Rus News Journal

The Russian cinema in the Western market

As it will be pleasant to them

On Thursday in Berlin has opened 46 - j the international film festival. It has brought for a long time expected sensation - the Russian films in competition have not appeared. A day before that the definitive list of applicants on " became known; Oscar . Pictures the Moslem the put forward Russia on competition of a prize of the American film academy on a nomination the best foreign film there is not present. Though, as we remember, last year this prize has got to the Russian director (by the way, to what has headed now jury of the Berlin festival). Questions of special correspondent JURATE - GURAUSKAJTE about a situation with the Russian cinema in the modern western market are answered with the doctor of art criticism, the director of the Russian institute of cultural science, the author of TV program the Film marathon CYRIL RAZLOGOV.

Cinema for itself
: the impression is made that the Russian cinema for last two - three has not changed year at all. But it has suddenly appeared that it has absolutely lost festival positions, and abroad it is not necessary to speak about hire of our films almost. What happens?
Cyril Razlogov: the Fashion on our films has lasted with 1985 for 1990 and has disappeared with disintegration of uniform cinema space. However, there is in the West still a quantity of mad producers and prokatchikov which continue to rescue our cinema. Well for example, there was in Paris a picture Days of an eclipse left the Limit (thanks n no small part to that scandal - murder of the producer of this picture has burst). I think that 90 % of people in domestic cinema work mainly on festivals, but festivals, except for one - two and the award Oscar To real success of a picture, the commercial success, no any relation have. It is possible to collect unlimited quantity of festival awards, but all the same prokatchiki on you will spit - the certificate of that the normal spectator this picture to look will not go.
: that is all Russian cinema is calculated on special the spectator?
To. R: the Russian cinema has now shared on some unequal parts. The first - koproduktsii (them it is a little). The second - the exotic domestic films found and search, in basic former of the Lenfilm, say, of Alexander Sokurov. They, as a rule, are intended for festivals - and at all for the main things world, and for parallel sections. And at last, cinema for internal consumption where again - taki two parts are allocated. One, small - from the Small giant of the big sex to SHirli - Myrli - it is calculated though on any commercial success. And the second - festival films, especially for internal consumption. Them divide among themselves a Kinotavr Film shock and the company. A principle one: here films it is done, themselves we look, myself it is estimated, themselves in any image we concern.

cinema for them
: And even more often happens so that the film, on hurrah passed at all possible domestic festivals, for country limits actually does not leave.
To. R: so. The matter is that in relations between the domestic and foreign market there is an obvious disbalance. The people having some weight in an internal conjuncture, in international frequently have no weight. And on the contrary. Most the vivid example of the first - Sergey Solovev, outside of the country it is almost unknown. Simply its pictures do not correspond to criteria which have developed in the international movie world, but quite correspond - anyway, in its best displays - developed here.
: And whether can happens on the contrary?
To. R: There was an effect Adam`s Edges Vyacheslav Krishtofovicha. After viewing in the House of cinema I have told that the film will be a success in the West, and on me have looked as at the madman. But I have appeared the rights: the world rights on the Edge... the largest French company UGC has bought and has earned on it decent enough money. Because a picture, being noncommercial in our territory, it has appeared it close: mum, the grandmother, children, female problems and the main thing - absence of any policy. But in a film there are perfectly written out characters and executors.
and the second such paradoxical case - Michael Kalatozova`s picture I - Cuba Which recently have let out on the American screen joint efforts Frensis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. Your obedient servant, truth, too is involved in its destiny: has brought a copy to the USA in own suitcase. Also it has appeared that the experimental aesthetics of this picture - its picturesqueness, camerawork and some kureznost, connected with the Cuban problems - has made two years ago a film almost the largest commercial success of foreign cinema in America. (Though about commercial success of foreign cinema in America to speak senselessly - it in hire occupies less than one percent).
And last case - certainly, Tired with the sun . A picture, as well as always at Mikhalkov, made with the greatest account of interests of different professional communities and spectator audience. But it is not necessary to forget that it is a co-production film - and it is not simple with Frenchmen, and with representatives of the largest film dynasty of brothers of Sejdu. And though the most influential clansman Michel Sejdu participated in manufacture not, it is all the same involved in this capital. The picture with success has passed in France, has received, as it is known, not main, but an essential prize at the Cannes festival that has helped its commercial success. Has then received Oscar has rather successfully passed across America, and the success within the native land to it was provided with the director who has travelled with a copy all country. But not all Mihalkovy... Not all possess that influence and force. This example just - an exception which confirms the general rule.

