IN THE RUBRIC "VIDEOTEKA" our heroines talk about their favorite films and TV shows - important, vivid, inspiring, those that are hard to forget once you see them. In this episode, the Illusion Cinema Special Projects Manager Sasha Karjakina shares her intimate love for Soviet cinema about teenagers and admires the accuracy of Kirill Serebrennikov's artistic statements.
INTERVIEW: Alisa Taezhnaya
PHOTOS: Alexander Karnyukhin
MAKEUP: Anastasia Pryadkova
Manager of special projects of the cinema "Illusion"
Now I understand that I am much more interested in intimate conversational cinema than cocky action or psychological thriller, so-called attraction films
It was customary in my family to watch a lot, mainly, of course, Soviet cinema, to accompany everyday situations with quotes from "Carnival" and "Pokrovskie gates", "It can't be!" and Rodney. Two of my first loves are also associated with the Pokrovskie Gates: the first - in Moscow (I come from a small village in the Trans-Baikal Territory), the second - in Oleg Menshikov. I think watching "Burnt by the Sun" has locked something in my head: since then, the meaner and more complex the negative character, the more natural the actor is in this image, the closer the road to my heart is for him.
I don’t remember that in childhood my parents forbade me any films, but if we watched something together, on explicit scenes they switched to another channel - I smiled knowingly. At one time on NTV at night there was a TV series "Sex and the City", which I periodically looked at when I was eleven when my parents were on duty. Most likely, they would not be happy about it, but for me it was a huge discovery that, it turns out, you can talk about sex so freely and not be ashamed at all. And also to work a maximum of five minutes a day and at the same time eat in restaurants and buy expensive shoes.
At the age of fourteen I saw Mike Nichols' Intimacy for the first time, and I really didn’t like it: all the characters were terribly annoying, I wanted to turn it off in the middle, and my eyes were rolling from endless conversations and clarifications. A couple of years ago I decided to revisit it - now it is one of my favorite films. When you become an adult, talk a lot, do little and have no idea what you want, this film looks with completely different eyes. Now I understand that I am much more interested in intimate conversational cinema than cocky action or psychological thriller, the so-called attraction films.
Previously, I was embarrassed that I did not know any great authors or did not see recognized masterpieces, I made lists of "What to see in a month", but now I think that this does not work. You can’t start your relationship with some author just because you have to: a tick on the list does not bring either joy or satisfaction, but only the thought “I wish I looked at it for the hundredth time“In my last breath”.
My main film school was working at CoolConnections: I joined them in my last year of college, and a new world fell upon me, which I began to feverishly explore. My favorite festival in Moscow is Amfest, and American independent cinema is almost a religion. There is no blues that Richard Linklater cannot heal. Wes Anderson easily copes with the longing from the gray Moscow winter. Noah Baumbach brings up self-acceptance, and Kelly Reichardt teaches empathy.
Ben Stiller, 1994
The unearthly beauty Winona Ryder in the role of Lileyna wants to become someone by the age of twenty-three, and Ethan Hawke (of the same unearthly beauty) answers her that by the age of twenty-three she should not be someone, but herself. It is difficult not to fall under the charm of a film about young idlers when you are eighteen and really want to prove, first of all to yourself, that you are capable of something.And for what, you don't know yet. A very tender film about finding yourself and about friendship, which I watch about once a year on the eve of my birthday.
Craig Gillespie, 2007
Lars and the real girl
A very funny and touching film about loneliness and that it is easier not to fight, but to accept. Films about cute characters with a weirdness, like Lars, are very useful for me: I am a very categorical person and since childhood I have always been tough on other people's weaknesses (my parents were very tormented), but I am glad to admit that the older I get, the more it means to me empathy, the easier it is for me to accept people as they are. Thanks for that to mustachioed Ryan Gosling as Lars and his girlfriend Bianca, a rubbery Brazilian Danish.
Nikolay Lebedev, Ernest Yasan, 1979
I ask you to blame Klava K. for my death.
In Soviet cinema, they surprisingly knew how to show adolescents as independent individuals, their problems were not presented as small and funny, and the ability to stand up for oneself and friends gave odds to the skills of many adults. I really love "Klava K.", "When I become a giant", "The woodpecker does not have a headache", "Courier": it is a real pleasure to watch them with my parents. In "Klava K." I am especially pleased with Klava herself, who breaks down at the performance of the choir, where her role was only to stand in the front row and be beautiful. It is not easy to grow up to be a kind and sensitive person when you are considered stupid from childhood and are taught to use your appearance. And admitting your cruelty towards another and apologizing for it is even more difficult.
