Starring - Petersburg (Topic)

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Starring - Petersburg

Image The genre of the film almanac dedicated to the city has long gone through the peak of its development, but the declaration of love for the northern capital of our country from seven women directors, including Renata Litvinova, Oksana Bychkova and Avdotya Smirnova, seems quite timely. Petersburg. Only for Love ”is a collection of short stories, in a light manner depicting the alluring and unique St. Petersburg, in which, according to the authors, it is impossible not to fall in love and fulfill your dreams. And the dreams of the heroes turn out to be traditional and not very - from the search for a life partner to the organization of aesthetic suicide. By the way, a short film on the latter theme was shot by Anna Parmas, the author of the sensational and, one might say, already cult video " Exhibit " by the Leningrad group.

Despite the diversity of names, " Only for love " is far from the only and not the most original view of this metropolis in USA cinema. You might think that, first of all, Petersburg is most convenient to use as a decoration for what is happening, a beautiful picture. However, the cinematography and fiction of the city sometimes make it, if not a full-fledged participant in the events, then precisely a factor that determines the fate of its inhabitants. We have compiled an overview of projects that include an original view of St. Petersburg. Often, the films presented reflect not only the author's intention, but also an entire era, and a special worldview.

" Walk " ( Alexey Uchitel )

Walking is the best thing to do in summer St. Petersburg. Film Alexey Uchitel begins to like or dislike almost from the first frames. This is a kind of response to the films "I am twenty years old" and "I am walking in Moscow" 40 years later, a lyrical and slightly ragged story about the accidental journey of a colorful girl and two young people across the northern capital lasting an hour and a half. The magnificent script by Dunya Smirnova , which is a chatter about women and men, love and friendship, is emotional, psychological and even a little theatrical. No wonder the actors Irina Pegova, Pavel Barshak and Evgeny Tsyganov were specially “demanded” from the Moscow theater “ Pyotr Fomenko's Workshop ” to shoot. And, of course, this is a conversation about a city - both capricious, like a woman, and at the same time tough, like a man.<

The genre of the walk itself disposes to a share of plotlessness, but also to dynamics: the slightly trembling camera pursuing the characters captures the city in its transience and changeability and creates a sense of belonging in the viewer. A special flavor is given by episodic characters - guides, caretakers in St. Isaac's Cathedral, builders, street musicians, actors in costumes of Catherine and Peter I - those who became an inseparable part of St. Petersburg, its folklore ... “Little people”, without whom there would be no big and unique city. And the aftertaste from " Walking " remains for a long time: at the beginning of the 2000s this film became a landmark for many viewers, and the lyrical image of the city attracted tourists and even residents here.

" Peter FM " ( Oksana Bychkova )

Of course, one cannot do without " Peter FM " when talking about cinema-Petersburg: at one time it marked the milestone in USA romantic comedies. Even the gates in the courtyard of the house are musical here, even the sound of flapping ballet shoes on eternal puddles. The profession of the heroine of the actress Yekaterina Fedulova also disposes of musicality - she is a witty DJ on the radio. By the way, in 2009 in St. Petersburg the radio " Peter FM " really sounded on the 100.9 wave. And the hero of the familiar from "Walk" Yevgeny Tsyganov , being an architect, is even more organically inscribed in the city space, because what is embodied in St. Petersburg brighter than architecture?


As in "Walk" , in the melodrama Bychkova , casual passers-by and fleeting meetings are important - with a charismatic lumpen in the person of Vladimir Mashkov, an offended husband in a comical performance of Andrei Krasko or dressed exactly just like the main character as a guy played by Pavel Barshak . All these and many other characters represent a niche of sincere Petersburgers without any stereotypical local snobbery. Bychkova and her characters ask important questions for USA youth: whether to go to Germany or be content with a modest way of life at home, whether to compromise with the boss or not bend, finally, whether to marry an unloved one or believe in a fleeting sympathy ? But these questions are asked without drama or anguish, and so - easily and in a cinematic way.

" Cococo " ( Avdotya Smirnova )

Dunya Smirnova created a picture on the eternal for USA reality theme of irreconcilable misunderstanding between the intelligentsia and the people. In this mental and intellectual plane, USA has long been divided into two parts. The topic may seem schooly and outdated - the classics have already talked about this. But everything flows and changes, and now in modern Petersburg people from different worlds collide - the vulgar provincial Vika (Yana Troyanova) and the gray mouse, an employee of the Kunstkamera Liza (Anna Mikhalkova).


Petersburg here is turned inside out, because it is shown from an unusual angle - a look from the outside, alive and in something childish (philologists call this technique detachment). The film by Dunya turned out to be tragicomic, and the lines between the intelligentsia and the people are both clear and blurred at the same time. Because it is always difficult to choose between reason and feelings, and even more so in St. Petersburg.

" Day of sun and rain " ( Viktor Sokolov )

About the film Viktor Sokolov according to the script of Edward Radzinsky himself, mercilessly little is known and only a few. Unjustly forgotten, at one time he was not only a successful walk of his heroes around the city, but also a wonderful reflection of the thaw era, and, according to some critics, a farewell to her illusions, which is rather just a beautiful fantasy. The film tells about one day, during which the weather has time to change several times, as is customary for St. Petersburg-Leningrad. In addition, the relationship of the main characters-classmates is changing, where, according to the laws of the genre, one is an excellent student, and the other is a cheerful sloven, and between them initially there is an irreconcilable struggle and misunderstanding. By chance, skipping lessons, the boys manage to go around the entire city center, from Pryazhka to Nevsky. They visit a grocery store at the " Dom Kino " they buy a basin in " Passage ", dine in a restaurant-ship and even act in an episode on " Lenfilm ".


