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Wednesday, January 12, A.D. 2011
Russia in Fifteen Seconds

How many exaggerated clichés can one fit in a fifteen second movie sequence?

This treat is really for my brother Aaron, who visited Mother Russia with me. I laugh each time that I watch it, as it reminds me of various quirks about the nation. I especially love the boys seesawing on the car. Memories . . .

The video clip, evidently from Охота на пиранью, has offended many YouTube visiting Russkies, who are upset that such a representation is unfair. Obviously, there are many lovely parts to Russia, but there is some comic truth to the clip. An element of humor is based on exaggerating certain features that are recognizable to the audience but in such a way that it surprises them. When Chris Rock does his racialist comedy shtick, people laugh because they recognize the themes that he mentions and because they are both shocked and delighted in the way that he breaks taboos. Jeff Foxworthy’s routine is funny to Southerners (and to those who know them) because he mocks real Southern tendencies that people recognize. Of course, such routines might be exaggerated, and obviously they are not the “full picture,” but that is how the comic works.

I am a committed Russophile, and yet I find this clip very amusing, just as I find The Simpsons’ take on American life amusing. Moreover, like The Simpsons, the clip is full of Easter egg eye candy if you watch closely.

Update: My brother offers this alternate, polished version of the scene:

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, January 12, A.D. 2011
Fun | HumorMoving ImagesVideoPermalink

I think this is more of the final product… I do miss the long shot of the drunk man in the street, but you do get a bit more close up in this one… the drinking men, the little girl in the window, the look on the woman’s face as she dumps her water. Plus you get a look at the cute Russkia at the end. I wonder if she has a name?

It reminds me of a morning around 8am or 9am when we were walking around some of the back streets near the hotel. And I do agree that this is only a very small part of Russia. Example: compare a subway station in Moscow to a subway station in New York.

Missing items: one really sweet looking house among lots of beaten down ones, a building in the foggy background that looks like it’s from Gotham City, onion domes, old women asking for kopeks, and a billion stray dogs.

Posted by Aaron on Wednesday, January 12, A.D. 2011

Indeed, she has a name. It’s Ivana Petrovna, of course!

ExpressionEngine’s comments feature would not show the video. So, I have added it to the post.

The clip also features a babushka cleaning (the window). They’re always cleaning!

Good times . . .

Posted by Joseph from Arimathea on Thursday, January 13, A.D. 2011
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