Monday, November 30, 2015

Eldar Ryazanov – last classic of the Soviet cinema – BBC Russian

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Image caption Legacy director – about 30 films, each of which became a hit film distribution, among them – “Garage” (1979)

died Eldar Ryazanov.

Not only in the history of the glorious Soviet cinema masters who used the same truly universal love of all the people – from the highbrow and picky aesthetes to the most ordinary people.

His films went on quote, it is no exaggeration to say, he expressed era.

In an interview with film critic Olga Sherwood leading “Fifth floor,” Alexander Kahn tries to cast a glance at the fate and career of the master and to understand what is the reason for such a phenomenal success of his paintings.

Download podcast show “Fifth floor” here.

Alexander Kahn: Good evening! The studio Bi-bi-si Alexander Kan. Today we are trying to remember the deceased yesterday Eldar Ryazanov. In fact, say some epithets at him very hard. Too familiar, beloved by all was this figure that, in fact, without exaggeration, the great master.

To talk about Eldar Ryazanov, we invited the air “Fifth Floor” Olga Sherwood. Permanent readers of the site BBC Russian Service Olga Sherwood represent not necessary. It is a long time we kinoblog, repeatedly participated in the “Fifth floor” and today managed to publish an obituary memory Eldar Ryazanov.

At the beginning of the conversation, I want to go back to the beginning of creativity Ryazanov. For all of his favorite movies – “Irony of Fate”, “Office Romance”, etc. – Takes a little bit in the direction of his life, the beginning of his career, and even the beginning of life. When today, in preparation for our joint transmission, I began to read, I found the facts that, to be honest, I did not know, although I really like Eldar Ryazanov, a lot of it read.

For example, I did not know that he comes from a family of very high-ranking Soviet elite. His father worked abroad in the trade mission, was, moreover, repressed. Ryazanov himself – this is just what I remembered – he studied with Eisenstein and Kozintsev. Undoubtedly, the great master, but neither one nor the other in the predilection for comedy were seen.

started Ryazanov in a pretty dark time. This is the beginning of the 50s, during the so-called “malokartinya” Stalin was still alive. “Carnival Night” came out only in 1956, the year of XX-th Congress. Probably, when the film was shot, it was difficult to assume that the country will be waiting for the thaw. All this – the repressed father a hard time teacher – giants monumental Kozintsev, and Eisenstein – does not seem to contribute to the emergence of comedy, and, nonetheless. Why do you think?

Olga Sherwood: You can write a thesis on the subject. Pretty hard, to me at least, to judge, because I was born a year after the release of “Carnival Night”. Maybe indecent to talk about himself “a child in 1956,” when people have been rehabilitated and returned from the camps, in particular, like my grandmother, who got an apartment, and then my parents were able to give birth to me. It was indeed scrapped ages.

I think it was a terrible thirst of people for liberation, some giant need to exhale and start, maybe to laugh. It is very difficult to say specifically because Eldar – I do not know his biography, I learned only when sat down to write this sad lyrics – never even said, although we have several times met him two or three times I took him interview met in a more relaxed atmosphere.

I do not know how it happened. I can only think that the master, as you have noted, Kozintsev, and Eisenstein, transferred skills. This skill has fallen on fertile ground, and the genre was not something that is secondary, but – different situation. I guess they do not teach in the comedy or tragedian, or even ekranizatora Shakespeare. Teach simply directing.

Note that Kozintsev, and Eisenstein were people, my favorite subject, graduated from Classical High School. They passed on, I think – a common culture, humanistic outlook, some things. They were received by Eldar, and then somehow he miraculously became comedians.

AK.: We are talking about Kozintsev, and Eisenstein both alumni of classical upper secondary school. However, Eldar Ryazanov has emerged as a playwright in the Soviet cinema does not just happen.

predecessor, probably the most prominent Soviet playwright, Grigory Alexandrov – associate and disciple of the same Eisenstein. You can here some continuity to follow?

O.SH.: The issue also film history. I think they are absolutely opposed. Grigory Alexandrov was a Mosfilmovsky Hollywood.

AK.: I think it may be recalled that Grigory Alexandrov – a “Volga-Volga”, “Jolly Fellows “,” Spring “,” The Circus “.

O.SH.: Eldar, of course, was totally different generation, post-war, liberated, who wanted to breathe completely different air, not only ideas. So he talked about people who just lived, made fun of them, which was, of course, not possible in the outlook Alexandrov, although there were also satirical, humorous things, but completely different, not lyrically.

