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Vladimir Azarov

"I transformed myself in the zero of form." Kazimir Malevich


The Kiss from Mary Pickford

Publisher TVP (BookThug)
ISBN 978-0-897388-86-8
168 pages

About the book:

In 1926, after a visit to Moscow, Hollywood super-couple Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks unknowingly appeared in a film about a young man who wants to be a movie star to impress his girlfriend. Pickford only learned about the film late in life, and Fairbanks died never knowing about it.

In 2010, inspired by a commemorative statue of Mary Pickford he stumbled upon in downtown Toronto, poet Vladimir Azarov has here composed a collection of cinematic poems that revisits this unique moment in Russian film, considers the phenomenon of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, and meditates upon his own relationship to these international superstars.

"I find the Pickford book was grounded because the anecdotes behind it were fascinating. There, the dadaistic absurdist qualities of the text carry biographical detail as well as political satire."

Ray Ellenwood

The book "The Kiss from Mary Pickford" donated by author to the libraries of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the TIFF.

She is a child girl Gladys
Without childhood
She is a girl-actress in theatre
She hears applause already!
Slap slap! slap slap! palm to palm!
The smiling faces of the first row
Men women women men men men!
She will be sleeping in morning!
After her night working!
After her many many talkie talkie
By heart by heart!
Boring boring boring words!
So heavy meaningful to the
But meaningless
Girl's different lively active spirits!
She listens to her female stage friend --
Ophelia's sad voice ::

'Where is the beauteous majesty
Of Denmark?"

And Gladys hides behind the stage
Her quiet silent tears ::
I hate these talkie words! it's awful!
O my small angels! what will I do
When I will play a green-drawn

Thousands of fans turned out whenever Mary made a public appearance. Even in the Soviet Union - despite a total news blackout ordered by the Hollywood-hating Stalin - word of Mary's arrival in Moscow spread like wildfire and brought the city to a total standstill.

Russian movie: The Kiss from Mary Pickford

© 2013-2016, Vladimir Azarov. Web design by Andrei Korolev, Andrew Urusov.