31 March 2009

Book Review(s): The State Tretyakov Gallery

I have mentioned about my first and second visits to Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow as well as my other visit to Tretyakov XX.Century Contemporary Art Museum.

In my second visit to the old Tretyakov Gallery I bought two books from the souvenir shop.
One of them[the one with the blue cover] is on the old gallery and the other one with the red cover is on the 20th Century Collection. Both books are hard cover but there are paperback editions also.Hardcover ones cost 90 rubles each.

The books present history of the gallery, how the collection was initially founded and how it arrived today. The books are in very good quality,I mean the paper and print.

Both books present few[they are thin books] samples of their famous items presented in the corresponding gallery.I wish they contained detailed descriptions also, but I guess that was out of scope.

I would recommend this books to everyone planning a visit to the gallery.

Reasonable file deletion error reporting at last

The stupid File.delete() API returns true or false depending on the result of the operation but if it is false you do not get any feedback.

At last! in Java 7 we now have FileRef.delete() which throws an exception reporting the cause of the problem.

30 March 2009

Java7 Directory Listener

I guess everyone had a need to monitor a directory for file creation/update sometime. Previously we used to accomplish this task by continiously polling files in the target directory such as

File [] allFiles = dir.listFiles();

Now we have a new way of doing the same task in an event driven manner.
see java.nio.file package for handy FileSystem,FileRef,Watchable,WatchEvent and WatchService.

Here is a sample for how to do the above task with new Java7 APIs.

WatchService service = FileSystems.getDefault().newWatchService();
WatchKey key = directory.getPath().register(service,new Kind[]{StandardWatchEventKind.ENTRY_CREATE});
List eventList = key.pollEvents();


27 March 2009

Movie Review: Girl with a Pearl Earring(2003)

This movie is rather old[2003] and I've seen it sometime ago but i was suprpised that many people that I mentioned this movie about have not seen the movie and some even haven't heard of it.

It is a very nice movie and especially valuable if you are interested in Flemish paitings or painting art in general.

The movie is about the story of a painting of Dutch master Vermeer which gave its name to the movie also.
The maid of the house poses for Vermeer for the painting which causes problems with the wife :)

This is the movie that made lovely Scarlett Johansonn well-known[at least for me :)], on the left is the original paiting and Scartlet,note the great similarity.

Anyway if you have not seen it :Watch it!

Here is the IMDB link and here is a link on Vermeer.

22 March 2009

Book Review: Molotov Anlatiyor

I've seen references to this book in nearly all books on history of USSR. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov has the second man of the Soviets for a very long time,he was the prime minister between 1930 and 1941, and foreign minister between 1939 and 1956,he is named as a successful diplomat during WWII.
During Khrushchev era he fell from power and expelled from the part. He is one of the few [if not only] members of Poliburo who worked with Lenin and saw the Gorbachev era.
See Molotov Plan and Molotov Line if you are interested in WWII history.

The book is not an official memoirs written by Molotov which denied composing one. Insteead, it is a collection of 140 interviews with Molotov by journalist Felix Chuev between 1969 and 1986.

Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics is also published as Molotov Anlatiyor in Turkish.The book covers Molotov's side of many stories in Soviet History, what is interesting is he was a truly bealived Stalinist to the very last moment, just like Benediktov,agriculture minister of Stalin,said in his book that most of the things attributed to Stalin are lies. They both draw a very positive poartait of Stalin in their books.

19 March 2009

100 countries in 5 months

I've added a counter to my blog which was online since 2005 only in September 2008, today number of countries of my visitors arrived 100! since that that.

17 March 2009

Movie Review: Russian Ark (2002)

This movie is hard to rate, one might grade it as super but also it is possible to call it boring...
One man from today suddenly finds himself in Hermitage of 19th century..And walks throught the history of Russia.

I personally liked the long views Hermitage rooms full of artpieces, particularly paintings.[so it may be graded as super]
But the movie was so slow,dialogs were dull [so it is possible to name it boring]

Stay away if you are not interested in arts and history.

11 March 2009

Tretkayov Gallery XX.Century Contemporary Art

In my first visit to Tretkakov Gallery I was upset that I could not meet a single sample of Socialist Realism artworks, later on I learnt that the is 'one more' Tretyakov for this.

