A dramatization of a wedding in 16th-century Russia, between members of two prominent boyar families (based on paintings by Konstantin Makovskii): Three matchmakers first visit the family ...
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A dramatization of a wedding in 16th-century Russia, between members of two prominent boyar families (based on paintings by Konstantin Makovskii): Three matchmakers first visit the family of the prospective bride, and then do the same with the prospective bridegroom's family. Later, as the time of the wedding draws near, the bride is dressed with great formality and prepared for the ceremony, as the guests get ready to celebrate the upcoming wedding. Written by
Though the actual story is relatively simple, this short historical feature is an interesting window into the past, in more than one respect. As one of the earliest Russian-made movies, it is interesting for its choice of material and for its detail. The story of the "16th Century Russian Wedding" was based on paintings by Konstantin Makovskii in the late 1800's, depicting a wedding between members of two influential boyar families. So, besides being a look at early Russian film-making, it is also a look at an early 20th century interpretation of a 19th century depiction of 16th century events that must have retained a cultural or nationalistic significance. In different times and places, events such as weddings are practiced in ways that may seem quite different on the surface, yet in the underlying themes there are more similarities in the rituals than we might think to notice.
There seems to have been a lot of attention to detail in every scene, and it would probably be even more interesting to watch for those who are more familiar with the significance of all the rituals and ceremonies. Even without knowing everything that is going on, though, you can get a good feel for the atmosphere. The characters themselves are rather less effective, as they have little identity aside from the roles designated for them by custom. You also have to watch closely in order to know what is happening most of the time, but that's probably the only significant sign of inexperience by the film-makers. They made a good effort to recreate the scenario in as much detail as they could manage.
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