My spring Prague part 2

Current music: XIII. Století - Karneval

At first I intended to compose some kind of small but holistic story from my photos of Prague. However a lot of time has passed since my trip and my job, matters of personal business and everyday routine kept me from initial plan. Something unavoidably gets erased from memory, my point of view may also change in some cases with time. So I’ll just try to select the best photos of Prague and provide them with my comments.

Outside of Nový Smíchov shopping mall.obchodní centrum nový smíchov торговый центр новый смихов

Inside the Nový Smíchov.

obchodní centrum nový smíchov торговый центр новый смихов

obchodní centrum nový smíchov торговый центр новый смихов
Dried fruits and nuts from “Happy Squirrel”

By the way, Smíchov district in Prague-5 generally mixes new and old fine.smíchov district район смихов

Even the trams here are from different eras.smíchov tram смихов трамваи

On one side of the street there is grey building with sharp geometric forms…smíchov prague modern building

… and on the other there are houses that had seen a lot of history during the last century.smichov prague street смихов улица прага

Equa Bank office makes tourists like me to rise heads while local people demonstrate indifference.equa bank prague

Being a tourist I had to visit Old Town Square in the oldest part of the Prague.staroměstské náměstí praha old town square prague староместская площадь Прага

There is always a lot of people.prague old town square praha staroměstské naměstí прага староместская площадь

Prague astronomical clock was undergoing restoration at the moment…staroměstský orloj пражские куранты

… but well recognizable (if not by name then by silhouette) Church of Our Lady before Týn was available to inspect in all of its glory.

Храм Девы Марии перед Тыном church of our lady before tyn Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem

Also back side of old town hall looks pretty picturesque.old town hall prague прага ратуша старый город

One more clumsy selfie.planestranger

Some people there take a ride of horse-drawn carriage.horses prague old town square лошади прага староместская площадь

Others prefer mini-train tours.sightseeing tour mini train prague экскурсионный мини-поезд прага

Those on feet tend to spread among expensive food places located around the perimeter of the squarepraha staroměstské náměstí староместская площадь прага old town square prague

or catch bubbles with their cameras.mýdlové bubliny мыльные пузыри на старой площади

Even the Minnie Mouse got there somehow.minnie mouse prague

Jan Hus observes all those activities with respectable stoicism.памятник Яну Гусу pomník jana husa

prague_old_square_panoramic_view

old town prague старый город прага

Buildings bear more sculptures than some of Russian towns.

sculptures скульптуры old town square prague

Narrow walking street near the Old Town Square.prague old town narrow walking street прага старый город узкая пешеходная улица

Another view of old Prague.old town prague прага старый город praha

Church of Santa Claus. No presents though. It functions solely as a museum.st nicholas church prague

One of the problems every old city with significant history has is there are always some restoration works going on. Thankfully, there is no need to close streets in order to do that.restoration prague прага реставрационные работы

old building prague

Example of modern abstract art near the river shore.modern abstract art prague

Vltava river view.vltava western bank prague

Prague Castle. People on the other bank are feeding the swans.prague castle пражский замок pražský hrad

Some more of western bank of Vltava.prague vltava western bank

vltava prague western bank

Religious frenzy of centuries long gone peaks at the Crusaders’ Square. Church of Saint Salvator. If I’m not mistaken that is the place that was Vatican in “Eurotrip” movie, precisely place of that scene with swiss guards, ice cream and one very special boy.kostel svatého salvátora praha костел святого сальватора

At Crusaders’ square you can also find old catholic church of Saint Francis Seraph.kostel svatého františka serafinského костел Святого Франциска Серафимского

Old Town Bridge Towerstaroměstská mostecká věž Староместская мостовая башня Old Town Bridge Tower

staroměstská mostecká věž Староместская мостовая башня Old Town Bridge Tower

staroměstská mostecká věž Староместская мостовая башня Old Town Bridge Tower

Statue of Charles IV

charles iv карл iv pomník

Just beside the monument people are taking photos with strangely colored pigeons.pink white pigeon розовый белый голубь

