The Changing of the Kremlin Guards
This Saturday at noon you can once again see the Changing of the Presidential Guards in the Kremlin after another coronavirus surge necessitated a temporary halt. Although it is not strictly a performance, the guards twirl and swing and shoot their rifles and march in perfect harmony and symmetry. The Cavalry Escort of Honor horses dance and march in perfect harmony, too. The Presidential orchestra of the Service of the Moscow Kremlin Commandant provides the music. It is a truly spectacular show, held in Cathedral Square inside the Kremlin. You don’t need a special ticket — just get a regular entry ticket for 700 rubles and be sure to be at the Square early. The entrance ticket gives you admission to the Assumption, Archangel, and Annunciation Cathedrals; the Church of the Deposition of the Robe of the Virgin Mary; the Patriarch’s Palace and Church of Twelve Apostles; and the exhibition “Treasures and Antiquities of the Moscow Kremlin.” Сome for the horses; stay for 1,000 years of magnificent history. To make it a full day, you can buy entry tickets to the Armory and other museums separately. Be sure to buy your tickets online here and not on other commercial sites. Entrance is through the Katufya Tower on Manege Square. It’s a good idea to get there early since there are usually lines for the security check.
Summer Sound festival
From July 31 until Aug. 22, the Flakon Design Factory is the Moscow venue for this year’s Summer Sound Fest: an outdoor party with great bands and performers. Some of Russia’s best musicians will be on hand: Khaski, Kasta, SSSHHHIIIITTT, Zivert, Animal Jazz and many more. Tickets are not cheap — in the 1500-5000 ruble range — but if you have missed a good, old fashioned, open-air, inner-city music festival, who cares? Important note: the festival is a Covid-free zone and only people with QR codes will be admitted. For more information, schedule and ticket sales, see the site here.
The Muses of Montparnasse
The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts has opened a marvelous exhibition in the Gallery of European and American Art of the 19th and 20th Centuries: works by the women who lived, studied and worked in the Parisian district of Montparnasse. More than 50 paintings, 100 graphic works, 20 sculptures, and several dozen photographs and works of applied art — along with abundant archival materials — are on display. The works were largely done in the first four decades of the 20th century and include masterpieces by artists including Alexandra Exter, Liubov Popova, Jacqueline Marval, Marie Laurencin and Tamara Łempicka. The show was organized by a group of curators from Moscow and Paris and will run until Oct. 3. Tickets and information can be found here.
Russian festival films
If you are into Russian cinema and culture, you’ll love August in Moscow. From July 29 through Aug. 31, the open-air theater in the courtyard of the Museum of Moscow is holding a festival of films starring Moscow, from the 1939 film “Foundling,” through the thaw era of the early 1960s with “I Stroll Around Moscow” and the comedic 1982 feature “Pokrovsky Gates,” to the moving “Aika” made in 2018. See the site here for more information about tickets and schedule.
Pioner is holding a mini-festival called “Biographies of the Times” next week: three documentary films (in Russian) about three very important political and cultural figures. On Aug. 2 they’ll show “Gorbachev. Heaven” by Vitaly Mansky; on Aug. 3, it’s Yevgeny Mitta’s “Peppershtein: Surreality Show” about the artist Pavel Peppershtein; and on Aug. 4 you can see Ilya Belov’s film “Sorokin Trip” about the writer. All the shows begin about 7 p.m. and include discussions. Ticket sales and more information can be found here.
Upside down house
No, we’re not talking about your house after a busy week. We’re talking about a museum, of sorts, for small people on the Arbat. It is a little house where everything is upside down and you and your family wander through on the ceiling, as it were. Part of a big group of children entertainment centers, this one delights children — at least for the 30 or 45 minutes it takes to walk through and pose for lots of photographs. The small children of our acquaintance voted yes, but wished it was bigger. It’s definitely a fun stop if you are wandering on or near the Arbat, and a refreshing break after, say, a stop at the Pushkin House Museum or Scriabin Museum nearby.
For little kids and big kids at heart, the new movie this weekend is “Jungle Cruise,” a Disney film based on a Disneyland ride that stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt searching for a magical healing tree in the jungles of South America. Comedy, magic, scary animals, evil competitors, wisecracks and sparks of romance. How can you go wrong? See this site for screenings at many theaters around town this weekend. Other than that new film, the theaters are filled with many of the same old films — “Dogville,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Amelie,” “Trainspotting,” “Zappa,” “Mulholland Drive” — and recent releases like “Cruella,” “Black Widow,” “Luca,” and “My Salinger Year.” For information about schedule and tickets, see the site here.