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'Avatar' is no substitute for writer Anton Chekhov: Russia president

'Avatar' is no substitute for writer Anton Chekhov: Russia president

President Dmitry Medvedev, a self-confessed bookworm, said Friday Hollywood sensation "Avatar" would never be a substitute for theatre as Russia celebrated the 150th birthday of writer Anton Chekhov.
"New technologies have appeared but 'Avatar' will never supplant theatre even though it is very beautiful, very complicated and very expensive," Medvedev said on a visit to Taganrog, a port in southern Russia where Chekhov was born on Jan. 29, 1860.
Science-fiction epic "Avatar," called a cinematic sensation for its use of state-of-the-art 3-D cameras and motion capture technology, has become the biggest earning film of all time, recent figures showed.
"Despite all difficulties, theatrical art is still immortal," Medvedev told a meeting of top theatre directors in televised remarks.
The Kremlin chief noted that theatre occupied an important place in Russia where some 600 theatres boast a total annual audience of 30 million people.
At the meeting with Russian directors, Medvedev urged Russians not to emulate the West in their approach to dramatic art, even though he indicated Russian theatrical tradition had also seen better times.
"I am not sure that everyone who comes to see Hamlet knows its plot," he said, referring to average theatre-goers in Russia, Ria-Novosti reported.
"But still, we need to retain our advantage (over the West on theatre), if it exists, while overcoming gaps in other fields."
Medvedev also professed his love for Chekhov, saying he had developed a keen interest in the writer in his early teens and had read all of Chekhov's works, including early humour stories as well as his personal letters.


Updated : 2021-08-05 00:56 GMT+08:00