I didn’t take a walk over the Charles bridge that day. Instead I along the river to the south admiring the architecture. Prague is truly magical in a way that even if there were no museums, theaters, exhibitions and other cultural events, the city itself is a piece of art because of its architecture.tower prague

prague architecture

prague old architecture

prague sky

vltava nabřeží набережная влтавы

See the beauty. There are unique balconies, pinnacles, gargoyles, bas-reliefs and bold use of colors everywhere… Try your best to find two identical constructions.beauty prague

prague praha прага

prague praha прага

quiet street prague

prague praha прага

prague praha прага

Of course, I couldn’t miss the famous dancing house.dancing house prague танцующий дом прага tančící dům praha

On the little island in the middle of Vltava you can rent a boat.river řeka vltava

Even though it’s hard to call Vltava a clean river there are wild living nutria.nutrie нутрия прага влтава

Most noticeable among the vegetative lifeforms were blooming chestnut trees that could be found everywhere you went.chestnut tree prague

That day I had a dinner in a lovely place called “U Gráffů” which I liked a lot. There I could watch and eavesdrop a bit people from all over the world some more while I was waiting for my meal. For example, this company of old German ladies (one of several I saw during the trip) was masterfully drinking considerable amount of beer.U Gráffů praha

Interior of the restaurant was inviting to contemplate too.U Gráffů praha

On my way back to the hotel. Red lights of a legal club had already lite. One of the next days there was a girl dressed lightly for a cool night air. I was too shy to take the photo of her without asking the permission.red lights night prague

Read My Spring Prague part 1

Читать Моя весенняя Прага часть 2 по-русски

My spring Prague part 1

I was always interested not only in traveling to fictional worlds but also to the other parts of our quite real blue and green ball. Not long ago I was able to find time and to satisfy my interest to some extend. In this post I want to share my photos and impressions of Prague in May of this year the way it presented itself to me.

Before we get to the main theme, I have to mention my point of departure. Kurumoch airport near Samara has undergone a renovation recently. I must give credit where the credit is due, the job was well done. Airport now is comfortable, stylish, completely modern and civilized with a lot of consideration given to details. Getting a little bit ahead of myself, I’ve had a far more positive impression of it than of Václav Havel Airport in Prague.

A colleague of movie racer from Marseille tried to talk to me all the way to avoid falling asleep and got me to the the place with a lot of time still left, because speedometer in his Škoda Octavia was showing number greater than 140 km/h multiple times during the trip. On a night intercity road that lacks street lights and even other cars, while it felt like the asphalt was coming into existence from the emptiness of the universe right before the wheels, such speed was high enough to tickle the nerves. The driver told me he has been driving for more than 16 hours and had visited four towns that day.

аэропорт Курумоч kurumoch airport

kurumoch airport inside аэропорт курумоч внутри

Notice there is even baby care room to the left of duty free store. This hall after the customs and border control was lighted mostly by a huge screen.

planestranger waiting for boarding at kurumoch airport

Took a selfie while waiting for the boarding. I still don’t really know how to do them.

kurumoch airport view from airplane вид аэропорта курумоч из самолёта

The last look at the airport before the takeoff. It was really dawning already. Soon Airbus A319 of Czech Airlines started the acceleration.

Чехия с высоты птичьего полёта czech republic from the air

That is Czech Republic already, after three and a half hours, viewed from above. Though that’s not Prague yet. It’s quite interesting how low we were during the last part of the flight.

аэропорт имени Вацлава Гавела Letiště Václava Havla Praha Václav Havel Airport Prague

Morning in Vaclav Havel airport in Prague.

прага станция павлова prague pavlov station

около станции метро павлова прага near pavlov metro prague

прага praha prague

Near the I.P. Pavlova subway station. Take a look at the truck in the last photo. It’s pretty unusual thing to see in the center of Prague. You have a better chance of seeing Ferrari there. By the way, about the bus. Those are exclusively for transporting tourists. Locals have to use streetcars or subway.