AK.: There really was rather, humor, satire was not much. Although Riasanovsky ease, charm, musicality in a sense, in common with Alexandrov. But satire, which was already at Ryazanov, but did not have Alexandrov, the satire almost all Riasanovsky film is not rigid, not evil, but at the same time very clearly. Of course, she was very impressed by the audience. How do you think he has developed this style?

O.SH.: I do not know, I just think it was a smart man. Our reality in those years was little suited to an open and honest conversation, to say that does not fit at all. Somehow I had to speak out. What were the ways of humans? Satirical – one of them, hyperbole, metaphor, some more so.

It is understood that in the cinema it is possible to do just like this, bantering disadvantages. Socialist realism is still permitted in the range of “wick” and “Crocodile” to Riasanovsky things. It is this lyrical frontier and set. Still, it was possible. Power, of course, softened after the XX-th Congress. It is allowed as an outlet. It is trite to say, but maybe it is so.

AK.: problems with censorship it could not be avoided – the film “Nowhere Man” is not so well known compared to other popular Riasanovsky works. Maybe it makes sense to recall – there Sergei Jurassic starred appeared suddenly in Moscow almost a native of Africa, as far as I remember this movie. Still, the problems with the censors could not be avoided. It’s that – an exception, not a very important episode, do you think that this film has been shelved?

O.SH.: I think everything -taki was not quite the regiment, and were some fifteen copies of the third category, something like that. Subsequently it was still nagging censorship. In the painting “About the poor hussar say a word,” where Basilashvili played Count Merzlyaeva, he had to play the gendarme Merzlyaeva.

Ryazanov do this, as you know, was not allowed. But the great director had it not important. He could get around this so that people will still understand everything. Plus or minus, as they say, the general message is important and it is important that he spoke to his audience in the same language. We knew it, he felt that we understand, as if he did not have to turn out.

AK.: sometimes forget that the best movies Ryazanov, in Anyway, their scripts – is the fruit of collaboration with Emil Braginsky, his constant collaborator, whose name seems to inevitably goes into the shadows. I would like to hear your opinion about whether it is right, it goes into the shadows, because in all these brilliant conversations that went on quotations of the entire Soviet people, the merit of Bragin, no less?

It Ryazanov picked actors making films – it is, in any case, can not be understated. Still, the script, the text – base. Moreover, many of these films, there is not nothing but a cinematic transposition written with Bragin and Ryazanov plays. I want to see you a little bit about the Bragin said his role in Riasanovsky heritage.

O.SH.: I can not say specifically, they can not be divided. I was not present at how they worked. Two authors – it’s always a difficult moment. In the movie, of course, the author of the film – a director. Ryazanov himself was a witty man, which I was able to able to verify personally that I do admit that some of the phrases that have become aphorisms, he himself wrote, without underestimating, in any case, the role of the Bragin.

It is no accident so many years they have worked together. I think it’s hard to share. Writers go into the shadows, it is their fate. It’s nothing you can do. I remember, even when I worked on a film studio “Lenfilm” which were terrible scandals that uchinyali writers when it seemed that the director has perverted their plan.

Here, of course, this could not be. Ryazanov and Braginsky co-authors were real, and worked in the same way. But, basically, it is the fate of writers, nothing can be done, they can only remember the books, a collection of plays scripts and directors of the films people know, however, is not all. This good fortune geniuses like Eldar, his name is known. Firstly, because the comedian – that’s another story, and secondly, because it is well attended and a lot on TV, which adds to the popularity of him personally.

AK. : You and I well remember the great issues of the “Cinema”, which he led. This seems to be a completely different genre, and he showed himself quite amazing. It was an incredible storyteller, and at the same time proved to be a fair connoisseur of movies, right?

O.SH.: Of course, he was clever. It was a real connoisseur and cinema, and life, and a wise man. I met him when he was at the height of his fame. You could not say anything. You could sit there, mouth open, and listen. He has always been the soul of the company, and a great conversationalist sensitive, and very good person.

As a journalist, I am familiar with many directors. Not all of them, much less great, so well disposed, for example, journalists. Eldar, firstly, do not forget, secondly, always communicated, hello, ready to listen, if that, and answer all questions. He had a great handshake, a rare pleasant hand.

AK.: I wanted you to a little more settled on two films that have been made in a row – “Garage” and “About the poor hussar say a word”, which you mentioned. I remind you: “Garage” – 1979, “the Poor Hussar Say a Word” – 1980.

