Theatricality in Cinema

What is the relationship between these two arts

Reading time 4 minutes

What makes the languages of theater and cinema so different but at the same time so good complement each other?

Perhaps the most obvious difference between the cinema and theater is that the first one is fragmented. To achieve the desired effect, the director can use many takes – he has a few chances to «replay» the planned. But the viewer has no opportunity to «touch» the action. Film production and the process of consumption of the finished product by the viewer are separated in time.

«Stop! Cut!»

On the contrary, theatrical processes are continuous. The performance implies constant interaction with the viewer, who acts as a «creator». The degree of influence of production depends mainly on the audience involvement, its concentration on what is happening «here and now».

The theater is the art of reflecting (c) Konstantin Stanislavsky

The degree of the conventionality of both cinema and theater is closely connected with communication (mainly non-verbal) between actors and audience. The emotional connection of the viewer is a necessary condition. The theater aims to unite actors and spectators in a single spiritual effort. But both cinema and theater strive to lead us to a state of “secondary belief” – appealing to our personal experiences, associations, and feelings. We empathize with the characters, project the events and behavior of the characters on themselves, interpret meanings, and rethink what we see.

Another important feature is the illusion of reality, and in cinema, it is much higher than in the theater. The director is able to recreate almost any historical epoch, and modern technology makes this task much easier. In the theater, all «special effects» are built-in, and the main mechanisms of influence are the actor’s mimicry and scenery. Spatial restrictions (stage frames) also have an effect.

Cinema should make the viewer forget that he is sitting in the movie (c) Roman Polanski

There are films that are on the verge of theater and cinema. «Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead»(1990, directed by Tom Stoppard) and «Anna Karenina» (2012, directed by Joe Wright) are interpretations of classics in which the artistic possibilities of theater and cinema complement each other.

In the first of them, the techniques of anachronism, demonstrative violation of sequence and visual citation (these resources give the cinema) are combined with the involvement of the heroes-observers in the course of the action: the world for them at some point becomes theater, they move to the stage, in the heart of Shakespeare’s «Hamlet» – so there is an external conditionality (theatrical feature).

There are two ways to become an artist. The first is to do what everyone thinks is art. Second: to make everyone think that what you are doing is art (c) Tom Stoppard

In the second – we meet the excessive acting mimicry and live plasticity, striking the splendor of scenery (the illusion of the place) with the effect of «behind the scenes» (in the design of the back of the stage).

Shootings of the film “Anna Karenina” (2012, directed by Joe Wright)

Another interesting example is «The Hateful Eight» (2015). Quentin Tarantino borrows from the theater a method of narrative division into acts: the film consists of chapters, each of which becomes our «guide» in a confusing, dark, and bloody story. Interesting here is the mise-en-scene transferred from theatricality, designed to reflect all the components of the inner life of the heroes, resulting in a struggle between them – both on the moral and ethical as well as physical levels.

«They don’t come here without a good reason»…

The theater has something to offer to the film industry – the possibilities of its language, if used by the director correctly and appropriately, are really able to make a film brighter visually and deeper – in the sense.

«Берлинский пациент» умер от рака

История первого в мире человека, победившего ВИЧ

Reading time 2 minutes

Тимоти Рэй Браун, известный как «Берлинский пациент», умер 29 сентября после продолжительной борьбы с лейкозом. Ему было 54. Об этом сообщил его партнер на странице в Фейсбуке.

Тимоти Браун учился в университете Берлина, когда врачи поставили мужчине диагноз ВИЧ. Отсюда и пошло прозвище «Берлинский пациент». Затем у Брауна обнаружили лейкоз — заболевание кроветворной системы. Геро Хюттер, лечащий врач Тимоти, предложил пересадить пациенту костный мозг донора с иммунитетом к ВИЧ-инфекции. Иммунитет возникает, когда у человека отсутствует поверхностный лимфоцитарный белок CCR5.

Геро Хюттер и Тимоти Браун
Геро Хюттер и Тимоти Браун

При попадании в организм вирус старается проникнуть в лимфоциты — иммунные кровяные клетки. Для этого белок вируса должен связаться с двумя белковыми рецепторами лимфоцитов, один из которых — CCR5. Некоторые люди обладают с рождения генной мутацией. Она останавливает синтез CCR5.