I must say that my first day there included many troubles, one of which was total lack of Internet. Before the flight I had consulted my mobile provider (MTS) about what I need to do, I had added fair sum to my account, activated option for data roaming (which cost a bit more than 7$ per day for unimpressive 128 Kb/s). However there was still no Internet access for me. I could receive SMS about my banking operations and incoming calls fine. At the same moment WWW was indifferent to my shamanistic actions and kept rejecting all attempts to load anything. Wi-Fi at the hotel was also at the level they were allowed to mention it without false advertising. It was so unbearable slow and unstable I couldn’t even view simple static pages or email mobile provider’s support to resolve the problem. So without maps or any other sort of navigation I was for some time trying to find Starbucks near the subway station called in the name of Russian physiologist as it wasn’t particularly easy. At one moment I had lost faith in my ability to find it, so I started asking people on the streets to show me the way. In attempt to be polite in a foreign country I was speaking Czech (well, I was trying to the best of my ability at the time). Turned out all the people passing by who I guessed could be visitors of such pretentious coffee place were also tourists who didn’t understand Czech and were unfamiliar with the city. Only on the eight or ninth time two nice Czech ladies helped me. I was very close to my target after all.

At Starbucks I must had been looking like a total weirdo buying three plain black coffees without anything else. It didn’t matter because there was new fast router that allowed me to connect to MTS support and to force them to provide service properly. With google maps and online dictionary it became much more comfortable to explore Prague that I have never seen before. That was the moment I could take a deep breath and start enjoying my vacation.

памятник святому Вацлаву saint Vaclav statue Pomník svatého Václava

Statue of Saint Wenceslas surrounded by four other Czech saints.

Wenceslas Square Вацлавская площадь Václavské náměstí

Wenceslas Square. At the information booth there was very polite English-speaking young lady that provided me with paper map with one of the best exchange places in Prague marked on it for free.

national museum Prague национальный музей Прага Národní muzeum Praha

National museum was undergoing the restoration at that time. Once I photographed crosswalk I should say that there are many of them in Prague, and usually there is not need to jaywalk. Most of the drivers are unbelievable polite. They let you go and wait for you even when you haven’t reached the road yet on unregulated crosswalks.

sokolska prague praha прага

Sokolská street is one of the busiest in Prague. Thick cables come down to earth without any additional isolation. Nobody seems to have an idea to protect them from vandalism or metal looters.

prague cannabis praha

Monstrous figures at the entrance with hookahs and cannabis leaf behind the glass make it hard to walk by without at least taking a photo.

Nové Město Praha

An eclectic picture in the quiet street of so-called “new town”. Soviet-looking crude building in the distance coexists with more noble pieces of architecture. The scenery is completed with modern cars on the old cobbles, trash cans and ubiquitous, exceptionally pointless and tasteless graffiti.

память жертв нацизма

Metal plates to commemorate the victims of nazism that once lived there.

u švejka praha

How is it possible not to visit Švejk?

švejk restaurace

In no way. So I came in.

u kalicha praha

josef švejk йозеф швейк

Inelaborate doll of good soldier Švejk greets the visitors.

подпоручик Дуб u kalicha

2nd Lieutenant Dub. Some inscriptions show Russian origin.

franz joseph император Франц Иосиф I

Portrait of emperor Franz Joseph I that was unmercifully shat on by flies.

u kalicha interior

hostinec u kalicha smažený sýr

Hostinec u Kalicha presents itself as the exact place that was called The Chalice in the book “The Good Soldier Švejk” where Josef Švejk and first-class private Vodička agreed to meet at six o’clock after the world war. Dim light, wooden old-looking furniture, walls painted with caricatures, green lamps, full-sized dummies that depict characters from the book, headdress of Austrian soldier on the visible place and waiters in old-fashioned clothes altogether create there atmosphere of Great War times. Menu consists of Czech national cuisine mostly, though I was able to find grilled cheese to suit my pescetarian taste. If you know and love the main literary work of Jaroslav Hašek, it might be interesting for you to come there, have a drink or eat something.

Continue to My Spring Prague part 2

Читать Моя весенняя Прага часть 1 по-русски

Samara’s contrasts

Current music: Helium Vola - Selig

Contrasts of Samara. Those two buildings are located on the same street about 100 meters apart from each other. The spring dirt is truly inescapable…

Visa center in Samara

Old building in Samara

Samara's dirt in april

Shiny business center Millenium is right beside the rusty wavy roof of old building. By the way, parking is for employees only.

