Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Adapting Russian Classics to the 2020s: Dead Souls

This event was held virtually as a Zoom webinar and streamed via YouTube Live

Please join us for a meeting of the Russian Film Club with speakers Lioudmila Fedorova (Georgetown), Ilya Gerasimov (Ab Imperio), and Anne Lounsbery (NYU). Moderated by Daria Ezerova (Harriman Institute) and Mark Lipovetsky (Columbia University). This event is part of our Contemporary Culture Series.

Adaptations of literary classics set in the present either preserve the text in full, creating clashes with the present-day setting (Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet, 1997) or adapt the plot to the modern setting as closely as possible, resulting in a loose adaptation (Clueless,1995; Ten Things I Hate About You, 1999; Sherlock, 2010-2017). Based on Nikolai Gogol’s 1842 novel, Grigorii Konstantinopol’skii’s mini-series Dead Souls (2020) combines the two approaches, resulting in an incisive comedy that is both burlesque and sharply critical of present-day Russian mores. At the same time, the series poses the question of how far a filmmaker can go in creating a “loose adaptation” and what ultimately defines a successful screen version of a literary classic.

Russian Film Club: New Russian Cinema

2021 Webinar Series

Organized and moderated by Daria Ezerova (Harriman Institute) and Mark Lipovetsky (Columbia)

FEBRUARY 24, 7:00 PM
New Sci-Fi Horror: Sputnik

(Egor Abramenko, 2020)

Eliot Borenstein (NYU), Tomi Haxhi (Columbia), Julia Vaingurt (UIC)

MARCH 8, 7:00 PM
Adapting Russian Classics to the 2020s: Dead Souls

(Grigorii Konstantinopolskii, 2020)

Lioudmila Fedorova (Georgetown), Ilya Gerasimov (Ab Imperio), and Anne Lounsbery (NYU)

MARCH 23, 7:00 PM
New Historical Cinema II: Dear Comrades

(Andrei Konchalovskii, 2020)

Pavel Khazanov (Rutgers), John MacKay (Yale), Peter Rutland (Wesleyan)

APRIL 6, 7:00 PM
The Post-Human as the New Other: Cyborgs, Fembots, and Androids in Russian Television Series

Tatiana Mikhailova (Columbia), Elena Prokhorova (William & Mary), Sasha Prokhorov (William & Mary)

Event Video