The scene of the boys' stay in the cinema hall is extremely interesting. They find themselves on the set of some wildly vulgar musical about Mishka Yaponchik performed by Mikhail Kozakov, by the way. By the way, the four-minute episode just this year was returned to the film and shown at the " White Pillars " festival. Over the years, we can say that such filmmaking in fact did not in any way reflect the real state of affairs at one of the main film studios in the country: in the 60s, Grigory Kozintsev, Mikhail Romm and Joseph Kheifits shot their powerful films there. But if you do not stand up for the honor of " Lenfilm ", then the director's irony is quite clear - new cinema comes, philistine, philistine and vulgar, and real cinema is forced to fight for its rights and its audience. Film Sokolov demonstrates an amazing example of how children's openness and naivety became a symbol of their time. The carefree boys depicted here and the people they meet on their way evoke tenderness and joy.

" Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath! " ( Eldar Ryazanov )

In a series of "light" films about St. Petersburg, one cannot but recall the legendary Irony of Fate , the dialogues from which almost every USA knows by heart. Despite the fact that the apartments and houses of Nadya and Zhenya in Leningrad and Moscow turn out to be ridiculously similar, the brooding walk of the heroine Barbara Brylskaya through the northern capital as if inadvertently shows the distinctive features of the city. It is the Leningrad landscapes, not only in the plot, but also in their general tonality, that ideally fit the moment when the events in the film take on a melodramatic turn.


" Autumn Marathon " ( Georgy Danelia )

The story of the soft-bodied translator Buzykin performed by Oleg Basilashvili perfectly reflected both the problem of the midlife crisis and the era of stagnation in the Soviet Union. Leningrad is not only a background here, but also an integral part of the hero's life. His work at Leningrad State University and " Lenizdat " is a marker of belonging to the intelligentsia and at the same time an illustration of the historical period. It is autumn Leningrad that becomes a companion of Andrei Pavlovich in his languid attempts to escape from the routine, bustle and despair of his own life. The hero begins to engage in light jogging in the gray cold Leningrad parks. And the city is not at all welcoming - it is rather simply indifferent and seems to be living out its life on the machine.


" Gangster Petersburg " ( Vladimir Bortko )

If the series about St. Petersburg superments "Streets of Broken Lights" was conceived as an answer to the Moscow "Petrovka 38", then the voluminous "Gangster Petersburg" has rightfully become a dramatic reflection of an entire era that has turned into a terrible legend. Based on the books of Andrei Konstantinov, which, in turn, were largely supported by real facts and journalistic investigations, the series gave rise to the myth of St. Petersburg, which was transformed from the northern capital into a criminal capital. In fact, this is historical truth. The city-mirage here, as Igor Kornelyuk sang, turns out to be"a city that does not exist", where hopes are broken, destinies are crumbling, ideals are betrayed. The world, it seems, existed quite recently, a world where one could at least believe in something and someone, becomes hopelessly distant and unattainable. It is not just a struggle for power that is waged around - criminal ties permeate the basic institutions of the state, which makes any attempt to achieve justice senseless or at least deadly.


Perhaps the most famous and strong second season of the series called "The Lawyer" is remembered for the tragically pale Dmitry Pevtsov, the desperate Alexei Serebryakov and the always crying Olga Drozdova. The prosecutor's office investigator, the hero of Pevtsov is forced to become the right hand of the USA don Corleone and, one might say, the devil's advocate. And now the insidious, elusive Antibiotic (Lev Borisov) appoints the brothers a shooter at the Central Park of Culture and Leisure or Smolny Cathedral, sometimes all the brethren gather in " Angleterre ", and you look and understand that Petersburg was drawn not only with oil on canvas, and the pictures were not always inspiring.

" Brother ", " About freaks and people ", " It doesn't hurt me " ( Alexey Balabanov )

But nowhere else can you find such Petersburg as at Balabanov . When for most directors the depicted city is somehow connected with the era and reality, Peter in the imagination of Alexei Oktyabrinovich is on the verge between reality and fiction. The director himself saw it and created it himself. And in this he is closer to literary material, Gogol, White and, of course, Dostoevsky than any other filmmaker. The famous director, who himself lived and worked in St. Petersburg for a long time, created his own myth, being in this respect Dostoevsky from the world of cinema. However, if Fyodor Mikhailovich called St. Petersburg the most intentional city in the world, the heroes of Balabanov speak more harshly:"A beautiful city, but a province".


Petersburg, portrayed by the director, is a phantom and grotesque on the border between the USA province and Europe, visible in the distance. The director's heroes turn out to be the same - marginalized and outcasts lost among the polar worlds."If you go fast to the west, the sun will never set", - says Liza from the drama "About freaks and people" , goes to Vyborg but finds the same distorted world there. And the infantile-demonic Danila Bagrov has long become a symbol of his era, like Petersburg in the 90s, in which he found himself. In the films of Alexei Balabanov you will not see St. Petersburg from a tourist guide - no raised bridges, palaces and splendor. Maybe that's why his city seems more truthful and real.

The Topic of Article: Starring - Petersburg.
Jake Pinkman