Tag Archives: marianna kaplun

A Village That Transcends Time

NOV / DEC 2017: BY MARIANNA KAPLUN

Far, far away in Britain there is a beautiful place called Gretna Green. This small village in the south of Scotland famous for its runaway weddings and romantic wedding traditions dating back over centuries, which originated from cross-border elopements stemming from differences between Scottish marriage laws and those in neighboring countries. So why does this unremarkable village have a wedding capital’s reputation? Let’s try to understand. Continue reading A Village That Transcends Time

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The Flower of the Orient

SEPT / OCT 2017: BY MARIANNA KAPLUN

I am not a prize to be won!

Far, far away in the kingdom of Agarabah lives beautiful and brave princess, the daughter of the Sultan—Jasmine. She lives according to its strict laws, but with all her heart wants to feel freedom. Jasmine doesn’t know a powerful desert magic waits to be unlocked, ready to change her world forever… Continue reading The Flower of the Orient

Prince Without Fear or Reproach

JAN / FEB 2017: BY MARIANA KAPLUN

“Sire? Do you…like yourself?”

“What’s not to like?”

A princess, who is prepared to be wed with beautiful prince, is sent away to New York by an evil queen, where she falls in love with a lawyer.

We all know this story of the wonderful Disney movie Enchanted, but what do we know about the prince? Yes, you heard right, the Prince… who was supposed to marry Giselle, ordained to her by fate. This hero is Prince Edward. Let’s get to know him better.

“Nathaniel likes the way I leap? <…> I’m handsome even when I sleep!”

Edward is a prince in Andalasia and the stepson of former Queen Narissa. He is “very pure, very simple-minded and naive, but innocently narcissistic.” Edward is charming and handsome, athletic, yet goodhearted. He ends up confused with the world of New York once entering it. “Ha-ha-ha! You’ve met your match, you foul bellowing beast!” (Prince Edward, as he stabs a city bus) or “Tell me, magic mirror, what is this awful place? Why is everything so… difficult? Will I ever find my heart’s duet?” (Prince Edward to the television) or “It appears this odd little box controls the magic mirror!” (Prince Edward, upon discovering the television remote). Yes, he is a little obsessed with mirrors. Coincidence?

 

In Andalasia and the real world, Edward is a large-built, extremely handsome young man with prominent cheekbones and jaw. He has brown hair and blue eyes. Edward is usually dressed in an elaborate royal uniform, with cape and sword, as befitting a Prince. He is notable for his strong singing voice and having an enthusiastic, larger-than-life manner. I would say he is too cheerful for others. Problem? Not for Edward.

 

“Well, this has been a splendid date! Shall we go? <…> Why, back to Andalasia, of course! To be married, to live happily ever after, forever and ever!”

 

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Our hero strongly believes in instant love (and shouting about it on every street corner). He hopes he and the beautiful Giselle can be together forever (and ever, and ever, and ever). So he tries to find her in a new world for him: New York. “Fear not, Giselle, I will rescue you!”. “What say you, sir? Don’t try my patience! <…> I seek a beautiful girl, my one coquette…the answer to my love’s duet.” (Prince Edward to Arty). And, yes, he really tries to rescue her, because he is determined to marry the woman he loves. But stop! Is it really true? Does Edward really love Giselle or does it just seem like love to him? The fact is Edward just wants to marry someone he loves and who loves him! But he doesn’t really know who is his true love. A little sad for the Prince, isn’t it?

 

When Robert suggested a true love’s kiss would reawaken Giselle from her eternal dream, Edward quickly saved face by claiming he knew that. He leaned in and lightly kissed Giselle, but when she did not stir, tried kissing her again repeatedly, harder and harder (a true prince, really). Just as he was about to panic, a revelation dawned on him. He urged Robert, who he had correctly guessed was now the one meant for Giselle, to kiss her. As Edward stood aside and watched, Robert tenderly kissed Giselle, and she awoke. As the crowd applauded, Edward smiled in joy. Edward is very compassionate for Giselle even when he understands that she is not his “heart’s duet.”  He cared for her so much, he was willing to let another man kiss her in order to save her life. Ah, how romantic and noble!

 

“Why so sad, beautiful lady? <…> It’s a perfect fit.”

