Anton Dolin: “Reflection is the best training”

Кинокритик об искусстве и времени, в которое мы живем

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Year of Russian cinema is coming to an end. In September, the Department of Culture of Moscow management training programs launched the course “History of Cinema. XXI Century “curated by film critic Anton Dolin.

You ask a lot of questions about the movie. Which of these do you most dislike to answer?

Most of all – what is your favorite movie. The question essentially unanswerable, it is very difficult to explain that failure on my part to answer is not to say that I have no such film. Any person working in the cinema, these films are infinitely many, every week – new. Tastes are required to be mobile as he is mobile cinema, or could be called the best film in the history of cinema and just stop this kind of art.

Another issue which is always depressing to me – what to see? As long as I do not understand who is my companion, adequately to this question will not answer. Hence the huge number of claims on Facebook that rained on me every day.

You came to journalism after the philological faculty of the Moscow State University. What, above all, you taught filfak?

The fact that in modern Russian philology – science no one wants and no one is interested. We are doing it only for development of the brain and the soul, but not for a living and feed a family. I had to go into journalism with regret, it was a forced gesture. But now I do not regret it, because journalism led me to the movies, and I Philology about it and did not think, when the movie was only one of many hobbies.

In your opinion, the faculty of journalism – a necessary step for the future of the journalist?

This is – a necessary evil. Its existence legitimizes representation of society about journalism as a profession, which can hold or not hold, teach or learn. Journalism – it is an opportunity to get a degree and four years of training to get acquainted with a number of interesting people.

Home education – self-education, especially in the case of any humanitarian. Applied learning skills “in the field”, theoretical you learn by reading books, watching movies, going to the event.

Of those great journalists I know, two-thirds of journalism is not finished. So it is, by and large, it is meaningless, especially in Russia, where journalism is now suffers permanent and incurable crisis.

You yourself take interviews with creative people like to talk with such a man?

The conversation is impossible, but with the talkative, you can chat and talk endlessly turn unproductive. The secret is probably as old as the world – it is necessary to say that you are not interested, and the other party. It is not necessary to require that is not included in its purview. Analysis of the film or a work of art – the prerogative of criticism, not the artist. The artist analyzes his work – a bad artist. So when you ask the director to talk about what he had in mind, building a particular system of images, you insult him that he did not understand this and try to put into words what he had tried to explain with the help of symbols. It is better to ask about his political beliefs or favorite musical group.

If you will remember that everyone is different, and interested in your interlocutor in advance, you get a good interview.

To shoot, you have to learn and to look?

The same study, just as in the case of shooting a movie, it can be self-learning, not necessarily to go to college. Sometimes enough to watch a lot of reading and a lot of thinking. The process of reflection – this is the best training. Who among the directors of many so-called “non-professionals” and they are wonderful, talented people. On the other hand, there are honors, the most of which – the shooting of the series for the cable, trash channel. It is a question of talent, and the issue of reflection.

Why teach people to watch the movie?

People go to the movies out of habit, not knowing why they do it. At best, they understand that they want to have a good evening and a good time. But there are different entertainment. For some, the rise of Mount Everest – entertainment, for others – hard work. Same thing with the campaign to Tarkovsky, for example.

You will be examined in themselves, at least partially, and understand what you want – that’s half the battle. And then you can just resort to various advisory services and do not listen to advertising. Not all people understand these things completely a priori.

For example, I am on his every conversation (I can not call it a lecture) “Why watch a movie,” I explain to people that the movie is better to look at the big screen in the original sound with subtitles. These things seem so obvious, but people are surprised and even then write thank-you letters.

What are the specifics of the training course, you are now kuriruete?

This course was born out of my loathsome employment in many jobs that did not allow me to read a full course of ten lectures, and so I had the idea to turn to the nine my colleagues to read a lecture every other lecturer. This achieves a kind of polyphony, counterpoint. The course is read by people making the film (director and screenwriter), people watching a movie (critics), people are showing a movie (festival director). Accordingly, this approach to modern cinema with three different sides. The theme of the twenty-first century, the movie I’ve been obsessed with, because we live in this age of sixteen years, but psychologically is still in the twentieth, from where most of us come from.

We think in terms of the time it’s over. As the time has changed, it has not really been studied. I think that such training courses – is the beginning of understanding the process.

The Russian alternative cinema – response to the social demand, or preparation of the society?

Society – is the society, it is a mutual process. In addition, our non-profit movie infinitely different, we can not make any general conclusions about him as about the commercial, it includes and talented work Jora gooseberry and mediocre products Sarika Andreasyan. The audience wants something, the authors want to show something, they continue to occur or do not occur. With the “Duelist” meeting took place only in part, with “Stalingrad” and “Leviathan” of course, but the “Russian Ark” Sokurov with his audience is not met in Russia. It does not speak about the quality of the film, it is only that happened or did not happen “meeting”.

How do you feel about adaptations?

My attitude is based on the axiom: the book is not a film. Long ago, André Bazin and Truffaut invented the theory of the author, in accordance with which the author is a film director. This is a very simple idea. If the director puts the film on the Lev Tolstoy, Tolstoy ceases to be the author of the work. The author of “Anna Karenina” – Joe Wright. As soon as we approve it, we will stop constantly to compare with the original film adaptation. No one comes to mind to compare the “Saxon Chronicle Grammar” tragedy “Hamlet”, despite the fact that Shakespeare’s story is taken from this chronicle. No one compares the “Tale of the Golden Cockerel” with Washington Irving’s short story, where Pushkin borrowed the story. “Hippolytus” by Euripides and “Phaedra” Racine – two tragedies on one plot.

Understand the movie – is another art, not literature. Similarly, the literature uses music, art.

You’ve probably seen the video, which compares the images from “Mirrors” and “Survivor.” What do you think, is the personification of plagiarism or continuity in the movie?

This, of course, not plagiarism. I very concept, as the concept of compromising, seems rather artificial. You see, if there are two works of art and both have found their audiences, both successful in their own way – what difference that one borrows from the other. If one is a copy of another, the copy would not be demanded by the audience. It is understood that “Survivor” and “Mirror” in demand for a variety of reasons. And what Iñárritu loves Tarkovsky and his quotes … I’m sorry, Leonardo da Vinci quoted by Giovanni Bellini and Bellini – Byzantine icons. And in general, all icons in each other quoted. However, Andrei Rublev, Dionysius, Theophanes unique.

This is an individual artist’s DNA, which is always there, regardless of whether he works for someone else’s canon or completely invent something out of my head. Let us remember that the head is from the cultural baggage that you have.

You can cite unconscious and Jung about it a lot, he wrote in his theory of archetypes. For example, someone writes a story about how the hero fought with the dragon. This does not mean that someone familiar with the legend of Saint George and the legend is trying to copy.

As you relax by watching movies?

I do not look, that’s all. When I go on vacation with his family for two weeks – a single frame, a single film. I read a book, walk along the sea, play with the kids, the dog, listening to music very different, simply switch your mind on something else.

What do you think is the recipe for a good movie?

For me personally, one recipe – the film should surprise. You can do an infinite number of different ways. But if the film is surprising, therefore, it does have something new, and it is – the first sign of talent.

And finally, the blitz. Name the movie that:

  • caused tears: “Terminator 2”
  • not worthy “Oscar”: “Tony Erdmann”
  • I looked yesterday: “The house of strange children Miss Peregrine”
  • shame not to see “Barry Lyndon”
  • I want to forget, “He has Karlosona”
  • recalls his childhood: “The Tale of wandering”