Sunset Boulevard

Made in L.A

When a person is told their [sic] “acting Hollywood” that means the individual is acting bougie or acting like they’re better than a person. Usually the slang “Hollywood” is said by individuals from NYC. And it means that a female or male is acting brand new like both individuals didn’t grow up in the SAME ENVIRONMENT (Urban Dictionary)

The auditions took place and I was called for an interview by an American agency. “Darling! You see, here, in Los Angeles, it’s common to smile all the time and tell everyone how successful your career is! So, please, smile all the time and don’t forget to show your beautiful teeth, talk about yourself but only from a positive angle; you can even make something up! Is that ‘OK’ with you?” I was invited to come to Los Angeles, Hollywood. On the other hand, in France, it is not in vogue to be friendly –as the French agent Denis told me: “An actress is one of the most coveted women! We must seek her out, desire her; there should be a sealed secret wrapped around her entire existence. One should learn about her from others. I have never heard such a discourse before. It was not easy for me to smile stupidly, for no reason; I am more of a supporter of a Parisian moody behavior. Still, you should give it a go!”

I liked this idea because apart from ‘going to casting’ auditions, I was planning to meet Edward, a Hollywood film distributor, to speak with him about my project. Upon my arrival, I was put up in a spacious house on Sunset Boulevard, not far from the office where the artistic agency was located. I had to rent a car to attend appointments and for personal use. In LA, even picking up a pack of cigarettes from a nearby store requires a car. No one walks. I don’t know why but I purchased Stendhal’s novelLe Rouge et le Noir from a nearby bookstore. I was completely immersed while reading it. In fact, so immersed that everything that was actually going on around me somehow rescinded into the background.  After a long day behind the wheel I stopped to take some aspirin because I hadn’t been feeling well for couple of days. I saw a Jeep appear behind a bend. Like an enchantress in a fairy tale, a gypsy, Lolita, appeared at the right moment and avoided a collision with a car as she blocked the road by her presence. She called out to me. “Yes, young lady, you do have a serious flu, it’s not a cold. And it looks like you need a different kind of medication. Come with me to my place, it is right here! I have exactly what you need right now.” It was impossible to hide anything from Lolita. Like an X-ray, she could see right through you.

The former soloist and gypsy “Romen” theater performer had lived in LA for sixteen years. The gypsy mafia sent Lolita to California with her little boy, her only son, in the early 1990s. For a few years she ran a Russian cabaret restaurant in Hollywood, then business took a turn for the worse and now she was struggling to make a living. It looked like her son had grown up without a father. But as it often is the case for a true gypsy, he devoted himself only to music. As a teenager, he was already a singer songwriter. Lolita put me on meds that got me back on my feet within a day, she truly brought me back to life. Lolita spoke a lot about various subjects. An incredibly intelligent, beautiful, and talented woman, she told me about how the gypsy camp works and what true gypsy love is. Lolita volunteered to spread her magical deck of cards for me herself and was able to see “what the future promised.” She pulled out three cards. I was not sure if I wanted to hear this, but she insisted: “Right now, a marriage awaits you and it cannot be avoided, but you will also have another husband later on. One day you will be working together. You shall be back here in LA with your big plans, something real, a business and success!” I was trying to think about her prediction seriously then, but I did not forget it.  I could not get rid of the feeling of the inevitability of everything that was happening, as well as from the haunting déjà vu.

When I arrived at the meeting with the producer at the distributor’s company in Beverly Hills to discuss the possible realization of my film project, he explained to me that the most popular cinematic genre were comedy and horror films. “For cinema d’auteur there is a better chance in Europe, and even American directors are looking for producers there if their films do not correspond to the “mainstream” concept.” Edward said. However, there was still hope because the film company would normally produce one foreign film a year and I had to write a screenplay. Unlike in Europe where we start to negotiate at the synopsis stage, Hollywood only works with full scripts. So, we agreed with Edward that I would write a script in American English, which I did afterwards. Within weeks I was very tired from the insincerity shown at interviews and auditions; everyone wanted to look better than they were, and I decided to try a different tactic. Here, all were writers, all were directors – it seems like in Hollywood there were no ordinary people. Samuel introduced himself as a film director. At first I said nothing about myself or my projects. After I got to know him, Samuel promised to introduce me to good people and to organize new Hollywood-style photo shoots with a great photographer who was a friend of his. A handsome, well-built black man, he was going through a break-up with a famous French actress who had just won an Oscar for playing the role of singer Edith Piaf. The actress lived in Los Angeles for over a year and, not having achieved the expected success, returned to Paris but ultimately not in vain. Olivier Dahan‘s role in the film made the little-known actress an absolute star.