how there to get?
: That is the essence is not reduced only to quality of a film and a name of the director? How all - taki to make so that the film has got on the West?
To. R: Unfortunately, the state monopoly " has broken up; Soveksportfilma at which was technology of an extrapublic exchange of films on so-called reciprocity conditions : We it ten - and they to us ten. Though our ten there could not be shown at all, and their pictures were shown rather widely. Now the director still has unique hope: if in process of manufacture of a picture it is involved western prokatchik, there is a chance that it all - taki will show a picture. And almost for certain will deceive both on money, and on level of prestigious success - but a picture there will see.
the second variant - film sale. With rare exception something sensational, this variant practically never works. Also cannot work, as pictures are on sale always big packages where is the locomotive which all structure behind itself pulls, and there is the rest. At us locomotives are not present by definition. We can be only in the case . Therefore it is necessary to get in necessary a package . And it means to sell the world rights or the large Hollywood company, or the large European. Here a case with Adam`s Edge : the picture has simply got to a holder and there between Bertolluchi and someone else has well worked.
: differently, there are certain rules, having understood which, it is possible to hope for success.
To. R:, unfortunately, it is not enough One understanding. To show a picture in the West it is possible only under one condition - to promise that you will incur half of advertising expenses without any guarantees to receive this money back. We all are surprised that we offer a picture for very cheap, and nobody buys it - but - that it should be spent for advertising in tens times more! But affords such sales can nobody, unless very large company. Therefore the majority of our directors aspires to receive though any money and to run further.
It is possible to make, of course, in our territory the western pictures. So have arrived Grigory Rjazhsky and Alexander Atanesjan with the the Mute witness . Purely western insurgent who has been removed by the western director, illustrating horrors of residing in our country. It is possible to it on - to a miscellaneous to concern. I am inclined to be cynical: everything that brings money, by that and is justified. But this picture though and having a certain exit there, has no relation to national Russian mentality. And thanking such pictures here are afraid to go - and the western producers too.
: But exist after all and funds of support of the East Europe cinema?
To. R: Exist. And, for example, for what will not give money to do the French National movie centre the Mute witness . It gives money, on the one hand, to the African countries on their cinema, and with another, - to us on ours, which, by the way, too some kind of the African cinema . They want exotic and art simultaneously. New names, sometimes, opposite - old names sometimes want. But also new, and old names in the sum make at us ten surnames which are known for all. On the one hand, they want the Chicken rjabu with another - Tired with the sun with the third - Alexey Herman`s new film. It here does the fourth year the picture Khrustalyov, the car! trying to adapt it for new conditions of a domestic producer cinema. I hope that its picture will be very good, but all history of its mutual relations with the western producer world is extremely amusing and very similar to Tarkovsky`s mutual relations with producers after its leaving from paradise State cinema.

cinema for Zhoelja
: But it is funds. And that wanted by foreign festivals?
To. R: I have a name for article which I and have not written: Cinema for Zhoelja . There is such Zhoel Shapron - the Frenchman, otborshchik the Cannes festival, perfectly speaking on - russki. It is deeply convinced that 70 % of the pictures becoming at us, become not for our spectator and not for foreign hire, and become only for one person - for Zhoelja Shaprona. And to learn, that wanted at present by Zhoel - the main task of domestic direction. Competition of the Cannes festival is a wreath of hope of each person doing with cinema. Therefore our cinema - such prestigious, author`s is on 80 % of cinema for Zhoelja. So, usually Zhoel Shapron wants a certain share of exotic, a certain share of prestige. An expensive picture - that there was a prestige of a name, or there was a hope of opening of a new name.
Zhoel the person influential and nice, but actually at the Cannes festival all are solved by struggle of commercial interests of the French companies. If the Russian film does not have French producers to get to the basic competition as shows experiment of last years, it is almost impossible. Also it is necessary to itself to give accurately to itself in it the report. To get on the Berlin festival is two floors more low, than to get on Cannes. Hans Shlegel who is selecting films to Berlin - the person more traditional, it wants russkosti its unexpressed ideal is Lenfilm it is Sokurov, though even it protolkunt in competition of the Berlin festival difficultly enough. But Shlegelju is all - taki it was possible. In a word, Berlin needs something search, found... And round Shlegelja too go herds, looking to it in eyes. Though from the point of view of normal commercial career of a film - participation in the Berlin festival has no value.

neither Schindler, nor Tarantino
: And despite all these efforts, the Russian films, as it is known, have not got to the Berlin competition...
to. R: One of features of interaction of the Russian and world cinema throughout last decade consists in an original antiphase: At us in a fashion a seamy side, sexual revolution and art avant-guard (which peak of popularity in the West has had on second half 60 - h years) while in America and the Western Europe in the end of 80 - h - 90 - e years the next wave of the social realism enriched in the most successful variants teargas heppi - endom has risen - that is, as a matter of fact, socialist realism. Spielberg`s well-known tape has actually failed in our hire just because Schindler`s List is the classical sample of this genre. So that to be surprised that accusatory opuses of ours classics and innovators appear not to a court yard at the largest festivals and are forced out in parallel sections and small experimental parties type of Locarno or Rtterdama.
: But after all and in the West one is popular not Schindler and, say, Tarintino too.
to. R: Really, there was even a term tarantinizm . But it in the West. At us postmodernistkaja the tendency estetskoj games on stereotypes of popular genres, first of all a bloody detective, will get accustomed hardly. Simply because the genre cinema at us never was held in high esteem - whether and before games here when anew it is necessary to master elements, remembering Ivan Pyreva and Grigory Aleksandrova`s former greatness? One Eldar Ryazanov has kept fidelity to a genre, but it has appeared too great (read - national specific) the artist to be eksportabelnym.
At last, the third festival trump, exotic, has left for a long time Russia, for a short while having been late in the remote republics of the former USSR, where the cinema still is in agony before to move in Jugo - East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It is necessary to hope only that, following the next aesthetic cycle, the avant-guard again will return to a fashion but then, possibly, we will learn to do genre cinema and we will be proud of Menshov as nowadays we are proud of Sokurov...