В 2007 врачи первый раз провели пациенту трансплантацию костного мозга. Она не была полностью успешной: ВИЧ не определялся в организме, но рак продолжал развиваться. Вскоре процедуру повторили, и на этот раз наступила ремиссия. Оба раза биологический материал брали у одного донора.

Браун со своей собакой по имени Джек
Браун со своей собакой по имени Джек

В 2008 на Международной конференции по борьбе со СПИДом о выздоровлении Тимоти узнали все. История Брауна вызвала скептицизм в научном сообществе. Некоторые исследователи хотели самостоятельно протестировать кровь на наличие инфекции, так как не доверяли результатам. Были и те, кто считал полное выздоровление невозможным: у пациента мог случиться рецидив. Несмотря на громкие заявления прессы о лекарстве от ВИЧ, трансплантация стволовых клеток не используется для борьбы с вирусом. Операции сложные и рискованные: доноры с иммунитетом встречаются очень редко, а сама процедура опасна из-за возможных осложнений и летального исхода.

Незадолго до смерти в интервью изданию Associated Press Браун рассказал, что лейкоз вернулся. Он лечился при помощи химиотерапии, но рак победил. До конца жизни у Тимоти сохранился иммунитет к инфекции.

Тимоти никогда не жалел, что решился на операцию
Тимоти никогда не жалел, что решился на операцию

На данный момент лекарства от вируса иммунодефицита не существует. Ученые много лет работают над вакциной, но результатов нет: вирус встраивается в геном клетки, поэтому его сложно изучить. ВИЧ-положительные люди принимают специальные антиретровирусные препараты, которые задерживают развитие СПИДа и сопутствующих заболеваний. Инфицированные при успешном лечении могут дожить до старости.

Заведующая центра по профилактике СПИДа Наталья Сизова отмечает, что после случая «Берлинского пациента» исследователи не исключают факт разработки мутации рецепторов CCR5. Это значит, что появится возможность искусственно создавать иммунитет к ВИЧ у заболевших.

«DAU»: reality show and documentary film

This autumn the project will resume showing films on the Internet-portal.

Reading time 5 minutes

Some materials of the film project became available at the «DAU» in spring. Ilya Khrzhanovsky planned to show unreleased films at international movie festivals in 2020-2021. However, the pandemic made its corrections and the director decided to publish the remaining films on the Internet.

Still from the film «DAU» by Ilya Khrzhanovsky (source: «Theatre»).

The «DAU» is a parallel spatial and temporal universe, allowing to return to the Soviet Union and explore the complex relationship of Soviet man with the totalitarian regime of the USSR. Ilya Khrzhanovsky He has been creating the project for 14 years. «DAU» includes 14 films, 3 series and 700 hours of filmed timekeeping, which do not obey either chronological or single plot logic and cover about 40 years of life: from the late 1920s to 1968.

Director Ilya Khrzhanovsky, actresses Olga Shkabarnia and Natalia Berezhnaya (source: RIA).

The film project literally recreated life in the USSR. The shooting involved non-professional actors who played without a script and lived on the film set throughout the work. The main location of «DAU» is the Institute of Physical Problems. It was home to religious figures, artists and scientists. Including, even our famous contemporaries. For example, Nobel Prize winner physicist David Gross. Employees were paid in Soviet rubles. Party and trade union meetings were also held at the Institute, and the First Department was functioning.

None of the items from the XXI century, up to underwear, was allowed on the territory of the Institute. Ilya Khrzhanovsky in an interview with Kseniya Sobchak said that women during periods used gauze, and there were fines for those who used words and concepts not related to the time of the act.

Screen from the film «DAU. Natasha» (source: platform dau.com)

At some point, the film set turned into a psychedelic journey. With the help of special invitation, visitors could join the project, communicate with its residents, real artists, scientists, filmmakers, and feel the atmosphere of Soviet times. Among the episodic characters were Demyan Kudryavtsev, former director-general of «Kommersant» and «Vedomosti»; film director Alexander Shein, director of Prada store. Thus, the mansion on Piccadilly that embodied the Soviet institution and which is located in one of the most prestigious areas of London, gathered a heterogeneous mass of people – from Marina Abramovich to Roman Abramovich.

At the shooting of “DAU” (source: KinoPoisk )

Despite this widespread public interest, the project caused conflicting emotions. Thus, some critics refused to write reviews, motivating their decision by unwillingness to participate in the PR of a film that demonstrates rape, humiliation and sadism.

