One of the many great things about running Akira Kurosawa NID is that I am time to time contacted by interesting people with connections to Kurosawa.
Yesterday, I received a note which was allegedly sent by Vladimir Vasilyev. Vasilyev worked as an associate director for Dersu Uzala.
I say “allegedly” because I have no way of verifying that the person who sent me the message actually is Vladimir Vasilyev. Then again, at the moment I have very little to doubt that fact, either.
In any case, here is the note:
Мне посчастливилось работать с выдающимся Акирой Куросавой над фильмом “Дерсу Узала”, получившим “Оскар”. Я там был режиссёром с советской стороны, Вёл ежедневный дневник на протяжении трёх лет. Подготовил к изданию книгу в 2-х томах.
700 страниц текста и более 500 рабочих моментов съёмок, кадров из фильма, раскадровок Куросавы…
Ищу спонсора для юбилейного издания к 100-летию Акиры Куросавы на русском языке, поскольку Союз кинематографистов России и Мосфильм оказались нищими и неблагодарными к имени Великого режиссёра.
Если меня услышите – помогите!
My Russian is nearly non-existent, but with the help of a dictionary and a machine translation tool or two, I have been able to squeeze out the following translation which, while no doubt flawed, should give you the gist of the message:
I was privileged to work with the great Akira Kurosawa on the film Dersu Uzala, which received an Oscar. I was a director on the Soviet team, and kept a diary daily for three years. I have prepared this diary for publication in two volumes.
The book includes 700 pages of text, more than 500 pictures (?) from the filming, shots from the film, Kurosawa’s storyboards…
I am now looking for a sponsor to publish the book in Russian in conjunction with Akira Kurosawa’s centenary. The Russian Union of Cinematographers and Mosfilm have been uninterested and unappreciative.
If you hear me – please help!
As I mentioned, the translation is by someone (me) who doesn’t actually speak Russian. If you are able to provide a better translation, please do so!
If true, this is a book that would be extremely interesting to eventually have in English, and would for example make a wonderful “extra” on a brand new fully restored Dersu Uzala DVD box set, which is also badly needed. Criterion, I am looking at you.
If you would like to contact Mr. Vasilyev, you can write to me at vili.maunula[at]gmail.com, and I will pass you his email address. I have meanwhile written back to Mr Vasilyev, but since as far as I know we do not share a common language, the dialogue there may be quite short-lived.