Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Bulgarian Foreign Minister at Trinity

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov visited Trinity College on 23rd November and held a meeting at the Long Room Hub with members of the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies and the Bulgarian students of Trinity College.  

Following a brief welcoming speech from the Head of School Dr. Sarah Smyth, and a speech in Bulgarian by Dr. John Murray, Mr Mladenov held a question-and-answer session with Bulgarian students studying at Trinity, and met some of Irish students currently studying Bulgarian with the department. 

The meeting was also attended by the Bulgarian Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Emil Yalnazov, and the Bulgarian Lector at the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies, Dr Rossen Stoichkov.

Click here for information on the department's Bulgarian course.
Photo: Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov with Sarah Smyth.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Last pub night of the year

Please come along for a last chance this year to have conversations in Bulgarian, Czech, Polish and Russian at the last pub night of the year! As usual, we will meet from 8.30pm onwards at Kennedy's Pub beside Lincoln Gate (Westland Row). All welcome!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A Slavonic Salon and 'Whale'!

Lady Windermere's Caffeinated Art and Literature Salons present a special Slavonic evening on Wednesday 14th December (final pub night!). With silent cinema screenings of the classic Man With a Movie Camera, bilingual poetry readings by the Russian department's own Natasha Kulachkovskaya and Brigit McCone, songs of the Russian bards played and sung live, and finishing with a screening of a new subtitling of the Bulgarian film 'Whale' by Ellie Boyadzhieva and Brigit McCone.

Above: the climax of whale as Comrade Director Parushev (veteran Bulgarian actor Georgi Kaloyanchev) hallucinates the whale.

Directed by Peter Vasiliev, Whale is a biting satire of the bureaucratic incompetence and empty propaganda of 1960s Bulgaria, set to a swinging jazz soundtrack. Made at a tricky moment in 1967 when the Thaw was coming to an end and the Prague Spring threatened democratic revolution, the film was held up by 2 years' wrangling with the censors before being given a limited release without fanfare (where it still attracted sell-out crowds and spawned famous Bulgarian catch-phrases such as the classic optimist vs. pessimist debate 'It's fish but it's a sprat!' 'It's a sprat, but it's fish!'). Disappearing again until the end of communism, the film's rerelease in Bulgaria sparked renewed interest, but it is still virtually unknown abroad and not widely available in English translation.

Click here to watch the full film on Youtube

A haven of coffee, conversation and cookies set amidst chill-out zones, classic silent cinema, musicality, performance, paintings, browsable reading matter, vintage wares and holistic healings, Lady Windermere's Salons will be open Wednesday - Sunday from 4pm to 9pm until the winter solstice in the Back Loft, with different performances and events each day - visit for details. 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Parfenov's Ptitsa-Gogol'

Tonight, at 7pm, in Rm. 5025. The film will be shown in Russian without subtitles!

Blurb: "[Н]овый фильм Леонида Парфенова, снятый к 200-летию Николая Гоголя – "Птица-Гоголь". Созданный в авторской стилистике документальный проект расскажет об авторе "Мертвых душ" не как об основателе реализма в русской литературе, а как о модном и актуальном писателе-авангардисте, рождавшем произведения доселе небывалые, исполненные волшебства и фантасмагорий." (Первый канал/Kinopoisk)

The first channel has podcasts of the film (in 16 instalments).

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Crazy Locomotive at Players Theatre

The Crazy Locomotive
Starring: Johnny Kelly, Mateusz Kołakowski, Fionnuala Gygax, Tuula Costello, Danny Greening, Alice Bentley, Declan Johnston, Julia Walsh, David Armstrong, Finn Plekkenpol, Michael Ware and Patrick Cummins-Tripodi.
Directed by Patrick Reevell and Patrick Cummins-Tripodi
Players Theatre, Monday (5 December) - Saturday (10 December), 7pm (except Wed - 6pm), only 5.00 (3.50 euro for Players members)!

Seminal Polish play, performed for the first time in Ireland. "Witkiewicz's writing has the bubbly boil of angry lunacy; the play is a furiously sardonic smirk of despair." NYT

Two men, one a train engineer and the other a stoker, set off on their steam locomotive on what seems a day of work just like any other. But racing along the rails, they come upon the idea that they must crash the train, killing themselves and all aboard, in the name of living and liberation. Set entirely aboard the engine of a steam locomotive, the play follows two men’s crazed venture towards destruction and the love triangle that emerges as their efforts are complicated by a bizarre host of characters.

Drawing inspiration from the author’s surrealist paintings and Futurist music, the production aims to create a spectacular journey of colour, sound and energy.

ABOVE: 'Deception of a Woman', Witkiewicz's self-portrait with Maryla Grossmanowa. 
BELOW: one of "Witkacy's" surrealist compositions