In Kharkov in the spring of 2020, a criminal case was opened against Khrzhanovsky. The Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office accused the filmmakers of torturing children during filming and of propagating violence and cruelty.

In Russia, the project was treated with caution. Only six films were given rental IDs. The rest of the films were considered propaganda for pornography by the Ministry of Culture.

Entertainment for everyone

Amazing free activities in Moscow

Reading time 5 minutes

A weekend in Moscow does not necessarily consists of expensive activities. These are several amazing weekend options that will cost you nothing.

  1. TV-show filming 

    «Vecherny Urgant»

In the “Ostankino” broadcast center you can take part in the filming of various tv-shows: “Modny Prigovor”(The Fashion Verdict), “Zhit’ zdorovo”(Life is beautiful), “Pust’ govoryat”(Let them speak) and others. As a part of the audience, you may be paid from 500 to 100o rub. Such experience will enable you to see the process of filming and, if you are lucky enough, get on the screen.

Taking part in the filming of the “Vecherny Urgant” (The late-night show with Urgant) will not give you any money. In this case the audience is not just extras, they are the guests of the show. You will see Russian and international stars and will be given an opportunity to make a selfie with Ivan Urgant. Before  filming and between takes the audience is entertained by the co-host Dmitry Hrustalev.

Send your request to the show’s email if you want to see the film magic. In this request you are supposed to write your ID number (passport) and briefly explain why you are the one to be chosen. Announcements of the guests of the week and the rules of the show can be found in the VK group. 

2. Depending on interests

Afisha.ru, KudaGo and Timepad

In Moscow there are many free exhibitions, lectures, workshops, performances, open film screenings. Lifestyle and entertainment websites may be useful while planning one’s weekend.

On Timepad all reviews and announcements are brought by the organizers of events. Generally they are not writing about global events, but inform about small meetings and seminars. There are plenty of options on this website and everyone is able to find something appealing. 

KudaGo and Afisha.ru work in the same way, but there you can find information about more grand events. These resources don’t have a“free event”filter, so you have to search for them specifically.

3. Museums

«The art of the 20-th century» In the new building of Tretyakovskaya gallery

In Moscow there are a number of museums that don’t require visitors to pay at all. For example, “Bulgakov’s house”, the museum of metro and the museum of Russian icon. Other places have “free entrance” days: every Wednesday for the “Art of the 20-th century” exhibition in the New building of Tretyakovskaya gallery, every friday from 17 to 21 pm for the Garage museum. However, you must register in advance if you want to go  to Garage for free. Every Thursday at 19:00 25 free tickets are released. For up-to-date information, please, head to the official website.

State museums that are managed by the Moscow department of culture take part in the “Moscow museum week”. On every third week of the month around 80 museums open for a free entrance. Some of them are the GULAG museum, the Cosmonautics museum, the Marina Tsvetaeva house, “Novyi Manezh”, the Moscow museum of modern art.

Many museums don’t charge students. You can visit the Vladimir Vysotski museum, Moscow united park-museum ( it includes Kolomenskoe, Izmailovo, Lublini). If you are a student, you can visit the Tretyakov gallery on the first and second Sunday of the month.

Moscow-city  

You don’t need a lot of money to spend an unforgettable weekend. Additionally to the places mentioned above, there are also many parks and  public spaces that do not require their visitors to pay. If the Gorky park and Zaryadie seem dull already, check out the unique places for a stroll.

 

“There is something to lose your head from”

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin as a role model of responsible citizen at the lockdown

Reading time 5 minutes

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin is the father of contemporary Russian language. Pupils read “Eugene Onegin”, “Belkin’s Stories”, plays “Mozart and Salieri”, “The Miserly Knight”, “A Feast during the Plague” as well as adults reread. And who can remember from his youth that all these works were written at the height of the cholera epidemic of 1830?

How Alexander Pushkin got into the backwoods far away from his friends

Pushkin and Natalia Nikolaevna Goncharova were engaged in may 1830. He obtained the consent to the marriage only from the third request. The financial affairs of the bride were so up the spout that Alexander Sergeyevich himself had to earn money for the dowry which he allegedly received. Sergey Lvovich found with difficulty a not mortgaged estate that he could give to his son.