It is not uncommon for jealousy to exist between artistic couples when one partner cannot come to terms with the other’s more successful career, or worse yet, secretly begins to regret that they cannot prevent their success. Some fear that by using them he will move forward, while others simply wait for the partner to make a mistake, a false move in order to appear as a winner in light of the other’s failure. It is all indeed terribly boring to recognize but unfortunately it happens all the time in the artistic world. It is jealousy that is often the cause of many breakups. I also dealt with this and, as said as it may have been, had to defend my copyright in court. Everything in life is an experience and each time make mistakes we get stronger.

When I returned to Los Angeles for the second time, I saw that I had made the right choice during my first trip in 2002 when I decided not to listen to George Clooney’s agents and instead opted to return to Paris. I knew I was different and could no longer go on pretending. “You have to follow your own route; this passage is not your style, you should remain true to yourself and be authentic. You are not a bimbo girl. You are an artist.” Said photographer Carlo Miari Fulcis. Italian brand Police booked me from Milano, and Carlo took a publicity cliché of me together with Clooney; a house on Mulholland Drive, the one used in David Lynch’s film of the same title. It was the scene of a party in a director’s home, where I began to play the grand piano in the large living room.During the five weeks I spent in California in 2007, my mind and thoughts were constantly on Europe. On my return, I had a difficult move from Paris to London. I just felt that the timing is yet to be set for LA.

An Exclusive Book Excerpt from Anna Bondareva’s ‘Making-of :Trusted Chronicles’

Angelic

Being an angel is not an easy task. Let’s just think about it for a moment and and try to imagine how it would actually feel like to have no bodily needs. To be free of every human obstacle, and able to traverse and travel in different dimensions of time and space.

To be freed from uncontrollable impulses, greed, and all other unpleasant biological states, like the inevitability of death. What is there to do for an angel in this world, one might wonder. This creature can only enjoy its benefits and surround people with celestial warmth, a heavenly aura. You surely felt at least once in your life that someone, or something, is hovering behind your shoulder? Like an invisible knight whose task is to travel by your side and keep you safeguarded from evil… Your Guardian Angel is always there for you, watching you silently while whispering unheard beautiful melodies into your ear! One must learn how to recall them!

Artwork: Fra Angelico , The Annunciation (1442-43), Early Renaissance

Rondo Cantabile

Despite the troubled and difficult times, each of us in our heart strives to keep hope, while waiting for Christmas, while waiting for the Miracle! Anna Bondareva’s musical composition for piano Rondo Cantabile blends harmoniously with the warm sound of the strings, for a meditative immersion at this time of year.

Official release date: 7th of December 2022!  Strings arrangement, sound, artwork & video by Oleg Kornev.




Лунный Ковчег

«Лунный Ковчег» — детективный роман с элементами сюрреализма во многом инспирирован событиями из жизни автора.

«Как только я останавливаюсь, паузы растягиваются, сливаясь на мгновение с абсолютным «ничто». Из этой безраздельной тишины рождалось эхо. Я различаю женские голоса, с которыми доносятся неразборчивые слова: «Еskato bebeloi! Еskato bebeloi!!»

Впервые роман Анны Бондаревой «Лунный Ковчег»  был издан в 2019-ом. Ранее главы из книги были опубликованы в ежегодном литературном альманахе
«Из Парижска. Русские страницы».

Книга «Лунный Ковчег» Анны Бондаревой теперь доступна в магазинах всероссийской книжной сети «Читай-город»,
а также в книжных Северной столицы, в «Буквоед»!

 

Ornaments

Ornaments album by Anna Bondareva (AB Neoclassical Music) is a reflection on ultramodern approach to piano music. Expanding boundaries and musical intervals, experimenting with chromatisms; constant research of unknown dimension.

Free from melancholy, it is rather different level of emotion where discovery of new piano sound becomes a joyful process. Ornamenta Viridi single contains two versions of the track, piano solo & a version with magic cello arrangements.

 Ornaments album release date is set for the 6th of December, Ornamenta Viridi will be released Tuesday, the 1st of December; official music video to “Ornamenta Viridi” will premiere  on the same day at noon on Anna’s YouTube channel!




