"The main thing is the greatness of idea”. J. Brodsky
MEGAPOLIS are a legendary Moscow-based rock band started by Oleg NESTEROV in 1986: one of the key names within Moscow Rock Laboratory, most famous for its songs Zhenskoe serdce (Woman’s Heart), Karl-Marx-Stadt, Moskvichki (Moscow Girls), Novye Moskovskie Sirtaki (New Moscow Sirtaki), to name only a few.
Unlike many of its contemporaries whose careers were meddled with (or worse) by the Soviet regime, MEGAPOLIS lived a comparatively charmed existence that began just before the thaw of perestroika. Their music combined elements of electronica with pop/rock, and they were one of the first groups to explore the possibilities of the music video as an art form to accompany musical works.The press and public were immediately attracted to their comfort in the then-uncharted sphere of electronic music, a rarity at the time. In their songs, Megapolis avidly used texts of Brodsky, Voznesensky and other prominent Russian poets. Since the beginning, Oleg NESTEROV led the group with guitar and vocals.
MEGAPOLIS’ special relationship with Germany found its beginning in the late 1980s. The group started a project to translate Russian hits into German, and toured in Germany extensively. In the 1990s, the group became an institution of Russian rock history, and NESTEROV turned into one of the most influential Russian producers, launching his own record label Snegiri, discovering and signing such artists as Masha & Medvedi, Nike Borzov, Underwood, Evgeny Grishkovets, Alina Orlova: names that are well known for every listener with an interest in Post-Soviet music.
MEGAPOLIS presented its new synergetic project From The Life of the Planets in 2014 – to an unprecedented critical acclaim.
The international premiere of From The Life of the Planets is scheduled on February 28th in Stockholm!
A musical homage to Soviet movies of the 1960s that were never made
"Probably the most significant cultural project in Moscow this year"– Afisha (analogue to Nöjesguiden)
"There has never been anything like it in Russian cultural practice.”–Kommersant (analogue to DN)
From the Life of Planets is a musical tribute to films of the 1960s that were never made due to the changing political climate. Known as “the Thaw,” the period from the mid-1950s to early 1960s was a time of relaxed repression and censorship in the culture and life of Russia, the sudden breath of freedom.
A new cinema was born -- a Soviet New Wave -- with one breakthrough followed by another. Russian films saw international recognition by the Cannes Film Festival ("The Cranes are Flying" -- grand prix, 1958; "The Ballad of a Soldier" and "The Lady with the Little Dog," 1960; "The Story of the Flaming Years," 1961; "The Optimistic Tragedy," 1963) and the Venice Film Festival ("Peace to Him Who Enters" -- gold medal, 1961; "Ivan's Childhood” – grand prix, 1962; "Introduction to Life," 1963; "I'm Twenty" and "The Fidelity," 1964). It was a true golden age of Russian cinema. But suddenly it was over. Freedom turned to unfreedom: At Mosfilm movie studio alone, 12 film projects were shut down in the autumn of 1963, and by the end of 1968, after Soviet suppression of the Prague Spring, the new cinema had become a sprawling graveyard of movies that were never made.
From the Life of Planets attempts to redress this absence, to fill the void of what could have been. “We took four movies that were never made out of numerous others, and wrote music for them,” says Oleg Nesterov. “More precisely, we wrote music in which you can envision these films and imagine what they would have been like.” Each of these four movies represents its own constellation of meaning, a hypostasis of Soviet cinema and a dramatic life story, which, had it been realized, could have altered the landscape of Russian culture.
The three-year project involved studying the archives of the State Cinema Museum, the Russian Archive of Literature and Arts, the National Film Foundation of the Russian Federation and other personal archives.
The performance uses music and multimedia visuals, including unique archival documents, photographs and film fragments, to tell the story of four movies meant to be realized by the most talented moviemakers of the 1960s. From the Lives of Planets is a creative exploration of an anomalous period of Russian history when everything seemed full of promise. It is a story of the artist and the power, of freedom and unfreedom, of great unrealized ideas and their life after death.
From the Life of Planets is performed in Russian, with translation into English.
What is ETT ANNAT RYSSLAND (“Another Russia”)?
Megapolis’ “From the Life of the Planets” is the first event under the umbrella of a new festival in Sweden, devoted to contemporary Russian culture.
Russia is constantly present in the media flow: the country's cultural and media policy development sends warning signals. The re-emergence of state censorship, limitations of artistic freedom of expression, the shrinkage of space for independent media are common facts. At the same time, Russia is historically known as a country with rich and diverse culture: its brave artists, film directors, writers and journalists have always taken a stand against freedom restrictions. How does the Russian cultural elite react to the dramatic situation in the cultural and media space? What does it cost to take the risk and talk about tabooed issues from the stage? And last but not least – how can this be interesting for the audience in Sweden? The new festival strives to present an important segment of the Russian culture that is otherwise not really visible in Europe. The project's ambition is to introduce contemporary Russian music, art, documentary film to the Swedish audience in a broad spectrum. To show that there is a different Russia. To create a new artistic experience where different genres merge - and launch an important dialogue about the situation of democratic culture and media in modern Russia.
Festival’s concerts, film screenings, open discussions will take place in Stockholm during spring 2016.
Buy EARLY BIRD ticket (280 sek) on biletto.se and tickster.se