Master's house in Bolsino, family Pushkin's estate
Master’s house in Bolsino, family Pushkin’s estate

Boldino is a village of 500 souls. The father allocated to the son a nearby village Kistenevka, a part of Boldino estate. “Collegiate Secretary Alexander Sergeev, son of Pushkin” hastened to draw it up in a separate possession and pawn to get money for the wedding. For this reason, he arrived in Nizhny Novgorod province in September. He was forced to stay there for two months due to cholera quarantine.

Why should we take the poet for a model?

He didn’t lose composure

Alexander Sergeevich wrote two dozen of letters during the autumn in Boldino. He made up with the bride. Natalia Nikolaevna agreed to marry without a dowry.

Natalya Nikolaevna Goncharova, the bride and then the wife of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
Natalya Nikolaevna Goncharova, the bride and then the wife of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

At the same time, the writer did not forget about literary and critical practice. He asked Pogodin who was the publisher of the “Moscow Vedomosti” to send his tragedy “Marfa, Posadnitsa Novgorodskaya” for criticism. And in response, Pushkin sent a poem “The Hero” written on the occasion of the appearance of Nicholas I in cholera Moscow. The poet was not embarrassed to speak out against the regime naming himself but he wanted to publish the “apocalyptic song” with approval of the autocrat’s actions anonymously.

Pushkin willingly wrote many poems in Boldino. Autumn was the most fruitful time for him. The author was glad to be unexpectedly free to write what he wished and walk where he could. That feeling was expressed to his friend Pletnev in letters.

Pushkin approved of getting information in time

He read the cholera bulletins named “The Bulletin on the State of the Moscow City” which were published in the “Moscow Vedomosti”. The suspense tormented him. Alexander Sergeyevich was worried about the health of his family and the bride. He asked her to write regularly and was upset when the letters were long. Natalya Nikolaevna’s reply of October 1, he received on the October 26th. All suspicious and unverified information about the disease was rejected by him. A year earlier Pushkin had been to Arzrum where he had seen an outbreak of the plague, so he knew that the picture of devastation and the number of victims were often exaggerated.

Pushkin's letter to Praskovya Osipova. Punctured envelopes mark "cholera" correspondence. Letters were fumigated with sulfur or chlorine through the holes for disinfection
Pushkin’s letter to Praskovya Osipova. Punctured envelopes mark “cholera” correspondence. Letters were fumigated with sulfur or chlorine through the holes for disinfection
The writer was aware of necessity of precautions and lockdown

While there were no letters from Goncharova, the poet repeatedly tried to find out where the bride was. He was angry and concerned about her staying in Moscow and advised her to go to the country. Pushkin recalled a trip to the Caucasus and asked Natalia Nikolaevna to be careful and avoid cholera places. He also tried to go to Moscow and connect with his beloved. He was ready to stay in quarantine for as long as it would be necessary, though the poet did not visit the cordoned-off areas.

Wind of rubbish

How the reform of waste collection has changed the Moscow region

Reading time 6 minutes

The reform of rubbish collection was launched on the 1st of January 2019 as a part of “The Comprehensive System Of The Household Waste Treatment” project. This project in its turn is one of ten parts of Russia-wide project “The Ecology”. It was stated in 2018 and going to continue till 2024.

Parts of national project «The Ecology»
Parts of national project «The Ecology»

Moscow and other 10 regions excluded themselves from the program for a while. They will join it in 2022. The experience of the Moscow region on the contrary has become a role model.

What the government did?

The Moscow region government organized separate collection of household garbage. Bins of different colour appeared in cities. Blue one is destined for recyclable litter such as paper, plastic, glass, and metal. Grey bin — for non recyclable rubbish. Yellow ones that can be found in shopping malls and other public places are intended to contain dangerous waste like batteries, chargers and home appliances. Such garbage is transported to Chelyabinsk to the conversion.

Sorted safe rubbish should be sent to the local waste recycling plants. There are five such places now. As the Chairman Of The Government Of The Moscow Region Yevgeny Khromushin said, till 2030 only 5% of rubbish will be buried. Now 28 of 39 wastelands are closed, rest of them will follow as soon as 7 recycling plants will have been constructed. Moreover, 4 incineration plants are to appear till 2022. It is supposed that in the process of burning electricity will be produced.

Grey bins are removed regularly, while blue ones — after having been completely filled
Grey bins are removed regularly, while blue ones — after having been completely filled

In some cities the government with the support of rubbish utilising companies have launched social projects. They believe that it motivates dwellers to hand over waste for recycling. Every handed over 7 kilograms of paper, 10 kilograms of glass or 3 kilograms of polyethylene give Electrostal citizens discounts to the partner organizations of the project “Waste to Wealth”.