 

 

Ocean Song & My Kingdom

Initially, Ocean Song by Anna Bondareva was released in an EP-album My Kingdom, and only then an album with remixes Ocean’s Seven appeared!




The lyrics from My Kingdom album are filled with touching romantic moods, and the melodic line perfectly complements the compositions, creating a special magical atmosphere. Guitars and saxophone join an alliance with piano modulations, unique songs that everyone will like.




Ocean Song  recently has been featured in Indie Italia review, you can also check Anna’s Official YouTube channel for the song lyric video and many more!

Supermodel Forever by Anna Bondareva

Supermodel Forever is an immense encyclopedic work on fashion industry, with a touching and intimate account. This is a daring book, offering an insightful author’s take on high fashion, presenting it as something uncommon, tricky, but still human after all. This book by Anna Bondareva offers memoires that analyze and explore this sparkling yet full of contradictory business from all its angles. Initially published in Russia, and then later in French by the Parisian publishing house (Éditions du Panthéon) under the title Beauté Éternelle. 

“Beauté Éternelle: Le Témoignage” new French edition of the book is out now!




Having evolved in the world of professional haute couture, and having starting modeling at the early age, Anna arrived to Paris in during the 90s. She arrived right in the middle of the big exposure of the supermodel’s era. While being a sixteen-year-old at the time, she came to win over the many temptations of the fashion world. Anna Bondareva has a story to tell. She shares her personal expertise, her close look at haute couture fashion and those who gravitate towards it. Her book gives us a behind the scenes look that make you question how real television and magazine depictions really are. Or is it such a magical place to be, the house of glamour?

Covering her experiences in Paris, London, Rome, New-York, Havana and Saint-Petersburg, Anna Bondareva delivers to her readers an assessment, while being as impartial as she can and offering a critically philosophical, lucid and sharp gaze at the external thrilling events, at times full of danger. This autobiography is well documented and rich in the life anecdotes it provides. Behind this seemingly festive, creative atmosphere that sprinkled with glitter and champagne bubbles, hides a darker facade, which Anna describes in her opus.

However, one might think that we know and have heard ‘all these stories’ so many times before! Quite a few films dealt with the same topic. The story of becoming a model also once caught the interest of Andrei Konchalovsky, as he went on shooting “Gloss in 2007, which starred director’s wife Yuliya Vysotskaya.

Another example is Angelina Jolie who appeared in “Gia”, a television show about one of the first supermodel back in the nineteenth. The French leading filmmaker Luc Besson, a director who has always amazed his audience with movies driven by strong female heroines such as “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc”, recently released blockbuster “Anna”. His new film takes up the subject of the Russian model known as ‘Sasha’, and her story of how she was forced to become a superspy.

In “Celebrity”, a witty movie directed by Woody Allen, Oscar-winning Charlize Theron was given the opportunity to demonstrate her exquisite looks as she has been cast to play a supermodel. Therefore, in Supermodel Forever the author’s inner world is presented throughout twenty-eight chapters. Every chapter tells backstage stories, each of which is guaranteed to whet your curiosity. What could be tastier than going behind the scenes of the fashion world?

The history of fashion, the portraits of figures of this sometimes overestimate universe of catwalks and castings; all of these are taken up in Bondavera’s book. Bondareva warns all those who are vividly trying to be part of this sometimes cruel dimension to remain careful. She casts a lucid gaze on those glossy dreams that haunt so many young girls. She has worked with some of the greatest photographers, and has been represented by some of the best modeling agencies in the world. Bondareva is a French based and Russian born neoclassical composer, pianist, singer songwriter, film actress and author possessing a remarkable charm that makes her a very distinct character.

The fact that she is so multifaceted, in combination with her image as a diva, inevitably instills in people with refined taste a look full of admiration for her. Bondareva is also an artist who can boast about having recorded 19 albums and many more EPs and singles. She got her first role on the big screen in a French movie “Bunker Paradise”. Lately, she has mainly devoted herself to music. Her immense work ranges from neoclassical instrumental compositions to songs in pop art style, dominated by the piano, and sometimes mixed with electro-dance trends. It does make Bondareva a composer and authentic songwriter difficult to ascribe to a single defined genre. For example, in her somewhat fun intended self-deprecating, catchy and humorous track, “Hair Clip”, her lyrics perfectly reflect the credo of a supermodel. A kind of sober black and white, graphically stylish official music video to the song is available on YouTube.

Supermodel Forever brings a new eye to this prestigious but deceptive world. If you haven’t finished choosing someone’s Birthday’s gift yet, I can only recommend this book as one.