It seems to me that these two films, though it retained all Ryazanov for that we love him, and all his loved – easy, charming, sparkling humor, and in the film “About the poor hussar say the word” also songs that “Cars” not – stand out for the extraordinary rigidity Ryazanov satire.

He has reached the highest satirical glow in his works, in all that he did, so it seems to me, at least. I wonder whether you will agree with me with this assessment? The classic phrase of the “Garage”, such as: “In fairness to live, but does not go far,” or “I am for a car sold motherland” and so on. It had such a rigidity which was not before or after. What do you think, why at this time, in the midst of stagnant years?

O.SH.: You’re all explained. This is exactly what the date, because patience is over. We are fine with you remember those years. I had nowhere to go and could not breathe in the first place. Second, the “Garage” is different from “Hussar”, it is clear that our contemporaries will be shown.

Ryazanov turned his anger on his same audience. It was just a mirror, the most severe mirror, which he set in front of his audience, to its people. Many simply terrified then. This is an unprecedented picture with all the satirical spirit and the lines of previous pictures. All recognize yourself.

We have all read “Literary” with moralizing essays, there it was, and suddenly turned into a movie. It was absurd and exorbitant ultraboundary bitterness. In the “About the poor hussar,” as we have said, the story moved in the past. She also allegorical, because maybe after “Garage” Ryazanov banned and make a film about the present, I do not know.

AK.: Topics Yet, in her critique of modernity it was much more transparent. All these clues to read – at Merzlyaeva, huh?

O.SH.: But they were hints. And there still was a speech about the people and the high courts. In the “Cars” because there was a small party. It was clear that this cabal best man – a character Ryazanov, who is sleeping, do not participate in this desire to snatch that bad impact on our people and is manifested today.

Here we are for it and came that perfect, perhaps discouraged Ryazanov, who certainly did not expect. In one interview he said: “So what I did, what kind of movies if my audience so spoiled, so manifest themselves now?” This, I think, a huge disappointment for all humanist, humanistic artist.

AK.: You are now passed on to us his statement has the post-Soviet years. I give my suggestion, I do not know whether you will agree with me that he, as the spokesman of this most of the Soviet era, I dare say, in the post a few lost.

None from movies 90s, 2000s, has post-perestroika (“Cruel Romance” stands, in general, even during the Soviet and now starting with “Forgotten Melody for Flute” and so on until the last movie) , whether the time has changed, the time is definitely changed, whether he was really a bit lost at this time, I could not find the language.

Work with the “Aesopian language”, which was peculiar to him, as did everyone else then for him to maximally approach and opened suddenly free to do his films less bright . Or just gone public demand for this kind of movie, what do you think?

O.SH.: I think that all of these reasons you worked together. Plus remember what those were terrible years, say since the 90s. This was a systemic collapse of the entire film – technological, financial, human resources and everything else. This is our fate, even geniuses, in all these years had to go and ask for money. It’s exhausting, it’s humiliating, it was tough physically.

Then he was no longer a young man, and direction – it is primarily energy. She’s going away somewhere, apparently. With that, he certainly was not weak, but it is no longer young and not flowering. Everything changed rather quickly. At the same time, I think it was clear that nothing has changed in principle. Where to go, what happens to his character? It was all very difficult. Apparently, it gave such a result, the films of the last period were not, shall we say, brilliant.

Although the “Anderson” – underrated picture. For many years he wanted to take it off. I remember I was talking to him when he was collecting money on her. It was a terrible saga. If he could remove the “Anderson” ten years earlier, maybe it would have been a very different movie – harder, and he would have received a boost from the audience itself. I do not know, hard to say.

AK.: Now I want to play a very short clip from an interview with Eldar, he gave Seva Novgorodtseva, my colleague. It was in connection with the death of Antonioni. We’re not talking about Antonioni, we will talk about Ryazanov, but this short clip will lead us to this conversation.

Eldar Ryazanov: “I have always felt that it’s not mine, put it bluntly, you know? Although somewhere had everything exploded, flew some … in my opinion, “Zabrisski Point” because I parodied in the “Italians in Russia”. There, when I blew up a gas station, it was like a parody of Antonioni’s “.

AK.: I specifically wanted you to hear this clip for you to remember film “Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia”. You wrote in his obituary, published today on our website, the producer Dino De Laurentiis in fact forced Ryazanov enter an infinite number of gags, tricks, including an exploding gas station and in fact turned Ryazanov to the cinema, for it is not characteristic.

He is a lyricist, he directed a subtle lyrical and not directed gags, unlike no less brilliant Leonid Gaidai.


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