What dwellers noticed?

New line has recently appeared in utility bills. It is a tax for garbage removal. Such service used to be included into apartment service tax. The Moscow region has not switched to per capita calculation of tax, therefore residents have to pay it depended on the living space. As a result, a single pensioner in a three-room apartment «trash» more than a family in a single-room one.

New incineration plant is to be built next to the largest not only in the Moscow region but also in Europe landfill “Timokhovo”. The first stage of construction is degassing of the dump. Dwellers of Timokhovo, Elektrougli, Elektrostal, and Noginsk monitor the process and regularly complain about the smell of landfill gases within 10 kilometres. The situation is aggravated by the Elektrostal landfill six kilometers from Timokhovo. Landfills poison both air and water, so the residents of nearby settlements have to buy expensive and powerful filters, while to Elektrostal water comes from the Vladimir region.

Safety area around the dump is from 500 to 1000 metres.
Safety area around the dump is from 500 to 1000 metres

“It turns out that 1.5 million tons of waste will be stored in Timokhovo per year and 700 thousand tons will be burned. In other words, more than 2 million tons of rubbish will be put just in one point every year! We will be completely deprived of water, air…”, — said Veronika Kuzmina, representative of the active group of residents “Stop plant and landfill Timokhovo”.

What else?

The Moscow region produces about 5.3 million tons of garbage annually. Landfills accept up to 4.6 million tons, conversing complexes — up to 1.1 million. In addition, Moscow dwellers send up to 6.6 million tons of waste beyond the Moscow ring road annually. Due to the lag of the Moscow “garbage reform” from the Moscow region, the capital’s garbage will be “raked” by the rest of Russia, primarily the Moscow region. Half of the conversing and incineration complexes capacity is designed for Moscow.

At the same time the Moscow region government is going to change waste generation standards. They consider the standards to be lower than they should be what means that the dwellers of the region produce more litter. In this case they would pay for garbage removal more. However, where this waste is to be sent legally?

Unlike the government, residents do not think that the taxes are low. The percentage of their collection in any region does not reach 100%. As a result, regional operators that are responsible for removing garbage to legal landfills and conversing complexes are on the verge of bankruptcy. The resignation of the head of the “Russian environmental operator” also indicates the unstable situation of the “garbage reform”.

Google Stadia is at the failure stage

Why does the company fail to gain a foothold in the gaming market?

Reading time 5 minutes

About a year ago, on March 19, one of the world’s largest media corporations named Google announced the upcoming entry into the video game market. The company launched the Google Stadia game platform, something new in this area. The main feature that the creators of Stadia noted was the full focused of the new product on cloud gaming. This reminds Netflix analogue in video games: with a monthly paid subscription, the user gets access to the games in the platform’s library. At the same time he or she has an opportunity to connect within any device without downloading the games themselves. High resolution quality is guaranteed. A stable Internet connection and Google Chrome browser are required. At the announcement stage, Stadia looked interesting and seemed to be quite different from the market leaders (Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch). But everything changed dramatically six months later.

Никто не любит жадность
No one loves greed

The release of Google Stadia took place on November 19, 2019 and turned out to be disappointing. The main object of criticism was the general technical unavailability of the platform: the first buyers noted that the games work with significant glitches and are far from 4K resolution, as was promised at the announcement. In addition, many users were outraged by the Google pricing policy: the subscription costs $ 10 per month; Chromecast Ultra prefix, which includes a controller in Night Blue color, a Chromecast Ultra adapter, a three-month subscription for two and a Destiny 2 game costs $ 130; at the same time, the average price for a game will be similar to those of Sony, Microsoft and Xbox – $ 60. The current generation consoles for all Google competitors are about $ 500. There is also a monthly subscription worth about $ 7, but exclusively for online games. For single players (story games that a gamer can play alone) this subscription is not needed, as well as the Internet connection in general. This reveals another problem: users of Stadia are very dependent on the work of the company’s internal servers: if they crash, all game progress will not be saved. Another important obstacle, partially due to the preceding paragraphs, is the quantity of games. There were only 22 games in the Google start library, after 3 months of the service’s existence only 6 more were added. 28 games is an extremely small number for a company which is trying to become a full-fledged player in the market. Moreover, among these games there is not a single exclusivity. These are games that can only be played on one console, one of the most compelling reasons to buy one. At the moment, the PlayStation is a leader in the gaming industry thanks to exclusives such as the Uncharted series, The Last of Us, God of War, Bloodborne and many others. The Xbox has a series of Halo and Quantum Break, the Switch has Mario and Zelda. Stadia has nothing. The reason is Google itself: after the release, the company weakly supports the project (6 new games in 3 months to confirm). Accordingly, the audience, which was already relatively small, is beginning to decline. Therefore, game developers have no motivation to conclude exclusive production contracts with Google, because they still will not pay off in the current platform state.

