04 February 2013

The Muse: Lara

I'm not sure if it was the snowy weather last Monday, or the fact that I had a new skirt just dying to be worn, of if it was that I was thinking about famous couples for our upcoming Star-Crossed Lovers Contest in the library, but I had Dr. Zhivago on the brain.

 I confess, even though I know its sappy and sentimental I just adore Dr. Zhivago. I think David Lean's version from the 1960's is beautiful, and even more impressive because none of it was a actually shot in Russia. He captures the Russian Revolution and the Civil War so poignantly that for a long time everything I new about Russia came from the book and film of Dr. Zhivago. The newer version shown on Masterpiece Theater with Kiera Knightly and Hans Matheson was good, but not the same as the classic. In reality, beyond the key players I'd have to say that my favorite part is played by none of the big names, but rather by Tom Courtney, a mna who has spent more time behind the camera than in from of it. His portrayal of first the idealistic, but naive revolutionary Pasha Antipov, then later the jaded and cruel Red guerilla warrior Strelinikov is subtle and heartbreaking to watch. Perhaps my biggest surprise with Dr. Zhivago was that I had always thought of it as really forbidden fruit in Russia because it had to be spirited out to Italy for publication after being refused in Russia, then the Soviet government forced Boris Pasternak to refuse the Nobel Prize for Literature, because his work was considered subversive, just like Zhivago's poetry. However when I was in England in 2011 I met a Russian lawyer who was studying for his international law degree, named Ivan. Ivan had lived both before and after the fall of Communism, and while he had heard of Dr. Zhivago, he had never read it and certainly didn't see it as a banned book any longer. However talking with him about the state of Russia today, it seems that for many who are anti-Putin like he was they ahve their own brand of oppression and censorship to face. Regardless of its decreased controversiality I still think its a wonderful story, both as historical fiction and as a love story. Lara, played by Julia Christie is a wonderful muse because she oscillates between a buttoned up school girl is starched blouses and prim bows, to a kept woman in scarlet embroidered gowns, to a Red Cross Nurse all seamlessly and beautifully. I tried to tie a little bit of all of her style into my outfit. Though I must confess, perhaps the best part of the fashion of Dr. Zhivago is that it proves there is no such thing as too many big, furry hats. LAcking one I settled for Rabbit fur lined gloves, in Bolshevik red of course.
 Blouse: Worthington via J.C. Penny
Sweater: brand??? tag was cut out, but originally via Sears (very old)
Skirt: vintage, no label, via Circa
Shoes: Nine West via Krazy Daisy
Gloves: Thinsulate, gift

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