Directed by Michael Craig, "Stanislavsky and the Russian Theatre" explores the main themes which led to the founding of The Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) and the formation of Stanislavsky's system of acting.
I rented the streaming version for two dollars. I have long appreciated Russian literature including Chekhov's short stories and have managed to see a couple of his plays. I heard about Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theater from a lecture by Professor Irwin Weil in his video course Classics of Russian Literature. I found Michael Craig's film and decided to watch it. It is mostly still shots with narration plus a few interview clips thrown in. It was interesting, informative and well produced for what it is. It is not a high budget film and probably would not be of much interest to a expert or to young students who likely know little of Russian culture or history. But for me it was at the right level. I have also ordered Anton Chekhov Collection, a DVD with many of Chekhov's plays performed in English that I am looking forward to.
Particularly illuminating regarding Stanislavsky's later career. A little too much iconography for my taste, but certainly worthwhile. Looking forward to the related Vakhtangov and Meyerhold documentaries.
Granted, I am a graduate student in theatre and film, but this video is absolutely deplorable. Save for a few choice interviews from the current Dean of the Moscow Art Theatre and Jean Bennedetti, a leading Stanislavski scholar, this video is nothing more than roving powerpoint images overlaid with bad background music and the most boring lecture on Stanislavski's life that I have ever heard. This project could have LITERALLY been done by any undergraduate film student, and probably done better. Save your money, go to the library, and rent a few books/movies on the subject. I was sorely disappointed.
I purchased this item for educational purposes, but the truth is, I am only going to show my class a 2-minute snippit of the program as it is incredibly boring. Although it was recently produced, its aesthetic dates back to the 80's. While I'm sure the program has a lot of information, its delivery is far from creative or appealing.