За годы существования Google всего "умерло" 198 проектов
Over the years of Google’s existence, 198 projects have “died

Thus, Stadia is a vivid example of how an excellent idea can be ruined by poor technical performance and the lack of a clear PR strategy. The future of the project looks uncertain. It is unlikely that anyone will be surprised if he soon replenishes the “Google Cemetery“.

The audience is prepared for the uncharted

Will the authors of Uncharted be able to change the idea of video game film adaptation?

Reading time 6 minutes

On March 2, it was officially announced that actor Antonio Banderas will play a role in the film “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune”. The action-adventure Uncharted movie will be the first part of the famous game series transfer to the big screen, an exclusive console of Sony PlayStation. The first game in 2007 was released by Naughty Dog, which was known for its Crash Bandicoot platformer series at that time. Immediately after the release, “Drake’s Fortune” received a very warm welcome from critics and gamers. IGN news portal recognized the game as the best one on PS3 in 2007. All subsequent parts of the series, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End were also ranked among the best games of 2009, 2011 and 2016, respectively. They were also included in the best games of both decades list. As well as another game from Naughty Dog – “The Last of Us”. Its sequel is upsetting the gamers due to constant delays.

Том Холланд будет играть Нейтана Дрейка
Tom Holland will play Nathan Drake
Nathan Drake
А Марк Уолберг - Виктора Салливана
And Mark Wahlberg will play Victor Sullivan
Виктор Салливан. Как по-вашему, похожи?
Victor Sullivan. Do you think they look alike?

From the very beginning, the film had many problems. The project was discussed for a long time due to the popularity of Uncharted, but went to the production hell: over the past years, 5 directors have been changed. Now it is headed by Ruben Fleischner, the creator of two parts of Zombieland  comedy horror and Venom comic book. Actors of the main roles are also well-known: the adventurer Nathan Drake will be played by Tom Holland, a current Spider-Man performer in the Marvel studio film, and his friend and mentor Victor Sullivan will be played by two-time Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg. What role was prepared for Banderas, is not yet reported. Initially, the premiere was planned to be at the end of 2020, but was postponed to March 5, 2021.

Марк Уолберг уже снимался в экранизации игры - фильме "Макс Пэйн" 2008 года
Mark Wahlberg has already starred in the 2008 film adaptation of Max Payne

The fundamental problem of the upcoming film is its format. Quite a few video games were adequately adapted into the movies. Still, a game and a film are fundamentally different cultures and ways of entertainment. In the movie, the creators are not able to embody the gameplay that they took as a basis. Spectators cannot control characters on the screen. Accordingly, they need to be entertained with the story, but it is extremely difficult to adapt it correctly, again because of the difference in formats: modern story games last 30 hours in average, which need to fit into 90-120 minutes of a cinema slot. For these reasons, game film adaptations usually suffer from a bad scenario. Authors try either to depart from the canon and thus violate the logic of the world, or, on the contrary, try to follow the original source, which makes the film look secondary. The producer’s reckoning is primarily based on original fans. They want to go to the movies and are able to recoup the production. It really works like this quite often but one of the last known examples – “Assassin’s Creed” (2016) raised $ 240 million with a budget of 125. It is regarded as a box office failure. After that, the flow of movies based on games was temporarily stopped in Hollywood. Let’s see whether the film about Nathan Drake will return interest in the segment.

Mulan is affected by coronavirus

Disney premiere may be delayed

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 29, the popular American mass culture news aggregator Comic Book reported that Disney did not approve the rental plan for its new “Mulan” movie in China. The picture was supposed to be released in late March, but now it is highly likely that the premiere of the picture in the Middle Kingdom will be postponed indefinitely. The main reason is an outbreak of coronavirus, which still cannot be controlled. The performer of the leading role, Liu Yifei, a native of Wuhan, the city where the epidemic started, spoke about the situation: “People are doing everything right. They cherish themselves and others. It is very scary to see that they have not left the house for weeks. I hope that a miracle will happen and everything will soon be behind.”