In my second visit to Tretyakov, I got information on how to access to this other gallery thanks to the English speaking lady in the information desk. In the souvenir shop of the museum I bought two books both titled 'The State Tretkakov Gallery', one for the traditional one and other for the gallery of modern arts.

So I visited the 20th Century Collection on the Krymsky Val. Unfortunately I was not satisfied,I was hoping to see more products of Soviet era, there were only a few paitings and 2-3 sculptures. One nice sample is the famous paiting showing Lenin working on his desk. In this site, there are many works listed in Tretyakov but I could not meet many of them.

The most important gain of this tour for me to meet Tatyana Nazarenko works. The night before I visited the gallery I was reading one of the two books I bought from the souvenir shop of old gallery. The below photo attacted me since I realized the The Arnolfini Weedding on the upper left corner which was very interesting but the book was not giving any details. In the exhibition I faced the paiting.
It is interesting, from the painter's own site I learnt that it is a self-portrait from 70s. I still wonder that this van Eyck piece doing on her self-portrait. Was Nazarenko also pregnant when married? what does the formation of her arms and hand tell us? Please share me if you know a link regarding these info.

I recommend you to visit her site, she was not only very nice paitings but also very good photos.

03 March 2009

One more time in Tretyakov Gallery

I have visited the largest collection of Russian arts, the State Tretyakov Gallery before but I was unable to see the Icons hall since it was closed at 17 o'clock. So this time I payed another visit to the temple of Russian art in Moscow.

As before several halls contain good samples of Russian paintings, I personally liked Repin for his portrait works which looked like photos, Nikitin and Shishkin are also to mention.

Special interest is needed for Ivan Aivazovsky who visited Istanbul and has nice works on Istanbul [including Maiden's tower,Golden Horn and a few others]

This time I was able to see the Icon Halls, the gallery has a very large collection, some of the pieces were brought from Constantinople[guess where? :) ]

There were also halls for sculptures but since the gallery is huge, my interest in arts is mainly on paintings and i was already tired, I simply skipped them:)

Coming soon: Tretyakov Gallery XX. Century Contemporary Art on Krimsky Val

02 March 2009

Ice Sculptures Exhibition in Moscow

I was in Moscow for two weeks at the end of February.I had a chance to visit a few places. Ice Sculptures exhibition was one of them. I heard about the exhibition from another Moscow blow in this post. The exhibition was located in the botanic garden of MGU, near Prospect Mira.

Luckily I visited the exhibition in the evening, after work. Since the illumination effects make sense in the evening I guess it would be dull to visit during daytime. The sculptures were nice but most have started melting.

My favorite was the huge bear :)

Museum of USSR Army

On a snowy Moscow morning I visited the Central Museum of Armed Forces[also known as Museum of USSR Army] on M. Tsvetnoy Boulvard, localted on the Soviet Army Street No:3

The museum looked nice it has lots of photos and stuff concerning Red Army, starting from 1900s I guess.I can only guess because there was no single piece for paper written in English. I guess the museum is intended for ex-Soviet citizens[Russian speaking geography] only, every item was described in Russian.

I must admit that the old lady in the entrance was the most helpful Russian I've ever seen in such places, she desperately tried to help us but we were out of luck :)

I still list the museum as a nice place to see,it still has valuable pieces.

The english web page of the museum.
The wikipedia entry for the museum.

The upper photo shows the museum building while the below one shows the vehicles cleaning roads in front of the building.

Russian Life Magazine Reports: Ideology Returns to Russian Art

I just finished reading the Jan/Feb '09 issue of Russian life magazine which contained an interesting article of several pages titled "Ideology Returns to Russian Art"

In brief, the article says that the Russian Art community was under high pressure during Soviet days, a new ear started in 90's where free art products were generated. The article claims there is a turn-back these days, state is funding movie projects and trying to publish movies which support govertment ideas like the old Soviet times. One example to this was the dull movie: A Kiss- Not For The Press which I reviewed shortly here before.

Movie Review: Barber of Siberia (1998)

Very nice Romantic Comedy. The director and most of the crew is Russian, but main actress is American, so the language of the movie is English and Russian, but mostly English.

The year is 1885, Jane visits her father who lives in Russia and tries to sell a self-invented wood chopping machine to Russian authorities. Jane eventually falls in love with a young Russian officer. Unfortunately the officer is exiled to Siberia...

I think it is worth watching, warm and funny. I liked it.
The IMDB score is 7.4 and download link is here.
Detailed plot can be read on wikipedia.