Marie Lancel

At first, this story was a film script, but the author, fallen in love with her characters, chose to give them a new existence in a real novel, since each hero of the book has his own right to happiness. Marie Lancel is a romantic dilogy that brings together, in a mysterious way, unexpected events and touching, funny and sometimes surreal characters to give this plot a twist that is both adventurous and sophisticated.

The search for true love becomes a single objective, which transforms the lives of all the protagonists. Deeply immersed in the quest to realize their dreams, they discover another dimension of reality, a new way of being that will guide their ambition.

Recently, Marie Lancel by Anna Bondareva has been published in France!

In order to please her aunt and spend one more day with her, Marie decided to visit the fortune teller and listen to a forecast of her future. On a late October morning Marie Lancel together with her aunt, Edita, went to the sixteenth arrondissement of Paris to visit a soothsayer. Was this Paris, or seeing Edita, or something else altogether? But it was the first time in a long time since Marie felt a warm wind of hope in the air and her sense of being was no longer sealed with grief and anger.  As they walked pass the large Avenue Foch, Marie began recalling childhood memories: “My darling, Edita! Do you remember how you used to pick me up from school, before the end of my lessons, under a fictitious pretext… and then we would go to the cinema and watch films starring Louis de Funès?!” Edita felt a swift kick back to her past, and all of a sudden she felt much younger. “And now the cinema has become completely different, and I no longer go to see the films. Everything has changed so much, and Paris is no longer the same city, the one it used to be; I even stopped following the news, as it simply became unbearable. I don’t believe in politics, you know me!”

“What nonsense, auntie! There is always something to see and discover!” Marie said as she smiled, “We shall be going with you to our favorite theatre in Montmartre, and we will not care what film we will watch, let it be a surprise! No further discussion! After the fortune teller, we will go straight to Montmartre, although I promised myself not to go to this quarter, but I do not fear the past anymore. Now I just feel that all of it does not matter so much. This does not mean that I have forgotten everything. On the contrary! It’s just that something has changed in my perception, and my memories are no longer hurting me. They are somewhat painless, vague dream sequences; like an old diary, which I can look through from time to time if I want to.”

Marie felt comfortable with Edita. She could talk to her for hours and not feel bored; Edita’s voice and the smell of her Chanel 5 perfume did not changed over the years, all reminded Marie of her carefree Parisian youth. The women climbed a spacious circular stone staircase that led to the top floor. The door was ajar and they went into a large living room. Despite the day, the curtains were drawn; only a small floor lamp emitted light at the end of a long corridor. In the salon, oriental music played softly and in the center of the room there was a table full of candles, covered with purple velvet cloth, on which there were numerous wax stains. The whole place looked vintage and shabby; a deck of Tarot cards were laid out on the table.

Marie headed straight to the table and began to examine the cards. At that moment, a woman with dark hair and bright flowery clothes approached Edita to say hello. Marie spoke to the gypsy fortune teller, “ I just have had a déjà vu! I have seen you somewhere, for sure! Wait a moment…that’s right! You were in my dream! ”

Marie was shocked by what was happening, she was sure that this gypsy woman was exactly the one in her visions, and aunt Edita was somewhat worried: “Can it really happen?! My dear Marie! With you, I always have incredible adventures!” The Gypsy gazed intently into the pretty face of Lancel, who stood by the large window and watched the street pigeon perched on the outer window cornice. The Gypsy said:  “Now go and take a card from that table, and I’ll tell you what you need to know.”

Marie heard this phrase in her head and was not sure exactly where the voice had come from; whether it was the voice of a woman fortune-teller, or just a mental call, like hypnosis. The actress, Marie, approached the table in the center of the room and drew out a card from a large deck. On the card of the major Arcana, The Lovers, were depicted by a naked man and woman, staring at a large angel above them. An angel sat on a cloud with arms crossed, multi-colored wings developing behind him.  ”Now get two more cards!” Fortune teller directed her order to Lancel without moving her eye lids. Marie did not try to resist and pulled out two more cards: “Okay, here you are!” The Gypsy looked at the cards for a minute, and continued to preach:

“The Third and Seventh Arcana mean that you have complete control over your destiny; you will be able to direct your life along the path you desire but only on one condition. You must connect the great energy of love, the secret center for everyone and everything, which is conventionally designated as “Omega”. Once you manage to free yourself from your habitual patterns of perception, you will meet true love. She will find you herself. It doesn’t take long to wait!” As soon as Marie was about to ask her question, the Gypsy began to chant in an incomprehensible language, and Edita, noticing the actress’s confusion, went up to her and whispered in her ear. “I told you that we have the right to only one question; she already answered you, now it’s time for us to leave.”

