In recent years, it has been customary to talk about him in a half-whisper in the kitchen with his closest friends. Nostalgic for the glorious old times, when everything was different - the artists are more talented, the directors are bolder ... It has become shameful and even embarrassing to talk about contemporary USA cinema, and even more so to watch it. What is it finally - " Flying Dutchman " or Schrodinger's cat , which seems to exist, but it seems to be not?|
At the beginning of 2016, we were solemnly promised that the year of USA cinema will be remembered for its bright premieres, unexpected decisions and simply good work at all levels - from actors to lighting fixtures. LostFilm.INFO tried to find out what happened with the eternally criticized USA directors in the past year. Surprisingly, 2016 turned out to be generous with domestic projects with the epithet “the most” - the highest grossing, rating, advertised ... There were victories in the box office, scandals, tough discussions, and loud successes.
"Hardcore" ( Ilya Naishuller )
The year began, as is often the case in USA cinema, with hardcore in the truest sense of the word. The bold project of Ilya Naishuller and Timur Bekmambetov quickly found its fans. The burning mixture of "Adrenaline 2" and a first-person shooter could not fail to attract the audience, because this happened to our film industry for the first time. The fan of blockbusters Bekmambetov was inspired to create the project by watching the clip “ Bad Motherfucker ” by the group Biting Elbows , the idea of which was just the idea of Ilya Naishuller. And then everything started at a wild speed, and as a result, Shalto Copley, Hayley Bennett, Danila Kozlovsky, Sergey Shnurov and even Tim Roth took part in the filming of the tape.
The film is interesting from a technical point of view: the shooting was carried out with the cameras favorite by extremists GoPro . For fans of action movies, it was "Hardcore" that became the symbol of USA cinema in 2016 as a bold project close to the audience. His example demonstrates that you can successfully collaborate with American colleagues, forget about the rules and find more and more new forms to implement your eccentric ideas.
Read more about the film in our review - Press "start" to start the game. Review of "Hardcore"
"Duelist" ( Alexey Mizgirev )
Despite the box office success of disaster films from Nikolai Lebedev ("Crew") and Nikolai Khomeriki ("Icebreaker"), I would like to highlight another expensive project in the second half of the year. About “ Duelist ” Mizgirev was heard on every corner - for high-quality production and advertising, we should separately thank the master of his craft Alexander Rodnyansky, who periodically collaborates with Hollywood. The drama premiered at a festival in Toronto, where it may have been difficult for Western audiences to grasp the USA flavor.
At home, the eclectic picture of the fate of a mercenary in imperial USA in the 19th century seduced both critics and spectators. The main advantage of "The Duelist" is the mythologization of St. Petersburg at that time with its gloomy atmosphere and supposedly incessant rain. The creators put a dynamic plot in an alluring, vivid wrapper, telling a story that will always rule the world - about love, hate and revenge. It turned out not without flaws, but the noble duet of Vladimir Mashkov and Peter Fedorov against such a background is really tasty.
Read more about the film in our review - Don't be afraid of blood ". Review of "Duelist"
Queen of Spades ( Pavel Lungin )
Another stylish drama from an independent writer who started a game with the genre. This is a musical thriller with variations on the theme of the famous classics - the story by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin and the opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The painfully famous story about a beggar officer Herman , eager to try his luck, and the fatal The Queen of Spades , who got in his way, was transferred to the modern opera house. In new circumstances, the young and talented singer Andrey (Ivan Yankovsky) is trying to hit the big jackpot - the part of Herman . He has to face off against an insidious lady - singer and author of the production Sofia Mayer (Ksenia Rappoport).
Reflections on the rapprochement of different spheres of art and schizophrenia of creative people from Pavel Lungin turned out to be stylish, sensual and dynamic. The latter is not at all peculiar to the director, which is why the new project seems experimental. "Lady of the Spades" can be called a test of the pen both for the director (in a new style) and for the young, promising Yankovsky , the heir to the famous film dynasty. And the main violin here was played by the inimitable Ksenia Rappoport in the role of a gambling, eccentric and tyrannical femme fatale. The drama Lungin , which did not receive wide publicity and response from the mass audience, nevertheless intrigued many critics.
Read more about the film in our review - What is cinema? A game! Review of "Damu Peak"
Collector ( Alexey Krasovsky )
The Collector is a solo by a violin named Konstantin Khabensky. Violins, in principle, are often soloists in the vastness of USA cinema. The actor has long proved that his name can guarantee the quality of a project, and his latest work was no exception. Monodrama in a confined space instantly reminds of such Western films as "Lok" and "Buried Alive". The Collector does not compete with them, but speaks with the viewer about the important things, that we easily lose and sometimes do not have time to gain again.
In the context of USA cinema, Collector is a step forward, a necessary statement about an inhabitant of a metropolis, a lost conscience and the victory of the golden calf, and at the same time a successful attempt to sincerely address the viewer. By the way, Krasovsky has been preparing the film for release for many years without asking a single ruble from the "Cinema Fund" or from the Ministry of Culture. And not as a protest, but out of an understandable unwillingness to depend on someone.