But Edward is true prince and he must have his princess. Edward is a warm and polite person, even to people he doesn’t know. He tries to be heroic and likable, but can come across as pompous. Later, Edward came across a despondent Nancy Tremaine studying a slipper left behind by Giselle. He comforted her, and even placed the slipper on Nancy’s foot. When it was revealed to be a perfect fit, the two instantly fell in love (well, finally). Having already happily accepted the fact that Giselle loved Robert, Edward was now enraptured with Nancy, and so the two returned to Andalasia, where they started to live happily ever after.

 

Our hero is handsome (yes!), brave (maybe too much), passionate (very much) and kind (very, very much). We have never known such a true and wonderful prince. I will rescue you! Yes, let’s go!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marianna Kaplun was born in Moscow. She is a philologist specializing in Ancient Russian drama and theatre. She’s also a film and television critic by calling and librarian by profession. You can find her essays on her Facebook page and on Lumiere. She also blogs in English and Russian.

I can’t stand you. I love you

NOV / DEC 2016: BY  MARIANNA KAPLUN

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“You think a princess and a guy like me…?” –Han Solo

What do we know about them? Han Solo was a human male smuggler who became a leader in the Alliance to Restore the Republic and an instrumental figure in the defeat of the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War. Leia Organa Solo (born Leia Amidala Skywalker) was, at various stages of her life, a politician, revolutionary, and Jedi Knight of the New Jedi Order. Continue reading I can’t stand you. I love you

Ghost Stories

HALLOWEEN 2016: BY MARIANNA KAPLUN

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Curious thing, but we don’t often hear about happy, friendly ghosts. More often they seem to be unfriendly spirits who cannot rest. In August 1901 one English woman Miss Charlotte Anne Moberley visited France. When she walked through the Petit Trianon, a small château in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, she saw a woman at the window of a building, which was not there in 1901. Continue reading Ghost Stories

Shakespeare’s World: The Globe

JULY / AUG 2016: BY MARIANNA KAPLUN

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All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players

What do we know about Shakespeare’s theatre? We always associate theatrical Shakespeare’s world with the name of the great English Queen Elizabeth I Tudor. And, definitely, it’s very true. In 1576 Elizabethan drama entered an entirely new era. James Burbage, a prosperous joiner, built a theatre in the style of an amphitheater near Bishopsgate in London and called it the Theatre (the word “theatre” had a meaning “the art of writing and producing plays”). Later, two others theatres opened north of the City of London: the Fortune in 1600 and the Red Bull in 1605. By then, on the south bank of the Thames on Bankside had appeared Rose in 1587, the Swan in 1595 and, finally, the Globe in 1599. Continue reading Shakespeare’s World: The Globe

Audrey Hepburn: Our Fair Lady

JAN / FEB 2016: BY MARIANNA KAPLUN

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She was a ballet dancer, but never danced in a ballet. She never studied acting yet became one of the most famous actresses in the world. The public loves her. People love her now, years after her death.  They remember her not only for her films, but for her elegance, grace and charm.

Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra Hepburn was born on 4 May 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. Her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston (1889-1980), was a British subject born in Úžice, Bohemia. Her mother, Baroness Ella van Heemstra (1900-1984), was a Dutch aristocrat and the daughter of Baron Aarnoud van Heemstra, who was mayor of Arnhem from 1910 to 1920, and served as Governor of Dutch Suriname from 1921 to 1928. Continue reading Audrey Hepburn: Our Fair Lady

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Michelangelo Buonarroti

NOV / DEC 2015: BY MARIANNA KAPLUN

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“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.” — Michelangelo

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1961) is a biographical novel of Michelangelo Buonarroti and his troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II, written by American author Irving Stone. Stone lived in Italy for years, visiting many of the locations in Rome and Florence, worked in marble quarries, and apprenticed himself to a marble sculptor. A primary source for the novel is Michelangelo’s correspondence, all 495 letters of which Stone had translated from Italian by Charles Speroni and published in 1962 as I, Michelangelo, Sculptor. Continue reading The Agony and the Ecstasy of Michelangelo Buonarroti

Queen’s Choice: Catherine de Medici

HALLOWEEN 2015: BY MARIANNA KAPLUN

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Who was she? Italian-born French queen, regent and mother of three kings of France, a powerful influence in 16th century France, particularly during the Wars of Religion. She at first adopted a conciliatory policy towards the Huguenots (French Protestants), but in 1562 civil war broke out, marking the beginning of the series of conflicts which became known as the French Wars of Religion. Her name was Medici. Catherine de’ Medici. Continue reading Queen’s Choice: Catherine de Medici