Samara business center Millenium

The memory about heroes of old times is displayed along with the preparedness to create new ones.

Memorial to the workers during World War II

Samara airplane

Facades of apartment buildings are being painted in bright, cheerful colors all along the Moscow road in preparations to the world soccer championship. Though it fails to save them from omnipresent dirt and monotony of typical architecture.

Samara Moscow road

Samara blue building

Samara colorful apartment buildings

Samara Moscow highway

Samara Moscow road

Samara view from the hill

Streets of Samara

There are lots of ongoing construction sites, which don’t add up to the esthetics of the city views.

Samara construction site

Samara construction site garbage

Samara building process

Moskovsky mall is quiet and even deserted at midday on monday.

Samara Moskovsky mall

Samara Moskovsky shopping mall

That was the Samara that I saw on this serene spring day.

Читать про Самарские контрасты по-русски

End of summer

Current music: ... of Sinking Ships - The Spargo Twin

Yesterday I had some free time and decided to make use of good weather in one of these last days of summer. So I walked a bit through the older (though not the oldest) central part of Togliatti and took some photos.

Let’s begin with the big construction of a mall that stands out of the typical old soviet architecture.

Aerohall mall in TogliattiFast food stall and small beer bar squeezed between the main building and the parking lot.

aerohall mall parking togliattiFountain with drawn fishes and transparent elevator inside.

fountain inside aerohall mall togliatti
Aerohall stands right next to social apartment complex where a lot of events you see then in local criminal news happen.

social housing in TogliattiSome graffiti on the walls on shared balconies.

graffiti on the shared balconies TogliattiNot all the sides of the town are pleasant to look at with dusty roads and rusty posts… but, well, it’s all part of the urban scenery and adds up to general impression.

togliatti street viewThe ugliest moment of the whole day. This sloppy shit with an angle around 45 degrees legally counts as a required ramp in Russia. Unusable for both wheelchair users and walking persons.

shitty ramp togliattyThen I moved to the part of town where few unique buildings surrounded a bit of a public space. On the next photo you can see one of just three hotels that were built during soviet era. If I’m not mistaken now it’s called Azot (which means nitrogen). Ground floor accommodated a grocery store which was lucky for me because I could stop there and buy a bottle of water. The day was really sunny and hot.

hotel azot togliattiNew Year decorations on the balconies still keep the soviet stars.

soviet stars hotel azot togliattiFountain in front of concert hall.

togliatti philarmoniaLet’s have a closer look.

philarmony togliattiKids carelessly enjoy the fountain. Their happiness must be spreading around because even unknown old lady stopped to express her admiration. She told me it was a wonderful moment to capture on photo. She also regretted either the fact she had no device to do it herself or that there was nobody to take photo of her –  I didn’t get that part exactly.

kids fountain togliattikids summer fountain togliattiOn the other side of the area, to the right there is a conservatory. So vintage-looking benches and unusual lamps supposed to demonstrate to random passer by like me it was a place of culture.

conservatory togliattiThough inhabitants of standard “khrushchyovka” nearby may have other opinion.

khruschevka togliattiView from another point. Notice the hanging wire between lamps.

flowers lamps togliatti pobedy street

 

Deeper into the block the lush vegetation takes dominance. It’s so abundant and unruly you can barely see anything behind it. On some paths big trees intertwine their branches to form some sort of low ceiling covering ground from sun as if it was a forest.

trees togliattilush vegetation togliattiOccasionally town fights back.

dead tree togliatti

Even though living houses in this district are often worn off and neglected, people here do their best to beautify the outdoors with simple flowers.

flowers street togliatti

 

Some things you simply can’t beautify.

ugly pipes togliattiEmpty kids playground.

kids playground togliattiHere my battery died saving you all from more photos. Thanks for your time if you made if here.

Читать дневниковую запись Конец лета по-русски.

