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Video: Why the new TV series about Gogol is being criticized, and what the costumes and make-up will tell the audience about the characters
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 13:10
The television series about Gogol, first released in Russian cinemas, is perhaps one of the most underrated novelties in Russian cinema. He has been criticized a lot for his visual decisions. Especially those that relate to the characters of the series: their faces, hairstyles and clothes. But maybe in vain?
When you first watch the TV series "Gogol", to put it mildly, bewilderment. Ukrainian folk costumes familiar from the old film adaptations on some characters coexist with anachronisms on others. Gogol himself does not look at all the way he should have at this age. And if we can say about the plot itself that, although it does not exactly follow the biography of the writer and his stories, it can cause the joy of recognizing those who have read and those who will only read both - and this is already not bad, then it is still unclear why the characters are dressed, who wears what. And yet, if you look closely, you can see the system in the presentation of the characters.
Instaluk is equal to evil
Many noted that the faces of at least three characters on the screen look too modern and therefore in a frightening way knocked out of the "group portrait" of all the participants in the story. However, if you look at which characters have gotten distinctly shaped eyebrows and lips in the spirit of Instagram fashion, you find a pattern.
"Too modern look" for the mermaid Oksana (who got into the series from the story "May Night, or the Drowned Woman"), the hostess of the inn (a witch from the same story) and another witch, Ulyana (guests from "Viy" and " Nights before Christmas "). It is they who look unnatural against the background of the women of the era. But it is precisely the fact that all three women belong to evil spirits that suggests that this effect is intentional: they were singled out, designated as something alien to this place and this time.
In another way, the face of the unclean person is highlighted, to whom Gogol's father sold his soul for the birth of a living child. The word "unclean" is played here in full: the demon has no nose, as was the case with patients with "unclean disease" syphilis in the later stages. By the way, they played up the connection with syphilis in connection with another character - Woland Mikhail Bulgakov. True, not so clearly, but those who know the symptoms of the disease constantly see its signs in the scenes with Woland.
Clothes are a symbol
The same patterns can be traced in the selection of suits. They are designed not so much to correspond to the time as to convey the character of the character (and this, by the way, was voiced by the costume designer Victoria Igumnova). As, with some probability, and hairstyles.
Start with red tones in your clothes. The famous red scroll is a symbol of sin and pure devilry is just one example. If you look closely, very few named characters wear red clothes of different shades. These are Yakov Guro (shyogol coat), Liza (dress), Polish sorcerer (outerwear) and Danishevsky, also a sorcerer (vest). The last three harm people in one way or another, up to murder. If we compare the presentation of these characters, then Gouraud's red coat immediately turns from fashionable clothes into an ominous sign. Which, however, is clearly visible on the poster of the last of the films in the film version.
Bingh is dressed in a late nineteenth-century cocked hat - that is, outdated by at least thirty years, and it conveys vintage to his whole image. It cannot be the outfit of his youth: at the end of the film, we learn that he is only forty-one years old. This means that the cocked hat has a different meaning. He may be telling us that Bingh is the "old guard," the opposite of the blatantly new century product, the business-like dandy Gouraud. Even the color of their clothes, it should be noted, is contrasted. Binh has it green. Perhaps, by the way, the gray curls that adorn Binh's head should resemble the wool of a ram. And the ram is an animal, firstly, stubborn, secondly, brave (which is sometimes forgotten) … And thirdly, sacrificial, which coincides with the events of the third film of the film version.
Gogol wears black clothes, and since it was possible to say about this without revealing the plot of the film, Igumnova immediately explained that it was “darkness, mourning, gloom” in which he was immersed. And yet, perhaps, this premature mourning tells us that Gogol will lose too many by the end of the film. Binha, Oksana, Bruta (who could become his loyal companion), friendship - with Guro, love - as a bright feeling for Lisa. Beaumgart looks just as mournful, and he has someone to wear his mourning for.
Binh's assistant Tesak is wearing a long hat, which always "sticks out" in the frame, no matter whoever Tesak walks or stands with. Tesak himself also likes to "stick out", for no reason at all getting into the conversation of the authorities with revelations and stories. In addition, such a hat was called a Greek man (though they were usually smaller). The Greek man was made out by standing on a pot, and an empty head was often compared to a pot. The cleaver is simple-minded, he does not know how to think ahead - a truly empty head.
The blacksmith Vakula is unexpectedly dressed in a thick soft sweater. On the one hand, this speaks of him as a person who is fenced off from the world by some kind of protection - on the other hand, as a soft and warm person, which we see when he communicates with his daughter. Lisa wears a ring with a red stone, popular in the seventeenth century - and this also reveals her biography to us in advance. Her discrepancy with the time in which she lives is only emphasized by her hair - only now from the future, not from the past, and the same silhouette of the costumes. It is clear that it would be stylistically unjustified to create historically verified costumes for extras and secondary characters near the main characters, and the rest of the costumes, apparently, are conditional.
Perhaps this film will become as iconic as the historically accurate adaptation of Gogol with Leonid Kuravlev. How the mystical story "Viy" was created: What did the censorship strike out and what disagreements arose during the film adaptation in the USSR.