Protazanov, Yakov Alexandrovich

Article

May 28, 2022

Yakov Aleksandrovich Protazanov (January 23 [February 4] 1881, Moscow - August 8, 1945, Moscow) - Russian and Soviet film director, screenwriter, actor. One of those who stood at the origins of Russian cinema. Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1935) and the Uzbek SSR (1945).

Biography

Yakov Protazanov was born in Moscow in the family estate of the Vinokurovs. He was the fourth child in a merchant family. Paternal great-grandfather Yakov Ivanovich Protazanov was from Bronnitsy, from where he moved with his family to Kyiv and became a famous merchant, receiving the title of hereditary honorary citizen. Father Alexander Savvich served in the firm of well-known Russian industrialists, the Shibaev brothers. Mother Elizaveta Mikhailovna (nee Vinokurova) was a native Muscovite, a graduate of the Elizabethan Institute for Noble Maidens. Yakov was greatly influenced by his uncle Sergei Mikhailovich Vinokurov, who was fond of the theater, was friends with the Sadovsky family, and at the end of his life he himself became an actor. In 1900 he graduated from the Moscow Commercial School and worked as a salesman in the Moscow JSC Schrader and Co. In 1904-1906 he was engaged in self-education in France and Italy, where he first became acquainted with cinema. In 1907, he joined the Gloria firm as an interpreter for the Spanish cameraman Sarano. Then he worked at the same company as an assistant director for V. Goncharov. In 1909 he directed his first film, The Fountain of Bakhchisaray. In 1910, Gloria was bought by P. Timan and F. Reinhardt”, which soon took a leading position in the domestic film market. The rise of Protazanov as one of the leading directors of the country is connected with the same period. The first films of Protazanov - "The Song of the Convict", "The Song of the Prophetic Oleg" and "Anfisa" were very successful. Criticism of that time wrote about the film “The Song of the Prophetic Oleg”: the film “is sustained 〈…〉 with some kind of tonality inherent in Pushkin’s verse 〈…〉 in the work one can feel 〈…〉 a noticeably progressive love attitude towards Russian history 〈…〉 inimitable 〈…〉 the scene of Oleg's death, shot against the sun, surprises with the depth of the relief of the figures, and the landscape itself - with a poetic haze of birch trees flooded with light. In the film "Anfisa", according to Protazanov himself, the participation of famous theaters