Picross Touch

Current music: Kimio Eto - Midori no Asa

Platform: PC
Year: 2016
Developer: Jon Gallant

Touch the hidden image

It’s easy to perceive picross, nonograms or griddlers (call it whatever you like) as something that existed seemingly “always” like chess, jigsaw puzzle or solitaire. However this kind of pastime is younger than me or majority of world’s population being created around 1990. There seems to be no undoubted information about author of this puzzle, though it’s common knowledge it has Japanese origin. It’s even literally called “Japanese crossword” in Russian for some mysterious reason. All in all it is as widespread and well-known as any other popular brainteaser of pre-www era.

It worked perfectly fine on paper with grid and rows of numbers printed in newspapers. You just had to shade squares that correspond with the number sequences with pencil and mark empty cells with tiny crosses or barely visible dots. In time when percentage of internet users and non-users is almost equal on a global scale there is no surprise picross takes electronic form.

Picross Touch PC game screenshot Picross Touch PC game screenshot

Variation I was spending tens of hours on last few weeks came from Steam Greenlight. Picross Touch was made by independent developer Jon Gallant. Game’s title unambiguously hints that it was ported from Android, where it was released supposedly in May of 2014.

When somebody makes game based on such background there are mainly two ways to do it. You either try to replicate the idea as close as possible or you can take creative approach and modify or add features to spice things up with higher risk of screwing everything up. Jon Gallant took the easier way. Picross Touch offers the same very basic and unoriginal concept, but it was made brilliantly comfortable this time. Things just work without causing any problems. All actions are done with mouse. Playfield scales conveniently to fit the gird and all the numbers. Players are allowed to choose color of interface to suit their taste and mood. It shows that despite common opinion and snobbery of big studios Unity engine can be useful in some cases.

Developer keeps updating the game. The whole time I was playing, little details like time stats and players top for each puzzle were added here and there. Steam workshop is used the best possible way. There is editor that helps you to easily create your own nonograms that are automatically uploaded to workshop and then become available for anybody to see without closing the game. You rate completed puzzles so they can be sorted by rating, date created or size.

Picross Touch PC game screenshot Picross Touch PC game screenshot

There are some downsides however aside from predictable minimalism of the gameplay. Grids are limited to 25×25 squares maximum which is not that much. I clearly remember bigger ones in printed form from my childhood. There also is no music at all. A thing to expect from solo developer and there is no fictional world, no complicated premise that music may help to submerge into. Still we live in a reality where even abstract logical games from commercial Bejeweled or Lumines to one man band indie titles like Vesa Halonen’s Zetrix offer soundtrack.

Still, Picross Touch offers not the worst way to pass few hours of time while keeping your brain alive. It’s also free and I really mean it. No freemium bullshit, no annoying advertisements (just link to developer’s other game on the main menu screen), no paid DLCs. So if you enjoy puzzles, go grab Picross Touch from Steam.

Rating: 6

Читать обзор игры Picross Touch по-русски

No booze, no sense

Current music: Nirvana - Aero Zeppelin

The governor of Samara oblast Nikolai Merkushkin starts to really annoy with his petty tyranny. That was the 5th weekend this year when public alcohol sales were prohibited in my region. That’s the way things are in Russia. We have laws that ban the sales of alcohol to minors, punish drunk driving and inappropriate public behavior while being intoxicated, and politics as a populist move just add another ban instead of enforcing those already existing laws. There is not a single reason why I as a grown up man with a job, home, responsibilities and no criminal record whatsoever should not be allowed to buy a bottle of wine or beer. Not to mention retailers’ losses, this stupid act prevented me from buying classy tasty drink for the dinner while failing to prevent one completely wasted company of youngsters from making drunk noises in my neighborhood through most of the night.

no alcohol in samara oblast

Читать Ни выпивки, ни смысла по-русски.