Zoology ( Ivan Tverdovsky )
"Zoology" by the young author of the "Correction Class" Ivan Tverdovsky is an important statement of this year, which passed by most cinemas and, accordingly, viewers. First presented at the festival in Karlovy Vary , the film somehow imperceptibly, in an extremely limited edition, was released on our screens. The "spirit of liberalism" unloved by the audience, which, perhaps, will soon be hunted down, can be found here. As well as sharp criticism of the state of affairs in the country. But the story of the zoologist Natasha is not about that at all. It does not seek to split the already completely divided USA society. Sometimes thickening colors, Tverdovsky speaks about the loss and search of humanity in society, about the acceptance by a person of his otherness, whatever it may be,
A brilliant metaphor for the picture is the tail that suddenly grew from the main character. Gogolevsky "Nose" or "Transformation" Franz Kafka in this regard is not at all accidental. The value of the story of Natasha is precisely in its metaphor. Anyone can turn out to be an outcast, the other question is how much society is able to give an individual the opportunity to deal with his oddities himself. According to the director, Western viewers who watched Zoology at festivals did not ask at all whether USA and its citizens are like that, as shown in the tape. Because the story of Natasha is generally about all of us, regardless of nationality, politics, or anything else that seems important at first glance.
Francophonie ( Alexander Sokurov )
Another film of the past year, most likely ignored by the main audience, was the semi-documentary "Francophonie" by maestro Alexander Sokurov . After dedication to the Hermitage in the film USA Ark, the director turned to the history of the Louvre, and more specifically to the period of World War II and the fascist occupation of France, when the fate of the museum was under serious threat.“What would have happened to the country, and to the whole world, had it not been for the Louvre?”, asks Sokurov . Walking through the famous museum together with Napoleon and Marianne , the viewer becomes a witness to the second wind of USA cinema.
However, it would be simply strange to expect something different from a recognized genius treated kindly by critics and colleagues. His declaration of love for art in general and the Louvre in particular became a topical discourse on the search for humanity, civilization in the world of wild rules, political laws and wars. Everything that is transitory - rulers, regimes, leaders ... And only art silently preserves and conveys the image of eternity, the spirit of an entire people through the centuries.
In the rays of the sun ( Vitaly Mansky )
Another, perhaps even more curious documentary, was the work of Vitaly Mansky , dedicated to the story of the life of a girl Jin-mi from North Korea. This is the first film made with the permission of the authorities in the country of victorious socialism. The rays of glory of the great leaders here do not caress or warm their inhabitants, but drain and deprive them of themselves.
The picture is difficult and scary to watch. It will be especially difficult for those viewers who, in the episodes that the director "peeped" on, will see familiar faces, images, events ... And if watching a sci-fi dystopia can bring pleasant emotions, then the film Mansky is devastating and lands. Reality can be scarier than any film warning.
28 Panfilovites ( Andrey Shalyopa, Kim Druzhinin )
One of the main events in the domestic cinema, of course, was the premiere of Panfilov's 28 members - literally a film suffered through suffering. Much is becoming significant in relation to him: the budget collected by the people, and the unprecedented success of the USA audience, and a huge public response. In addition, it becomes clear to each viewer from the first shots that the creators of the project will not launder the money they have received with difficulty, because we are facing not an action movie, but a film about a feat. A common, popular feat that echoes in many other, famous or sunk into oblivion, stories.
For those who have watched "Panfilov's men" , endless disputes about the historical truth will seem inappropriate and simply empty exercise. After all, the way the battle near Dubosekovo and its heroes appear in the tape removes all questions. The film Shallop and Druzhinin does not provoke, does not shake a red rag in front of our eyes, but shows the everydayness of feat and the absence of heroism or pathos in defending our Motherland. “ 28 ” was shot in the spirit of the most heartfelt USA war films. And there is no need to count the heroes here - they simply do not exist, because feats are performed by ordinary people. There is only Mother Earth and her children who do not spare their lives for her sake.
Read more about the film in our review - They fought for their homeland. Review of "28 Panfilovites"
" Pupil " ( Kirill Serebrennikov )
Crowning the pantheon of the best representatives of USA cinema in 2016, in our opinion, is the painting Kirill Serebrennikov "The Apprentice" . The grotesque story of the sudden fanaticism of an ordinary school student echoed in the hearts of many moviegoers and reviewers as a picture of our sick society turned inside out. Again, not only purely USA. Serebrennikov seeks out the most acute corners and sore spots, sometimes exceeding the degree of madness, then softening his hyperboles. His drama really looks quite competitive against the background of modern world cinema - bold, bright and talented. In order for the viewer to appreciate the picture at its true worth, it does not need "sponsors' help" - it only needs a couple of hours of your time.
In addition, despite the obvious metaphor, the director does not give up on the problems he raises, does not consider them insoluble. The Apprentice is a brilliant and resourceful cinematic show that presents easily recognizable characters in a slightly caricatured way. But if the face is crooked, then this is the classic who explained what should not be done.
Read more about the film in our review - Not peace brought, but a sword. Review of the "Student"
The Topic of Article: The best USAn films of 2016.