Followed Casablanca up with Doctor Zhivago (2002 version). There’s a funny scene near the beginning when young doctor/poet – ‘I’ll be a doctor for others and a poet for myself’ – is next up at a poetry reading and waits for an overly-animated young futurist poet to finish his tirade. It’s mostly pretty embarrassing, they made him out to look something between Mayakovsky and Kurt Schwitters with a funnel on his head, and he’s being all loud and Fast and very excited by his own performance –  shouting things like ‘the universe breathes through me!’.

Still I’d prefer a small gathering of Russian Futurist poets in 1917 than most of the Slam contests I have attended. But that’s just me being anachronistically biased.


There’s a grimmer scene near the end. Lara’s husband, (who, at least in this version, had joined the revolution, because he saw that she didn’t love him) reads some of Zhivago’s poems and, realizing in a flash that he had traded a life of love for war, shoots himself in the head. Now who said poetry makes nothing happen.

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