Me too

Current music: Леонид Фёдоров - Весна

Director: Alexei Balabanov
Year:
2012
Country: 
Russia

Despite the risk of making impression of one more banal dead heroes fan on some inattentive readers, I must begin this review with comprehension of the position director had in rather thin cultural layer of Russian cinematography. While Alexei Balabanov’s earlier movies (“Happy days” for example) weren’t well known to the general public due to experimental nature and creative search for new forms at historical moment that wasn’t quite right for that, he hit the huge success later with one good shot. “Brother” wasn’t just unbelievably successful movie (which deserves its own story), it also started the strong line of movies that found different paths to the minds of many people. Some simply admired the determined and forceful heroes, while attention of others was captured by ably applied provocative themes. More sophisticated part of the public also had place to look for the deep meaning in shrill realistic drama and even European festival circles weren’t put aside of that. “War”, “Dead Man’s Bluff”, “It Doesn’t Hurt me”, “Morphine” – here are just few most vivid and memorable titles. There surely were some other sporadic local breakthroughs by different Russian directors, but no one else was as consistently good as Balabanov while being fully involved in work as true author and therefore stylistically recognizable.

Me too movie me too movie

Now with the realization of this fact let’s focus on his last work – “Me too” which once again wasn’t left me indifferent. This movie could be called the rethinking of famous “Stalker” in way of Russian orthodoxy with overloading of sometimes painful realism. The story that switched from sci-fi to mysticism is still very alike. It tells us about the group of people who’ve had enough in their lives that go to some wondrous and deadly place “somewhere between the Saint Petersburg and Uglich” in the quest of obtaining happiness. Well, saying mysticism is a bit of exaggeration because I meant not the dogmatic, fat, official Russian orthodoxy that speaks from high positions, constantly protests against something and kills its own congregation by expensive cars but rather naive and down-to-earth one. Metaphorically saying it’s orthodoxy narrated by simpler folk who’ve never read the Bible but who believes “there is something”. So in this film you won’t find judgemental rage or strict sacred rituals like in “The Exorcist” but there is plenty of primal fear, echoes of the pagan consciousness and scary stuff from popular folklore opening to the attentive eye. Even the incomprehensible and intangible higher power that presents here doesn’t vent its canonical anger upon the heads of unworthy. On contrary it silently ignores them leaving them to spend last minutes in deep uncertainty what was wrong. So you have no idea was it god, was it devil, great cosmos or smoke in mirrors.

By the way, what’s wrong is a really intriguing question. I personally am very far from idea of separation of people on totally good and absolutely evil like in mormons’ books. Moreover the group of characters in “Me too” has enough diversity and the only one thing probably to unite them is fact they have nothing to lose by and large. Fantastic phenomenon from Russian boondocks apparently works the same way everyday material world around us does: some were given, others weren’t, somebody was taken to the happy neverland, somebody was left to die on the dull earth.

me too movie кадр из фильма Я тоже хочу

There are more differences from “Stalker”. Strugatsky brothers despite being somewhat off the fickle political course were possessed by truly soviet idea of decomposing, analyzing and estimating every thing to cultivate those useful for their purposes and to destroy those that aren’t. Alexei Balabanov presents us pure chaos of existence through the eyes of worn-out man who have no time and no energy to find out the secrets of nature. That man is ok with gods’ chariots rattling in the sky and goblins lurking on the outskirts of the village. People in the movie are different from the poetic stalker portrayed by Tarkovsky. They don’t carry on lengthy conversations about the meaning of power and weakness, statics and mobility. They just breathe in abruptly after taking a sip of bitter alcohol medicine for too thickening reality. There is nothing to admire but strangely still something is catching you. Maybe it’s a poignant drama and familiar feeling of despair.

Regretfully some actions and their consequences are questionable, sometimes completely illogical. That’s where the visuals step in to bolster the whole construction. It’s filled with the aesthetics of frozen hell from western mythology where Russian people described in bylinas manage to live for centuries. Decay, darkness and death with time enshroud characters more and more tightly and seemingly touch the mind of a viewer as well. Because of that there is no time to seek out bloopers and technical mistakes. Look here! Second slanted electric pole that resembles cross. Was it a reference to “Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds”? No, perhaps not. Why is this girl in desperately try to survive the cold rushing to the drafty ruined church without a dome where the light of christian eternal life in the murals on the walls was trampled by inexorably disintegrating bricks instead of running to one of the abandoned houses? Considering such a satiation of visual images it’s almost shocking to know no decorations of any kind were build for the filming. Turns out moving the camera in the opposite direction from centers of civilization was enough work. Though view is fascinating in the city too. This includes Saint Petersburg in may with paint peeling from the walls, its claustrophobic courtyards and century old buildings which purpose you can never guess by the exterior. Most of the time those masterfully adjusted scenes are accompanied by psychedelic, almost shamanic rhymes whispered by Leonid Fedorov. The final result is so good that even when two fortune seekers move through dirty corridor with no words spoken it’s still not boring at all.

