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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Soviet Russia

There And Back Again

Not A Fan Of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit? Watch This Other One, In Russian.

I’m sort of on the fence about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I saw it in 3D and 48 fps and was not a fan of the new technology, so I’m waiting to see it in 2D and 24 fps before I decide whether or not I liked the film. Regardless, here’s an old version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic (entirely unlicensed of course) called “The Fairytale Journey of Mr. Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit.” It was made in 1984 and aired on aired on the Leningrad TV Channel. According to the Tolkien Gateway wiki, “This children’s film featured Zinovy ​​Gerdt as ‘The Professor’ (a narrator stand-in for Tolkien), Mikhail Danilov as Bilbo, Anatoly Ravikovich as Thorin, Ivan Krasko as Gandalf and Igor Dmitriev as Gollum. Smaug and the Spiders were portrayed by puppets. Missing in this version are the Trolls, Elrond, Beorn and the Wood-elves. The Goblins are human-like with little makeup and portrayed by dancers from the Leningrad State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre (as were the inhabitants of Lake Town).”

(via Kotaku)

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In Which We Don't Make An Obvious Pun

In Soviet Russia, Toast Makes Toaster

Today in “Things that Impress Us:” Artists Ingrid Falk and Gustavo Aguerre browned 2500 pieces of bread to different levels of crispiness to create this epic (and delicious?) giant mural of a toaster. The piece took two days to create, and, we assume, involved no scraping the black bits off into the sink with a butter knife.

Also if you were working on this, it might be one of the only times in your life when you could genuinely behave in this manner.

(via That’s Nerdalicious)

It Came From Outer Space

Want to See a Silent Science Fiction Movie From the 1920s? [Video]

This is Aelita: Queen of Mars, a silent science fiction movie made in 1924 under the direction of Yakov Protazanov and based on writings by A. Tolstoj. And for a science fiction movie made in 1924, this is really quite a sight — the sets and costumes, even the idea of getting messages from Mars, were so far-fetched for its time, and that’s what makes it so fun to watch. True, it’s chock full of Soviet propaganda. But what it’s also about is a Martian queen (Aelita) observing Earth and sending messages to a scientist with whom she’s fallen in love, who is also trying to build a rocket ship to see her. (Not unlike The Little Mermaid, just in space and not the sea, and less “whoozits and whatzits galore” and more working-class uprisings.) To say nothing of the birth of science fiction filmmaking.

The whole movie is online in nine parts, with Part One embedded above. Here are links to the rest: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

(io9)