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Thursday, July 27, 2017

At the MIFF premiere of the Russian film “the Monk and the demon” by Nikolai Dostal

At the 38th Moscow international film festival premiere of only in the main competition of the Russian film “the Monk and the demon” by Nikolai Dostal. His intrigue is that the devil became man, and even a monk.

photo: youtube.com

Frame from the film “the Monk and the demon”

Screenwriter Yuri Arabov, who wrote the script, came to the meeting with the journalists with the words: “a Higher power still did not allow me to view. If tomorrow this happens, you have to invite a shaman”.

The idea to make “Monk and the demon” came Nikolai Dostal in 20011 year, but the way the film was long. Yuri Arabov wrote the screenplay for his idea in 2012, but filming was able to start only in 2015. The project started with a different producer. The means by 20-30%, provided the Fund a movie. But the extra sponsorship money could not be found. Had to return to the state to avoid penalties. A unique case in the history of cinema. But Dostal were not appeased, applied with producer Igor Tolstunov to the Ministry of culture. As he says in the movie easy to find money only on the deed or mad. In General, the Ministry of culture has allocated too little money, but we have begun the work in parallel, extracting the missing funds.

What was shooting Dostal? On this question the answer words Arabova: “Can the devil become human? Who the hell knows?”. Inspired the monk Ivan of Novgorod, who lived in the 11th-12th century, later to become Holy. When the demon fell into the Holy water, he agreed to pull it out, but under one condition: let dumped into Jerusalem. And there go the heroes of the film: blessed Ivan Semenov, the role played by Timofey Tribunal, and Satan, aka Mephistopheles, played by actor-debutant George Fetisov. Funds were limited, and Jerusalem was shot in the Crimea. But the Dead sea of the Jordan, and Petra on the screen is authentic. The authors were consultants to the priests, but in the credits to indicate they did not. Serious observations from the high spiritual ranks after viewing was not..

Before the writer Dostal has set the task: write about the monk and at the same time something like “Faust”. Now the Arabs said that he came to heresy, which is rooted in folklore. Producer Igor Tolstunov without much optimistic about the future, because success now have entertaining pictures and a movie about the exploits, and any meaningful picture remains on the margins of attention. But if they reached the “Island” Lungin – good. The budget of “the Monk and the devil” amounted to 120 million rubles, of which 50 million was allocated by the Ministry of culture.

“It is a fabulous version of “Faust”, transferred to the Russian soil and in our days. The same damn questions are asked in the style of it is quite lurid. That’s who convincing, so it is Boris Kamorzin in the role of the Abbot, as if all life in the monastery was conducted. Wearing a cassock and Roman Madyanov. But he plays a kind of phantom, the pseudo-priest, in which materialized Mephistopheles named or the name is Legion. But the whirlwind, the whirlwind of madness did not work, although Dostal and his actors managed to avoid the props and excessive theatricality, which would have ruined the original movie.

Save the world the bones of a mammoth

Prominent politician, former press Secretary of Boris Yeltsin, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, presenting his documentary “Bloody ivory”, made an unexpected offer: “Elephants can be saved at the expense of mammoths of Russia, but only if China will go to the meeting”. It turns out, can be replaced by a bone of the mammoth tusks of elephants, which opened to hunting. “This is a revelation for me,” says the Yastrzhembsky. – It’s amazing how inexhaustible reserves of fossil ivory from us! In a year Russia can supply 40-60 tons. And this is the story of a new, the third his paintings. Work on it began. Filmed in Chukotka and the Arctic ocean. And while the authors it is important to understand who is at the end of the criminal chain. In consumption of elephant tusks in the first place – the Chinese market, which accounts for 95 percent of the illegal turnover. After China is the United States. Contribute to Tibetan monks. Even the Vatican is relevant to this business. China is not ready to abandon the tradition of ivory carving, and the state finances the work of bone carvers But the question is an edge, and we must choose between tradition and living nature. In the opinion of the Yastrzhembsky, the latter is more important. So entwined two dilecta – the one that was shown at the international film festival which soon will close the film festival in Montreal, and new about the saving mission of Russia.

Who killed the train driver?

One of the most unusual paintings in the competition program – Serbo-Croatian “diary of a machinist”. Its hero is preparing for retirement, and his adopted 19-year-old son wants to continue to train the dynasty. But things are not so simple in this grim and realistic story, masterfully made and with a good dose of black humor. The actors here are perfect. Directed by Milos Radovic arrived in Moscow for the first time, and now regrets that he learned in his time Russian language. Most of all, the Director was afraid to take a tragedy or a social drama, like Comedy. Previously he spoke with the driver. Their relationship to the tragedies recalled the attitude of the Serbs in General to any life dramas. “I was taught to solve problems through humor,” says Milos Radovic. – I’m doing”. He cited official data: 10-20 kills a driver for his life. Not intentionally, of course. Its victims often committed suicide and inattentive citizens. As practice shows, in the drivers in 90 percent of cases are children drivers. Fathers and grandfathers prepared the sons that they will kill someone. Sounds fantastic, but all these facts. The hero of the film is Elijah, who all his life worked as a machinist, like his grandfather, father, family accounts for 75 of the victims. The first collision of the train with the victim– the most difficult in this profession. Any driver is experiencing a strong fear in anticipation of when it will happen. Parents, friends trying to help in this situation.

The role of a young driver played by student of the faculty of sociology of Lazar Ristovski. This is his film debut. Found the guy by accident. And when the Director asked him to go to the theater, he flatly refused. In Moscow, Lazar admitted that the picture did boldly: “My father worked on the railroad, although not a machinist. And Milos’s father was a machinist. So we are pretty familiar with the subject. Our film was a gesture of gratitude to our ancestors. And the role of Elijah Milos wrote specifically for me. As it got close to shooting, I asked him how to play. And Milos replied, “Play with yourself, play what you know, I wrote it for you.”

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