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Король Лир 1971
Description: Lord Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving nice importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly flatter the old boy in return for favor, he banishes her and turns for help to his remaining daughters. But Goneril and Regan have no love for him and instead plot to take all his power from him. In a parallel, Lear's loyal courtier Gloucester favors his illegitimate son Edmund after being said lies about his faithful son Edgar. Madness and tragedy befall both ill-starred fathers.
Released: 06 Aug 1975 Director: Grigoriy Kozintsev, Iosif Shapiro(co-director) Writers: Grigoriy Kozintsev, Boris Pasternak (Russian translation, 1949), William Shakespeare (play) Actors: Jüri Järvet, Elza Radzina, Galina Volchek, Valentina Shendrikova Genres: Drama
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Король Лир Reviews:

Shakespeare's plays are hard to realize on scene or on film. Reading through his plays, one gets the impression that they are greater than they can ever be performed. But there are those several productions that hit the tag and do his works justice. So it is with Korol Lir (King Lear), Grigori Kozintsev's final film.In 1964, Kozintsev's Hamlet was released and earned high praise both in Russia and the West. As a consequence, Kozintsev was invited to and attended many western movie festivals including Cannes. Kozintsev cherished these trips to the west as he was able to see many movies that were not shown in the Soviet Union. He was particularly eager to see the movies of Kurosawa, Ford, Capra and Fellini. But it was the movies of Orson Welles, Citizen Kane in particular, that made the deepest impression on him. In fact it was Citizen Kane that inspired Kozintsev to movie Lord Lear in black-and-white rather than in color.There are so many unbelievable touches in this movie starting with Yuri Yarvets' harrowing portrayal of the angry Lear. His Lear everytime leaves me feeling crushed at the end of the film. Magnificent as well is the eerie, haunting performance of Galina Volchek as Regan and the outstanding cinematography of Jonas Gritsius. Of course there is also the translation used which is itself a masterpiece, by Boris Pasternak no less (the fool's songs were performed with translations by Samuil Marshak however). Dmitri Shostakovich's score is exactly what you would expect: genius. Here is no easy sonic wallpaper to enjoy along as photos transport about the screen. Neither does this dark score overwhelm the on-screen action but rather acts as a wordless narrator, commenting on the drama as it unfolds. At the heart of all this is Kozintsev's bleak and strong vision of Lord Lear. There are no gimmicks here, no attempts to "update", no trace of the portentousness and pomposity that mars many movies based on Shakespeare. Here, the tragedy is revealed with a brutal and easy honesty. It is not only Lear and those around him who suffer but his entire nation suffers and decays alongside him. Seeing this movie from first to final stage is a draining emotional experience.You probably won't search the DVD of this nice movie at your local video shop but it is accessible from the Russian Cinema Council's (RUSCICO) site for about $35. Their transfer of this movie is decent but it does leave a bit to be desired. One can only hope and pray that Criterion will release it one day (don't keep your breath). Still, any fanatic of nice cinema could create the effort to acquaint themselves with this film, one that I personally consider to be one of the best movies ever made.


Black and white cinematography of Gritsius, the melody of Shostakovich and the enigmatic face of Jarvet, create all another versions of Lord Lear smaller in stature. King Olivier himself acknowledged the stark brilliance of this film. Oleg Dal's fool lends a fascinating twist to the character. The "Christian Marxism" of Kozintsev can knock-out any serious student of cinema and Shakespeare. Kozintsev is one of least sung masters of Russian cinema. His cinema is very close to that of Tarkovsky and Sergei Paradjanov. Kozintsev's Lear is not a Lear that mourns his past and his daughters--his Lear is close to the soil, the plants, and all elements of nature. That's what makes Kozintsev's Shakespearean works outstanding.I fell in love with Kozintsev's Lord Lear some 30 years ago and I continue to be enraptured by the black-and-white movie shot in cinemascope every time I see it. Every time you view the film, one realizes that a constructive genius can embellish other masterpiece from other medium by providing meal for thought---much beyond what Shakespeare offered his audiences centuries ago. Purists like King Laurence Olivier and Peter Brook offered cinematic versions of the enjoy that remained real to what the Bard originally intended, only refining performances within the agreed matrices.But Kozintsev's cinema based on the Russian translation of Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak added a "silent ghost" that was everytime show in Shakespeare's play—nature. Mother nature is show as a visual and aural force in the two Shakespeare movies of Kozintsev, more so in Lord Lear. Shakespeare had intended to draw parallels in nature and human beings—only Kozintsev saw the occasion in highlighting this. The squad of Kozintsev and Pasternak took other liberty—the last shot of the movie contains the Fool testing his pipe, while the Bard had got rid of the Fool in Act IV of the play. Kozintsev had more than one reason for it—the Fool is akin to the chorus of Greek scene and much of Dmitri Shostakovich's haunting musical score for the movie involved woodwind instruments. Further, the poor, beyond the portals of the units and the courts, occupy "screen-space" never intended in the play. Kozintsev and Pasternak remained real to the primary structure of Shakespeare only adding features that offer astounding meal for thought.I suggest this ver to serious viewers. Don't miss this tiny known classic.


This ver of Lord Lear is an wonderful achievement due to the masterful adaptation from the Shakespeare original by one of the greatest Russian poets, writers, and translators of the last century, Boris Pasternak; elegant and strong photos by the cinematographer Jonas Gritsius (he also worked with Grigori Kozintsev on the earlier Shakespeare's adaptation, "Hamlet", 1964), the melody of Dimity Shostakovich, and the nice performances from all actors.Estonian actor Jüri Järvet is masterful as the angry lord in a performance which is reminiscent of Kinski as other brilliant madman - Aguirre. They were even the same age when they played Aguirre and Lear. The entire cast is amazing: Kozintsev chose the greatest actors possible for his project and everyone delivers. I'd like to mention Oleg Dal as the touching Fool; Karl Sebris as the Duke of Gloucester, whose scenes with his son Edgar after having been blinded are very moving; Regimantas Adomaitis as Edmund, a treacherous son and brother but a brilliant man; and Donatas Banionis (who played the main hero in Tarkovsky's Solaris) as an clever and noble Albany. But like I said, everyone and everything is just excellent in this tiny known but IMO, the Greatest adaptation of the beloved and one of the most wrenching tragedies in the English and in the globe literature.



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