Пример диснеевского ремейка - "Король Лев". Слева версия 1994 года, справа - 2019
An example of a Disney remake is The Lion King. 1994 version on the left, 2019 on the right

This situation can bring huge losses to Disney. The corporation has already announced significant financial losses after the temporary closure of two theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong – more than $ 150 million per quarter. In addition, the situation with Mulan is special, because the movie was obviously made with the expectation of a great profit from the Chinese audience: the plot is based on the medieval Chinese ballad about the girl Hua Mulan, who went to war with the Huns instead of her father, pretending to be a man. The film is part of a series of numerous “Disney remakes” of popular cartoons from the 80s and 90s with living actors like Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin, or photorealistic animations like The Jungle Book and The Lion King. All previous remakes, despite critical reviews and accusations of secondary nature, repeatedly recouped their production budgets. “Mulan” should not have been an exception, especially given the enormous budget: according to rough estimates, it is about $ 300 million, which makes “Mulan” one of the most expensive movies in history. For comparison, the largest budget ($ 365 million) came from last year’s blockbuster Avengers: Final.

Поцелуй из оригинального мультфильма. Вроде очень милый и не пошлый...
A kiss from the original cartoon. It seems to be very cute and not vulgar …

The creators faced certain problems even until the film transfer. For example, due to the massive military scenes, the picture received an age rating of PG-13 (13+), becoming the first Disney remake with such indicator. PG is considered to be the standard rating for studio films (6+ with parental recommendation). In addition, after the pre-screening, Chinese viewers demanded to cut the scene of the main character’s kiss with Li Shang, a military commander, considering it vulgar and unchaste. As a result, the creators decided to completely remove the character of Li Sang, considering his relationship with Mulan not corresponding to the era of #MeToo. Besides the Chinese criticized the historical inaccuracies of the movie: for example, the Mulan family lives in the adobe house “Tulou”. In reality, they began to be built only a thousand years after the events described in the film.

IPhones are only for the good guys

An interesting feature of Apple products usage in the cinematography

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 26, Vanity Fair, an American magazine in the field of politics, culture, fashion and film, published another video interview on its Youtube channel (more than 2 million subscribers).  This interview was conducted by Ryan Johnson, a popular filmmaker. First of all, he is known as the creator of the science-fiction film “Loopers” and the 8th episode of the Star Wars movie saga, “Last Jedi”. In a 23-minute long video, Johnson talked about his last movie, “Knives Out”. A detective drama tape was released last September (in Russia on November 28) and received rave reviews from critics (97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and extremely positive reviews from viewers (a rating of 8.0 on IMDB). In addition, the film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Screenplay category. Financially, “Knives Out” also became successful: with a budget of $ 40 million, he raised 306. In the beginning of 2020, it was announced that Johnson is already working on a continuation of the picture. He is planning to release it before the end of 2021. The plot of the first part tells the story of Benoit Blanc, a detective, who is investigating the mysterious murder of the famous author of crime novels Harlan Tromby. Hollywood star actors such as Daniel Craig, Chris Evans and Jamie Lee Curtis have performed in the movie.

Райан Джонсон раскрыл секрет Apple
Ryan Johnson revealed Apple’s secret

The interview instantly became popular due to Johnson revealing of a rather interesting secret: it turns out that Apple, whose products and accessories are regularly featured in movies and TV shows, prohibits negative characters to use them. Indeed, the real killer in “Knives Out” does not use anything related to Apple, unlike some suspects who ultimately turn out to be innocent. Johnson noted with humor that all other detective directors would probably want to kill him because of the exposure of this fact. And not only detective directors: now, watching any Hollywood movie, you can know in advance who is the villain and who is not. If the character in the frame uses Iphone, MacBook, AirPods and any other Apple products, then he or she is, by definition, a positive character. Thus, the company avoids negative associations with its products. According to representatives of the American CNBC channel, not only Apple has such a reverent attitude to the perception of their products by viewers. This is also true, for example, for manufacturers of various food products. It is unlikely that the company will like the fact that something with the label of its brand is thrown into the bin or broken into pieces in the frame.

Самые популярные бренды дорожат своей репутацией даже в кино
The most popular brands value their reputation even in the movies