Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Napoleon's Triumph» Forums » General

Subject: Austerlitz on BBC rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Kåre Dyvik
Norway
Stavanger
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The battle of Austerlitz is featured in episode 2 of BBC's new mini-series based on Leo Tolstoy's "War & Peace": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3910804/

They've got the Russians on top of the Pratzen heights, and the fog in the valley below, but otherwise, it is not very accurate. (And it takes place in summer, with long, green grass and green leaves on the trees.shake) Of course, re-creating the battles is not the prime focus of the series.

Other battle scenes are scattered throughout, and may be of interest to readers of this forum with interest in the historical background of the game.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Martin
United States
GENEVA
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My girlfriend and I are very much looking forward to watching that. It'll be fun to keep an eye out for Austerlitz, even if it is presented largely ahistorically.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tikhonov is forever etched in my mind as Andrei Bolkonsky: rational, bored, quietly cynical. Haven't seen the new BBC adaptation (I do like Anthony Hopkins as Peter in the old one) but I'm not sure I like its cast. Maybe I'll change my mind when I've seen it.

I always believe that movies shouldn't be faithful to the original book, considering they are very different methods of expression. But when it comes to TV-series I expect them to stick to the book better, for the simple reason of having more time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kåre Dyvik
Norway
Stavanger
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You won't change your mind. The series has an eerie arch-English character, and I really don't know which story it wants to tell.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
nappeto wrote:
You won't change your mind. The series has an eerie arch-English character, and I really don't know which story it wants to tell.

Then I read this article just now:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/14/war-and-pea...

I may have to skip this one. I haven't recovered from Anna Karenina. Not saying I don't agree with the director's interpretation, I just think it has other areas to focus on. Helene-Anatole relationship is but a minor subplot.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Franklin1742 wrote:
We are one third of the way through the six episodes and I find it extremely watchable. The acting is a bit mixed: in the central roles Paul Dano's Pierre is a bit of a big sixth form schoolboy (we're waiting for him to grow up) but he is in the right zone, and closer for me than Hopkins' staring, distant expression back in 1972; Lily James is channeling her Downton Abbey role and misses the more sombre side of Natasha. They might have hired a few actors with more Slavic looks, but since St Petersburg society was so defiantly French oriented, they just about get away with the casting.

Tolstoy devoted a few chapters to Austerlitz, impossible to cover in six hours of TV. He describes the fog, which the production presents very well, but didn't give much space to discussing the cold weather or the frozen lake. The TV script focuses on the key dispute (wait, advance) between Kutuzov and his leader, which is all the strategically and historically uninformed viewer needs to understand.

On the positive side, Brian Cox is doing a great job as Kutuzov; the script is by Andrew Davies, who has a very sure hand for narrative (I think of his Pride and Prejudice from 1995, Bleak House, or House of Cards). I last read W&P about 10 years ago and the suggestion of an incestuous relationship between Helene and Anatole is quite clear. But the suggestion is all inside people's heads, as rumours overheard. Bringing it out clearly in a TV production is an important dramatic shorthand, and makes perfect sense in the different medium. It is crucial for making us aware of Pierre's naivety. The director, Tom Harper, apart from having a superb visual eye, and a brilliant sense of place, is moving the thing along at a perfect pace. There's never going to be a flawless production of this massive, rambling novel; so I recommend giving this one a shot (round, grape, case, chain or canister - as you choose).

Fair enough. Pierre can be naive and child-like, but it's different from boyishness.

I believe that, in the novel, the whole point of Austerlitz is to demonstrate the fatalism of history and the futility of individual's will. Every cogs played a role in the clockwork but each is unaware of its contribution to the final outcome. Tolstoy himself used the clockwork metaphor. The part where Bagration inspects the battlefield at Schoengrabern particularly demonstrate the symbolic role of generals. Historical figures are surfers: they are either carried by or are crushed under waves, but they don't command the waves.

I've read that the incestous relation was more explicit in Tolstoy's earlier draft. I've no problem either way. The best demonstration of Pierre's naivety as well as good intentions, in my opinion, was the Freemason part and how he tried to liberate his serfs. I understand however that Tsarist Russian serfdom may not be a subject familiar to the modern audience. Modern society may also miss the point about the hollowness of spiritualism.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kåre Dyvik
Norway
Stavanger
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for interesting commentaries. The series is being screened on Norwegian television just now, and I have just reached 1812 in the novel, so I'll carry this with me. I can't help comparing it to Bondarchuk's adaptation from the seventies, though.

Anyway, Austerlitz is given less treatment than Schöngraben in the novel, so we shouldn't put too much into this in this forum. But I find it interesting that Bagration is celebrated as a hero even after the disastrous defeat at Austerlitz. Also, I find Tolstoy's introduction to 1812 thought-provoking. He argues that even the great decision-makers of the period, such as Napoleon and Alexander, where forced by circumstances to do what they did, and that the whole 1812 catastrophe could not have been avoided.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.