Leaving the building, Marie stopped for a moment and turned to her aunt, and with some confusion spoke: “Omega” is the center of love, a point of universal reference, an exhaustive abundance, in which external attributes lose their properties, dissolving in an unthinkable stream of pure vibrations of angelic beauty. How do I know all this?!” At that very moment, private detective, Mr. Lyndon, was getting prepared in the entrance. He was clearly in a hurry, and Edita instantly recognized him.

An extract from the book  Marie Lancel by Anna Bondareva




Fool’s Gold

In the ancient world, from China and India to Greece, alchemists struggled to find a universal cure for diseases. This would extend through the ages and later be addressed by alchemists. Alchemy is a medieval chemical science, a type of speculative philosophy focused on trying to alter fewer valuable metals into gold; a magical solution intended to discover a means of prolonging life indefinitely.

Fool’s gold is a substance that is found in rock and resembles gold very much.

Gold is one of seven metals of alchemy. It could also be used by other disciplines to represent other things, such as its use to represent the sun in astrology. But in Alchemy, gold represented the perfection of all matter on any level, including that of the mind, spirit, and soul.

In the game of Tarot, The Fool card is numbered as “zero”, which is associated with the notion of  unlimited potential. Various philosophical meanings could be found in tarot cards. When meditating on it carefully, one could try to imagine how to turn any situation into a positive outcome, by playing it around from a different angle and ‘taking it easy’ or ‘acting like a fool’. This specific technique is also used in some martial art practices, such as pretending to be a drunken body, so that your enemy does not notice you are in fact preparing for the next combat strike.

The Fool Arcana is also considered the Fool’s journey through life, and as such, he is ever present and therefore needs no number. The Fool is always ready to begin everything from scratch, dropping behind all the heavy duties and memories from his or her past, and clearing out the inner space for a new road full of incredible adventures. The new road movie will begin and as does every film, good music is always needed. This meditative approach leads to healing; it can definitely bring tranquility in difficult and anxious times.

People tend to create cages of gold for themselves; building houses, and seeking profit.   Quite often, it takes the best years of a person’s life. We all undoubtedly need to be singled out; we do need to become free as a bird in order to feel all the charm of the flight, to actually enjoy the sky scenery!  We shall leave our cage, albeit incredibly beautiful, but still a cage. Since early times, people have been looking for a sacred meaning in alchemic elements in order to make nature serve their purposes, such as healing.

With the help of music, we have the opportunity to conduct healing rituals.

Yet how can the most unsightly or unpleasant, suddenly turn into something attractive, speaking of human beings? Everything depends on the energy, and all energy is subject to transformation.  When applying a sincere effort, we all are, like the ancient alchemists, potentially able to become magicians.

The poison of negative emotions can destroy the good side of an individual. Therefore, one should carefully tune one’s emotions. The question is similar to the one posed in the Harry Potter world, whereby a magic hat chooses which camp each student will attend, asking the fundamental question of ‘will you become good wizards or vice versa?’

The path is unpredictable, and inspiring music can become very helpful, just give it a try and wait for the outcome.




 

Extravaganza

When one hears the word ‘extravaganza’, its somewhat bizarre sounding name already keeping us intrigued.  It promises something mysterious and out of everyday rhythm, a certain departure to another world with the help of a supernatural power; like in a story by Edgar Allan Poe where the Angel of the Odd appears to the main hero and makes him confess that the bizarre really can occur. The 19thcentury British dramatist, James Planché, was known for his extravaganzas. Planché defined the genre as “the whimsical treatment of a poetical subject.” At the same time, extravaganza could be associated with an expensive and elaborate theatrical production, something truly spectacular! The term derives its origins from the Italian word stravaganza, meaning oddness or strangeness. Is definitely something out of the ordinary; always transcending the boundaries of generally accepted norms. An extravaganza musical work is often characterized by freedom of style and structure. All these can be applied when speaking of Anna’s new piano album of the same title ‘Extravaganza’. The incredible and incendiary mood of her danceable sharp piano compositions, combined with the atypical harmonies inherent in the neoclassical style, together create a truly unique quality album. To end this year on a high note, these most enchanting piano pieces will even bring the gloomiest mood out of stagnation.