Anna Melikyan, 2007
For the first time I saw this film with my sister, we took away the film for quotes and could not look at pineapples without laughing. Not so long ago, I decided to revisit it and fell in love again: it is just as fresh and energetic and does not seem hopelessly outdated as many films made at that time. I am very grateful to Anna Melikyan for the awfully pretty Moscow of the 2000s (until now "when people have nowhere to go, they go to Moscow"), the stubborn mermaid Alice, whose wishes are never fulfilled in a human way, Tsyganova as a prince in funny wide pants, constantly unnaturally drunk, and an appropriately used mat (how is this lacking in the cinema now!). And also for the word "Sundance" - that's when I first heard it and decided to find out what it is.
Julie Taymor, 2007
Through the universe
Before "Across the Universe" I did not like musicals: sudden musical numbers caused rejection and were associated with something like "Old songs about the main thing." But then it happened - and since then musicals have not scared me. The main characters are responsible for this - the songs of The Beatles (without this music I would have grown up a completely different person) and director Julie Taymor. Very often, the beauty of the picture on the screen is not inferior to the sound: whether it be an LSD trip, anti-war protests or just heroes lying in the field singing "Because" to the sound of the wind. I have never seen it on the big screen and now I dream of arranging such a show in our cinema.
Marlene Khutsiev, 1966
One of the most vivid and beautiful films of that era became close to me quite recently. Today, the thaw feels almost like a Renaissance to many. The more valuable is the documented portrait of the generation of thirty-year-olds, their faces, conversations, songs with a guitar. The country in which the heroes of the film lived no longer exists, but our country is very similar to that one, and fatigue from our reality is akin to their fatigue. The image of Lena helped me understand what growing up means to me: this is not about parting with my dream and the transition to the notorious stability, but the ability to maturely make decisions, to understand what is real and what is imaginary and superfluous.
Moscow in Khutsiev's films is a subject of a separate conversation, real poetry that can still be felt on the city streets if you look around. I would like to walk Lena's routes, borrow someone's jacket in the rain, cuddle with someone at dawn, walking along the rows of trolley buses, go to a house where “someone must have a birthday”.
Otto Preminger, 1958
Many people say that the film is secondary in comparison with the book by Françoise Sagan, and this is most likely so. But Otto Preminger managed to create characters exactly as I imagined them when reading. Although, of course, it is a pity that the writer at one time preferred the Americans to Godard.
I want to dissolve into the sunny picture of the Mediterranean (the perfect film for our winter), and I can't take my eyes off Jean Seberg, whom I passionately wanted to be like as a teenager. The saturation of the life of the main character Cecile and her father both enrages and enchants, how amazing is their luck. They are one of those people who always have an elderly rich uncle dying on time, who gets the only familiar ticket on the exam, they never have an excruciating hangover and sunburn, and it seems that you will never know their l’art de vivre. I love the ending, which is inevitable, like a downpour after a sultry day, and the simple moral that you cannot manipulate people, no matter how much you want.
Rob Reiner, 1989
When Harry Met Sally
As a child, I adored Hollywood rom-coms and could watch them all day long - as a result, I remember almost by heart "Notting Hill", "Pretty Woman", "Four Weddings and One Funeral", "Love with Notice", "Sleepless in Seattle", "You letter”,“Best friend's wedding”. Not to say that I regret the time spent, only my expectations from adulthood were somewhat overestimated because of Tom Hanks and Hugh Grant. “When Harry Met Sally” I still enjoy revisiting and nostalgic for the time when it was possible to shoot like this in Hollywood: charming heroes who are over thirty, witty dialogues, a predictable ending and a kiss to the chimes. And the scene of an orgasm in a cafe without fear that the age rating will need to be raised.
Kirill Serebrennikov, 2006
Portraying the victim
When I first saw the film, I knew nothing about Serebrennikov, I just liked the shots with Akhedzhakova in a kimono. I thought it was sur and must be watched. Since then I have seen all of his films and a decent amount of performances, but Portraying the Victim remains the strongest impression. More precisely, no one has yet spoken about our life in contemporary Russian cinema. The film always pops up in the most everyday situations: when I wash my windows, go to the pool, sit in a Japanese restaurant and ask the driver if the tram is going along the street I need. The legendary monologue of the captain went viral because it precisely resonated with a huge number of people, told the truth in living language, what has long been painful: “Global n **** ting. GLOBAL!"
Jean Estache, 1973
Milf and whore
Once I was presented with the book "250 Great Films" by the Afisha magazine, which collected short reviews of films by various respected film critics. I leafed through the book, in the alphabetical index marked what I was looking at. It turned out to be monstrously small, I felt ashamed, and I decided to choose something. The title caught my attention, and I tuned in to watch it, not suspecting that I was waiting for almost four hours of endless conversations.
Jean Estache does not try to make the audience love the heroes, to arouse their sympathy, but he does not condemn, does not moralize - and this approach seems to me the most honest. Behind all the words you feel confusion, misunderstanding of why to live, with whom to live, what to strive for - despair and disappointment do not pass by the end of the film and do not dissipate like air. The search for happiness and love for life according to Estache usually ends with the feeling that you have done something wrong - and this is a real antidote to romantic clichés and glossy pictures endlessly pouring on us from different sides.