кадр из фильма Я тоже хочу кадр из фильма Я тоже хочу

The approach to acting is the same as with filming locations – to maximize the use of actors’ nature. They had not much to add their play. I don’t know for sure was it a big win in casting or scenario was written with certain actors in mind (some of them appeared in previous Balabanov’s films), but almost all of them had to play themselves. The role of determined thug was given to Alexei Mosin who actually fought in Afghanistan and Chechnya. Young son of the director Petr Balabanov played the unusual boy with strange abilities. Laconic old man in telnyashka was performed by rustic looking person in years by name Victor Gorbunov (internet shows nothing about him). Oleg Garkusha and Alexei Balabanov himself had roles of seasoned Russian rock musician who brings his guitar everywhere and famous movie director respectively. They didn’t pretend to be somebody, they lived few hours on camera. You can not be more natural than that.

Likely “Me too” didn’t become greatest Balabanov’s movie. He put himself in such a high standard of expectations that it became a very difficult task. Nevertheless this work is important both to form a correct perception of his whole way as creative author and to understand modern Russia as it was described in song – “half of the head is gone, half of the head is poison”. At the same time it is the demonstration of succession of generations and connection between different ages in the world of arts. Humanity always craves for happiness but even it the fairy-tale it seems impossible to everybody without anyone going away unsatisfied.

Rating: 7.5

Читать о фильме “Я тоже хочу” по-русски.

Movie Beauties 1 – Faites sauter la banque!

Current music: Dead Can Dance - A Passage In Time

I’m starting a new project called Planestranger’s Movie Beauties where I will present you series of short videos. The main goal is to attract viewers attention to some old, rare and obscure movies, unknown to most of the people. Here is the first episode. Comments, votes and shares would be appreciated.

Planestranger’s Movie Beauties 1 – Faites sauter la banque! from Planestranger on Vimeo.

One more reason for sadness

Current music: Dead Can Dance - Garden of the Arcane Delights: The Arcane

Think about all those people who are playing on their 3DS or PS2 connected to old CRT TV at the moment. They have a lot of fun playing with their beloved toys and nothing distracts them from an easy going electronic entertainment. There are surely lots of them while I’m sitting here with a rueful mien along my custom-made gaming PC with hi-end six-core CPU and couple of top gaming video cards carrying 6Gb of overclocked GDDR5 memory. I spent last hour and a half trying to run another game flawlessly at its fullest but still was unable to activate SSAA. It came with no surprise there is no such option in the game. I modified existing driver  preset for game many times trying lots of combinations but got nothing. I attached the game executable file to older tested presets and again nothing good happened. I’ve opened nvidia inspector (because nvidia control panel is completely useless)  more times than I will open the game itself. At this point I’m really tired of the fact that I have to solve mindblowing puzzle every time I start new game  if I want to see absolutely everything it has to offer. With last game I spend more time searching for solution in Internet and configuring options than it took me to beat the game itself.

At the time I’m typing this words some restless feeling of hatred raises from the depths of my mind. Powered by constant frustrations this feeling grows but it can not find its direction. Who should I hate for that? Game developers who never care about demands of the advanced users? Hardware manufacturers who prefer to sell 1000 video cards from lo-mid segment rather than 50 hi-end models, and treat drivers customization accordingly? Huge gaming portals that believe it’s appropriate to post such screenshots? Masses of casual gamers who don’t know what hardware is inside their computers and mix up anti-aliasing with anisotropic filtering? Or maybe I should hate myself for knowing and seeing too much?

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