Lesnoe Ozero Blog

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Wednesday, July 21

Published: July 22, 2010

I can't wait until we can get the credit film projects up on this website, because they were AMAZING!

Each credit language class read several stories by Chekhov (with varying amounts of English & Russian text, depending on the language proficiency of the class), and then the class adapted the story they read and made a film.

The beginning class chose "Pari," about a young lawyer who agrees to be imprisoned on a bet and becomes enlightened during his years in isolation. This group did a particularly impressive job of using the language they have to convey the important events of the story. Although they had limited language at their disposal, they did a great job of communicating exactly what was happening, the mood of the characters, etc., through a nice combination of dialogue, voice over, and dream-sequence pantomime.

The high beginner class adapted Chekhov's short play, "The Proposal," and this class clearly had a ton of fun with their film. They did a beautiful job of distilling the play down to the most important events and communicating them very clearly. Everyone in the class played a significant role in the film, because this group chose to have several people play the same character and keep the characters consistent throughout the film by using consistent costumes. This was a very creative choice & it was fun to see how different people interpreted these characters, who are certainly some of the silliest and most exaggerated individuals he created!

The next class did the story "Kashtanka," about a little dog who is accidentally abandoned but eventually finds her home again. This group was able to integrate quite a bit of Chekhov's language, and they chose to shoot their film in a more realistic style with costumes that somewhat represented the period. The mood of this piece was quite serious, but the group lightened it up with a wacky dream sequence involving a counselor, Sasha, singing into an ice-cream scoop in the kitchen.

Finally, the heritage class presented their film, Chameleon. They adapted Chekhov's story about hypocrisy to camp, and transformed a tale about a police superintendant, a drunken goldsmith, and a borzoi puppy into a film about a counselor on "safety patrol," a lazy student, and a stuffed crocodile. The villagers did an excellent job writing a script that activated their already very proficient Russian.

The two-week villagers watched the films (and the initial presentation by a counselor in the role of Anton Chekhov) with great interest, and at the end, they voted on various awards. Each group won an award represententing the particular achievements of that class, and we were all very proud of our credit students! We're lucky to have such a talented, creative and hard-working group of villagers!