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Anna Kovalova's Talk “The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Vsevolod Meyerhold”

Anna Kovalova's Talk “The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Vsevolod Meyerhold”

On October 4th the head of the Research Group Anna Kovalova gave a paper on Vsevolod Meyerhold’s famous lost film The Picture of Dorian Gray (1915).
Summary:
The talk is focused on Vsevolod Meyerhold’s film “Picture of Dorian Gray”, a screen version of Oscar Wilde’s novel released in 1915. This famous film is considered to be lost yet one can learn of it using various sources: a film script, a list of intertitres and other documents held in RGALI, a libretto, stills published in the press, film reviews and memoirs. These sources can help to reconstruct film structure. Historical context of the film will also be discussed. Meyerhold seems to have used many translations of Oscar Wilde’s novel and some theatrical adaptations of Oscar Wilde in Russia before 1915. It is argued that Basil Hallward for Meyerhold was an autobiographical character as well as Lord Henry played by Meyerhold itself. Thus Meyerhold’s approach to the novel is similar to that of Oscar Wilde’s: the writer called himself a prototype of all three main characters. Thus “Picture of Dorian Gray” (1915) may be considered to be the portrait of its author, theatre and film director Vsevolod Meyerhold.