02 April 2012

Very Puzzling ...

This image comes by way of an advertisement in the Moscow Metro.  It makes me wonder ...

Why is Santa Claus, who lives in the North Pole, wearing a Mexican sombrero?  I mean, since when does the old man go to Cancun for spring break?  How does Dr. Hans Zarkov  from Flash Gordon fit into this epic story?  If Santa Claus in in Cancun, why isn't Zarkov in a Speedo or something provocatively disgusting befitting of the antagonist?  Who is the girl anyway, and why isn't she wearing a bikini?

This seems to have all the trappings of a classic B movie, which means that it must include a gratuitous sex scene.  The B movie girl always falls for the good guy at the end of the story, in this case Santa.  They will be making love on the Caribbean beach in the sun set ... but does the old man still have it in him?


The American-perspective B movie analysis aside, this musical is based on a Pushkin fairly tale about Lukomorye, "a country of fairy-tale magic, light and good, and a great, fabulous oak - a tree of life, with nourishing power of love and kindness for the living world and all humanity."  According to the legend, a once-in-a-millennium event breaths new, magical life into Lukomorye but, as with all good, evil forces attempt to stop it.  It is a classic good-versus-evil story set in a mystical, magical literary setting (versus a crass, sex-laden, action-packed Hollywood production intended to generate ROI by titillating a subsection of the masses).

Here is a dictionary translating Pushkin's magical characters into American B movie types:
  • Oldman Borovichok - Santa Clause in a sombrero; he is a has-been that finds himself in an unusual situation and must make a comeback to save the day and prove that his manliness is still relevant.
  • Koschey the Immortal (better translated as "Koschey the Lifeless") - Dr. Hans Zarkov; he is the handsome bad apple, and the character the audience must love to hate.
  • Vasilisa the Wise - Semi-central, hot female character that injects the love angle into the story and over whom good and evil must fight.  She will show some skin at the end of the game (hint: a wave will blindside the innocent damsel by dampening her T-shirt as she is frolicking on the beach in the closing scene).

I hope this helps bridge the cultural gap.

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