due to constant delays.

Том Холланд будет играть Нейтана Дрейка
Tom Holland will play Nathan Drake
Nathan Drake
А Марк Уолберг - Виктора Салливана
And Mark Wahlberg will play Victor Sullivan
Виктор Салливан. Как по-вашему, похожи?
Victor Sullivan. Do you think they look alike?

From the very beginning, the film had many problems. The project was discussed for a long time due to the popularity of Uncharted, but went to the production hell: over the past years, 5 directors have been changed. Now it is headed by Ruben Fleischner, the creator of two parts of Zombieland  comedy horror and Venom comic book. Actors of the main roles are also well-known: the adventurer Nathan Drake will be played by Tom Holland, a current Spider-Man performer in the Marvel studio film, and his friend and mentor Victor Sullivan will be played by two-time Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg. What role was prepared for Banderas, is not yet reported. Initially, the premiere was planned to be at the end of 2020, but was postponed to March 5, 2021.

Марк Уолберг уже снимался в экранизации игры - фильме "Макс Пэйн" 2008 года
Mark Wahlberg has already starred in the 2008 film adaptation of Max Payne

The fundamental problem of the upcoming film is its format. Quite a few video games were adequately adapted into the movies. Still, a game and a film are fundamentally different cultures and ways of entertainment. In the movie, the creators are not able to embody the gameplay that they took as a basis. Spectators cannot control characters on the screen. Accordingly, they need to be entertained with the story, but it is extremely difficult to adapt it correctly, again because of the difference in formats: modern story games last 30 hours in average, which need to fit into 90-120 minutes of a cinema slot. For these reasons, game film adaptations usually suffer from a bad scenario. Authors try either to depart from the canon and thus violate the logic of the world, or, on the contrary, try to follow the original source, which makes the film look secondary. The producer’s reckoning is primarily based on original fans. They want to go to the movies and are able to recoup the production. It really works like this quite often but one of the last known examples – “Assassin’s Creed” (2016) raised $ 240 million with a budget of 125. It is regarded as a box office failure. After that, the flow of movies based on games was temporarily stopped in Hollywood. Let’s see whether the film about Nathan Drake will return interest in the segment.

The excess of Petrov

Why are actors playing in popular Russian films the same? Klim Shipenko explains

Reading time 6 minutes

On February 6, the famous Russian singer and composer Yuri Loza made an ironic post on his Facebook account, in which he noted Alexander Petrov’s over-popularity in contemporary Russian cinema. The musician considered it unfair that thousands of talented actors graduate from Russian film schools every year, each of them is waiting for new chance, but the producers prefer to give all the potential box office roles to Petrov.

Юрий Лоза поднял актуальную для многих российских кинозрителей тему
Yuri Loza asked a question that is relevant for many Russian moviegoers …

Although Yuri’s post was written in a rather humorous style, it provoked a discussion around the current situation with Russian actors. One of the participants of the discussion was Klim Shipenko, a successful film director. In 2019, two of his films were released at once: a criminal-dramatic psychological thriller “Text” (with Petrov playing the main role) and a comedy “The Serf”. The first film, according to the Kinopoisk online portal, was warmly received by both viewers (rating 7.0) and critics (85% of reviews were positive). This was also emphasized by the box office of 850 million rubles. With a budget of 75 it achieved excellent results at the main Golden Eagle film contest in Russia. “Text” received awards for the best film, best male roles of the first and second plans (Petrov and Ivan Yankovsky, respectively), as well as for the best editing (Tim Pavelko). Shipenko himself was awarded a nomination for best directing, and composer Nikolai Rostov was awarded for best music. “Serf”, with a similar rating of 7.0 at “Kinopoisk”, became the most profitable Russian film in the history of Russian distribution, collecting for the first time more than 3 billion rubles and breaking the “Upward” record.

А Клим Шипенко дал ответ на этот вопрос
… and Klim Shipenko answered this question

The director said that in terms of perception of actors, Russian viewers are very different from Western ones: there is still a distrust in the quality of domestic cinema, so producers prefer to screen more popular characters in order to increase the chances of success. And Petrov in this sense is not the first: Sergey Bezrukov followed the same path after the role of Sasha Bely in the crime series “The Brigade”, Konstantin Khabensky after the role of Anton Gorodetsky in the fantasy “Night Watch” and Danil Kozlovsky after the role of hockey player Valery Kharlamov in sports drama “Legend number 17”. Petrov gained popularity in the second half of the 2010s after the series “Policeman from Rublevka”, where he played Grigory Izmailov, a police captain.

Один из предшественников Петрова Данила Козловский в фильме "Легенда №17" (в центре)
One of Petrov’s predecessors, Danila Kozlovsky, in the film “Legend No. 17” (center)

Shipenko also noted that even Russian stars of the first echelon are not success guarantors at the box office, in contrast with Western ones. And the director definitely knew what he was talking about: despite the impressive final fees of “Text”, the adaptation of the novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky had an almost failed first weekend. During the first week, the box office amounted to only 92 million rubles. This figure slightly exceeded the budget of the film and took 4th place at the end of the week. It lost to the “Joker” (Todd Philips), who had already been in the box office for a month. In the future, word of mouth saved the situation: firstly, positive reviews began to come about the quality of the film, and secondly, the scandal around the overly frank bed scene with Christina Asmus and Ivan Yankovsky played a big role. Many viewers went to the cinema to find out what was special about this scene.

