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Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Chairman of the jury of “Kinotavr” Nikolay Lebedev spoke in defense of popular films

Grand Prix 27-th Open Russian film festival “Kinotavr”, held in Sochi, got the picture “Good boy” Oksana Karas. It was vigorously welcomed by the audience and critics didn’t even mention.

photo: Gennady Avramenko

Oksana Karas, winner of the Grand Prix of the “Kinotavr”.

“Kinotavr” for many years was considered a Bastion of auteur cinema. The festival’s management was accused of pandering to the seamy side and the Arthouse. In the end, he triumphed there full mainstream. The festival turned toward the audience. One of the members of the jury — producer and Director Janik Faiziev, had once worked in the independent film, learned well the laws of business, ” said the damning words: “If I were the Minister of culture, the less would spend money to copyright a movie. The task of the state — for every dollar invested in the film to get the maximum number of viewers. At the same time, critics noted that the air smelled of kerosene, the level of submitted papers is below average, so it is time to abandon the awarding of the prizes.

The Chairman of the jury of the main competition film Director Nikolai Lebedev has told “MK” about their experiences.

— Guild of film critics was close to anyone at all not to award the prize. And your jury is not born of such sentiments?

— No. Because there are regulations of the festival. It would be strange to compare the competition films with the films “8½,” Fellini, “Battleship “Potemkin”, “Citizen Kane”… We lined up the priorities based on the analysis of the 14 paintings, which participated in the competition. Such a task in front of us stood, and we followed.

Sounds very much like soldiers.

— Not a soldier, as a human being. We are filmmakers and we understand how much work this is. Filmmaking is not a wrestler, and a magnifying glass, a reflection of what is happening in society and cinema. We couldn’t say: “Oh, not going to award the award, we are so sophisticated…” the jury discussed the work of their colleagues who loves. Today, it is important for us to realize that playing movies that are incomprehensible to anyone but the three individual aesthetes, we lose everything. Won in different years at Kinotavr “Caucasian captive”, “Brother”, “peculiarities of national hunt”, “War” is not rested on escapist Arthouse when it is not clear, movie-watching or hallucinations. I was pleased that the competition films was the desire to communicate with the audience. Stress: it’s not fawning, not pleasing. What’s the use of talking about important things, if no one is listening? Attempt to find a common language with the audience — very important. This urgent problem. Whether we like it or not, you need to solve it in our cinema. If we do not, we get the empty halls. The movie will simply cease to exist.

— This determined the superiority of a “Good boy”?

— We argued but we didn’t have fights and conflicts. There’s seven of us in the jury. Everyone has their own position. Dear people, real professionals. We tried to understand each other. I had a second vote, but I never used it.

In turn Oksana Karas, film Director, winner of the Grand Prix of the “Kinotavr”, said “MK”:

I’m interested in making the author’s mainstream, these paintings, which are clear and close to the viewer, characters that you can empathize. But it is important author’s handwriting that he hurts, not made to order. The films of woody Allen — more, but they are audience. Do not think that I equate myself with him. He is my idol. In Russia there are such Directors. When I was preparing for the filming of a “Good boy”, focused on the good old Soviet cinema, who is loved for his sincere tone and simplicity. “Good boy,” grew out of “Rodney” Mikhalkov, “Courier” Shakhnazarov”, “Plumbum” abdrashitova, “Flights in dream and reality” Balayan… viewers missed this tone. “Good boy,” actor’s movie, and very simple, without the snobbery and moralizing. It is a sincere story about growing up one person.

I would not oppose our picture and “Student” by Kirill Serebrennikov. Yes, they are about the school. Just lost the ice cream to starring in the film, Semyon Treskunov. I was sure the “Student” will give the main prize. This is the author’s picture, because we were talking about how we have hurt. Just Serebrennikov was sick for one thing and I another. But we are both sincere.

Documentary filmmaker Denis Shabaev, was awarded for the best debut, shared with “MK”:

– I did not expect awards because documentaries always as an outcast.

– Did not call even his hero?

I’ll call you. He is now in a difficult situation. It needs to be deported – he has not paid the penalty 500 – 1000 roubles. I have traveled to Central Asia, made a film about demining. It’s an amazing culture and people. I hurt when I see how we treat them. They are just like us, not second-class citizens, and far more moral and more honest than we are. With the heroes “borrowed work” I make friends, help than can. The mother of one of them cans vegetables, grows potatoes and all this shared with me. From feature and documentary films a sense of life’s truth is different. Irowiki much invent out of my head, but they have a budget.

– And you start to shoot, not having any money?

For six months off at their own expense, trying to find some money. They must take so as not to spoil the movie. It is important to do what you want. And if you take money from random people, it is unknown how it will end. It may not happen anything.

Your thoughts about the quality of our shared cinema German film critic, selector of the Russian program of the festival in Cottbus Marcel Maiga:

– I didn’t expect to see so many different paintings. For your festival, we choose popular films. Commercial cinema we are also wondering. I myself not only a selector but also the viewer, so the film needs to impress me. The theme of love, human relationships demanded in Russia and Germany. Always attracts the local flavor. Life in Russia is different from the situation in other countries. Today is not the kind of movie, as it was five years ago. This year I would have said average, but a few films I liked. There are paintings of world level, but most are designed exclusively for the Russian audience. Light films made with a sense of humor, understandable for you may not always understand the German viewer. I liked the “Zoology” is an example of the fact that we live in a society of individualists where the family is not considered something important, and this is a big problem. If you have a tail and you’re not like other, it is difficult to live. We are constantly told what we should be, what to wear and how to think. And if you’re struggling from the norm, life becomes unbearable. “Man from the future” – at first glance a light and funny movie. It raises serious issues about faith, about how the society accepts the person on the end of the world, finally. To “light” a lot of nonsense, it’s a fun, conversation piece. It raises the theme of salvation culture. Closed cinema, but it can be theatre or music school. The state always issues in the cultural sector. In “Wake me up” touches on the topic of corruption is relevant in the world. The main problem of the competition films – in scripts. Often there is no logic, sometimes you don’t understand what’s going on. At the same time, life in Russia is so bright and it gives an interesting, not flimsy threads.

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