So, menial matters out of the way first.
God, why won't Paul go away? It's like me and my friends are being haunted by him in the matter of a spectre.
I wish I hadn't promised him good friendship....I think I'm going to have to have a word with him. Otherwise it's going to blow up in my face and my yelling from Toowoomba will probably be heard right across the Australia. :p
Right, now that's out of the way, onto other things.
My hand signed photo of Willem Dafoe is absolutely lovely and it's probably one of the best gifts anyone's ever given me. Thanks again, Bailey. :D It will have the pride of place in my room in Toowoomba.
That said.....I went and saw Russian Ark again yesterday. And at the risk of sounding like a sad dolt, I took notes. My movie ticket is covered in little scribblings, which I am putting up here for the sake of remembering, and so that threeoranges can see what Steven and I have come up with.
- Firstly, appearance. Well, besides what you see on the icon and stills from the film. The Marquis is tall and with a slender build. I place him in his late 50s, early 60s, as the actor who plays him (Sergei Dreiden) is 62 years old. In the film, he's attired in all black. Black frock coat, black trousers that are slightly flared, the customary cravat and black heeled boots. His mannerisms lean towards slightly eccentric. He walks slowly, arms folded behind his back, and there is a slight stoop to his posture. He also is prone to odd gestures, such as stretching out his arms and other hand gestures. I would say at his age he probably is starting to feel the constraints of age, as in the film he could not run for long in one particular scene. And naturally, he's showing signs of ageing. His face, his cheekbones are somewhat hollow, but he does look somewhat handsome for his age. I didn't get a proper glimpse of his eyes, but they appeared to be greyish blue, and his hair is kind of wavy and ash blonde in cover. His speaking voice is light, but there is a touch of age to that as well, as it can be a little rough and husky at times. *phew*
- Background. The Marquis is a French Catholic, and judging from what he said, a very strict one in some senses. His mother was a sculptress in Rome, and nearly married a fellow sculptor, Canova. I've also discovered he's a 19th century diplomat, as he attended the Congress of Vienna in 1815. This has meant we have had to change the setting of the story and the circumstances a bit, which I will go into later. He is also friends with an author(?) by the name of Meyerbeer.
- Personality. The Marquis is cynical and argumentative, but knows when he's offended and is apologetic then. His experience in the Russian court is such that he knows its workings, and describes court officials as 'cunning', but finds diplomatic ceremonies boring. He is also very charming and flirty with women. From what I could gather from the film, his tastes in art include a great love of the Dutch masters such as Van Dyck. He hates the Empire style of Napoleonic times, and does not believe in military conflict. He believes the Russians are lazy in manners of art, remarking that they've copied parts of the Hermitage from other buildings in Europe. He also believes that freedom has no place in Russia, 'mortals should not chase royalty' and that the capital city of a country should be ancient. He also adores luxury, and loves sevres porcelain.
- The Marquis and the Aristocrat. The female aristocrat (dark haired, dark eyed and very pretty of course) does not just pop up in the imperial ball scene. She also turns up earlier in the film with her date, a Russian soldier. They have a tiff of some sort, and she runs away from him. We then see her at the ball, when her and the Marquis are dancing the mazurka. He remarks upon how St. Petersburg holds the best balls in Europe, the numbers of attendence ('There must be at least 3000 guests here!') apologises for his clumsiness in dancing (as he's forgotten how to dance the mazurka).
- The Plot for the Novel. This has required adjustment, since the Marquis has come from Russia in the early 1800s. So now it's set in Peter the Great's Russia. Napoleon's sights are on conquering St. Petersburg (if I remember correctly, since I'm not terribly good on Russian history before Nicholas II). The Marquis and the aristocrat fall in love to this backdrop. Further changes will be made, but I'll probably need to speak with you and Steven on them further, Karen.
Pshew, right. Have to go. Sister's kicking me away....