По этому фото не скажешь, но именно сцена с участием этих двоих сделала "Текст" таким популярным в прокате
You can’t tell from the photo, but it was the scene with the participation of these two that made “Text” so popular at the box office

As a result, the director described a vicious circle: it is more difficult for unknown actors to get into potentially stellar roles, and the famous ones are becoming even more popular, so they bother the audience.

Philipp Plein is in the middle of a scandal

The designer dedicated his latest show to Kobe Bryant

Reading time 3 minutes

The Philipp Plein fashion house demonstrated the new fall-winter 2020-2021 collection on Milan Fashion Week. The designer tended to honor the name of Kobe Bryant, a basketball player who was killed in an accident on January, 26 in California. His 13-year-old daughter Gigi and seven more passengers, including the pilot, were on board.

After the show, the brand founder was accused of using the tragic event to draw attention to the catwalk.

The collection pieces included $2,070 jerseys and $3,150 sweatshirts with the Black Mamba’s number, 24 (Bryant’s nickname) on them. The items were colored in yellow and purple. These are the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers team where the basketball legend had been playing since 1996 till 2016. The clothes were also adorned by Swarovski crystals. The Lakers logo were replaced with the Philipp Plein’s one. Sweatshirts and jerseys went on sale right after the show. Olivia Culpo, a former Miss Universe walked the runway. Pinkett Smith, a “Red Table Talk” host, also joined the fashion show.

Moreover, two golden helicopters were put on the stage. As Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash, these decorations also caused a backlash.

View this post on Instagram

Just landed 🛬 PLEIN ™️ WINTER 2020 #nolimits

A post shared by Philipp Plein (@philippplein) on

Plein answered to Page Six Style that the helicopters were meant to be placed before Bryant’s death, in November. He said that he would have get rid of them. The designer declared that he used his fashion show to express the respect and admiration for The Bryants. He also added that became a victim of public misinterpretation.

As Plein stated, all the profits from the sale of limited sweatshirts and jerseys would be sent to the charity organization called Mamba and the Mambacita Sports Foundation, created by the family of the basketball player after his death. The designer’s first contribution of $20,000 was made the day before the show.

A few reactions to the German designer presentation are displayed below:

The name of the German designer and brand’s founder is associated with scandals and provocations. The designer more than once got into trouble with clients, colleagues and the press. Despite the fact that Plein studied law and knew the basics of legal affairs, this fact did not save him from breaking the rules.

The first example is ridiculously paradoxical. Malik Yousef, a rapper, pretended to be a representative of Kanye West and signed a contract with the Philipp Plein’s brand on his behalf. Under the agreement, Mr. West was obliged to perform three songs with the orchestra, attend Philipp Plein’s dinner and go on the catwalk. The brand paid fake Kanye $750 000. As a result, the rapper Malik Yousef responded that he signed the contract on his behalf. Kanye did not know anything about the deal and did not receive money. And Philipp Plein’s representatives replied that they fell for the bait of experienced scammers who were hiding behind the friendship with a famous rapper. It’s funny that the deal on this scale was concluded without the direct presence of Kanye West himself.

In 2016, Philipp received accusations from Dolce & Gabbana’s lawyers. The brand claimed that Philipp Plein International reached ten sales consultants from the boutiques in Milan and asked them to work in the PP’s fashion house. Plein responded that “in a free country everyone could choose independently where to work. And if employees are happy at their place of job, they don’t leave”.

View this post on Instagram

Just received a love letter from Dolce and Gabbana's lawyer accusing me and my people that we would steal their employees……. 1. This is a free country and everybody can choose by themselves who they want to work for !! 2. If people are happy at their job they don't think about leaving !!! 3. I really love and respect the brand dolce and gabbana , it was an inspiration for me and many others to start my business and to work in fashion !!!! @stefanogabbana @dolcegabbana It's is sad to say but everybody loves you until you become competition !!!! Since more than 15 years I work 24/7 on realizing my dream and building my company …. I respect everybody and I never received any support from this industry until today !!! I want to take this moment to apologize to absolutely "NOBODY" !!!!

A post shared by Philipp Plein (@philippplein) on

Philip Plein broke many hearts. After the break-up Morgan Osman, a model from Miami replied on social media that Philipp Plein’s clothes were sewn in Turkey for $20. Then they hang a “Made in Italy” tag and sell them for $800. Plein was forced to explain. He wished the former lover to cease using his name.

Morgan Osman, Philipp Plein's former girlfriend

Plagiarism happens frequently in fashion industry. Alexander Wang, an American designer accused PP of coping his ideas for the show, which was organized with the Swedish brand H&M in 2014. To prove his point of view, Wang posted a video on his official Instagram page comparing the Plein Sport 2017 show with Alexander Wang x H&M in 2014. Wang ironically signed the publication: “Can I copy your homework? Yeah, but just change it up a bit so it doesn’t look obvious you copied”. Philip did not leave a comment about the situation.

View this post on Instagram

🤔

A post shared by Alex Wang (@alexwangny) on