Films are therapeutic

What is film therapy and can it replace psychotherapy?

Reading time 7 minutes

With the onset of autumn often comes a slight sadness and apathy. According to statistics, in the autumn season, one in two people may be in a  depression, or otherwise moping. In this period of grey workaday life and distancing can lift your spirits with the help of films. But is it possible to cure yourself with them?

A movie will brighten up a dull autumn evening (source: Istockphoto.com)
A movie will brighten up a dull autumn evening (source: Istockphoto.com)

HOW CAN CINEMA BE A THERAPEUTIC TOOL

When watching a film, the viewer often associates him- or herself with the main character and notices the similarities between the situations in his or her life and the character’s difficulties. Because of this, there is empathy for the characters. Thus, the behavioral tactics pursued by the film’s protagonist can inspire the viewer and encourage them to solve their own problems. This is called film therapy.

Film therapy is a branch of psychotherapy in which films are used as medicine. Movies reduce anxiety levels and help people find answers to their worries.

HISTORY OF FILM THERAPY

Throughout history, filmmakers have searched for ways to hold an audience’s attention. Hence the interest in the study of the human psyche and methods of influencing it through color correction, sound, editing, and other creative mechanisms of cinema.

The audience’s reaction to the movies they watched was actively studied from the early 50s. Both individual and group perceptions of films have been studied, in conjunction with the psychological processes that can arise during viewing.

The first publication on film therapy came out in 1951. It was an article by M. Prados’ article «The use of films in psychotherapy».

So how does our mind react to films? (Source: Vuzopedia.ru)
So how does our mind react to films? (Source: Vuzopedia.ru)

BASIC METHODS OF FILM THERAPY

«Cinematology» by Antonio Meneghetti: films can be used to analyze people

The first book on film therapy was written by Antonio Meneghetti. One day during a collective discussion of a film, the psychologist noticed a consistent link between the complexes of the participants and the opinions they held. This was the starting point for the discovery of a therapeutic method, which the author called cinematology.

The author believes that from the patient’s reaction to the film he watched, one can draw significant conclusions not only about the person himself but also about his psychological traits.

«The purpose of cinematology is not to teach or critique the director’s work, but to use the film to analyze the people experiencing these images: the viewer is emotionally complicit in exactly that which identifies him,» Meneghetti wrote in his book «Cinema. Theatre. The Unconscious».

Films often make viewers feel strong emotions (source: Bigstockphoto.com)
Films often make viewers feel strong emotions (source: Bigstockphoto.com)

Harry Solomon’s film therapy: films make our problems obvious

American neurologist Harry Solomon tested the effectiveness of film therapy through his own experience. As an adult he became bankrupt, addicted to alcohol and drugs, but he got himself out of this state thanks to films.

But he started to use films as therapy after a particular situation that happened to him at work. A patient’s life story reminded Solomon of a film, so he recommended her to see a film. The practice made a lasting impression on the woman and helped her to cope with the problem.

Solomon found that film therapy was more effective if films were chosen in which patients could recognize themselves. This helps people to recognize problems that they did not want to hear about.

You empathise more with someone who is similar (source: Kinorium.com)
You empathise more with someone who is similar (source: Kinorium.com)

Tav Sparks’ Movie Therapy: Movies as a GPS navigator for self-discovery

Psychologist Tav Sparks also believes in the healing power of film. In his book «Cinema Yoga», the author explained how cinema therapy works. Each person has an inner power, which is expressed in their reactions to the world around them. The task of the patient, therefore, is to learn to control his or her emotions and to stop being a victim of what is going on around him or her.

The author sees watching films as a process of self-knowledge, in which, as in a psychotherapist’s appointment, one works on oneself. However, the advantage of film therapy as a method of healing is that film allows you to learn about yourself in an entertaining and playful way. Interesting fact: In his book, Sparks describes in detail how film therapy takes place using an example of how a navigation system works.

Sergey Krasin’s Directed Film Therapy: The Importance of Film Therapists

Sergey Krasin, PhD and psychologist, has long developed film therapy training programmes for teachers, parents and school students. In the course of his work, the author became convinced that treatment with films can be more effective if patients are psychologically prepared beforehand to watch a film and discuss it afterwards. Thus began the story of Sergei Krasin’s method. The author divided film therapy into three equally important stages: work with the film therapist before, during and after watching the film. The task of the therapist is to help the patient mentally adjust to consciously watching the film in order to gain new information about themselves and their difficulties.

Film therapy can help people cope with their difficulties on their own, without the intervention of psychologists or psychotherapists. It is worth remembering, however, that in serious cases this method is best used strictly under the supervision of a specialist.

 

«Stick it»: it’s all our own fault

The new «W-M» crew begins their flight and looks into why sport is simply absurd

Reading time 11 minutes

With autumn moping sweeping the country, it’s high time we turned to energizing and driving films. On this occasion, today we decided to delve into the world of artistic gymnastics and review «Stick it», starring the feisty Missy Peregrym!

Мисси Перегрим с коллегами по фильму (источник: Кинориум)
Missy Peregrym with her film colleagues (source: Kinorium)
Storyline

A woman’s eye

«Stick it» is based on the story of a strong girl with «sports in her blood». But her parents’ divorce and the disgrace of a previous competition discourage her from aspiring to anything, much less a gymnastics career. The new Haley Graham chooses individuality and freedom to be in control of herself and her life rather than «six hours of daily exercise that kills you». Fun friends, BMX freestyle and a fresh breeze in her head. Soon, however, Haley has to face up to the gritty world of gymnastics and her carefully forgotten past again, because otherwise, she’ll face jail time. It’s up to the heroine to rein in her rebellious spirit and learn some important life lessons. What’s really wrong with the world of artistic gymnastics? What does winning depend on, and what is its true value?

Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham in the gymnasium, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)
Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham in the gymnasium, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)

But «Stick it» isn’t really about sport. It’s a film about life, about growing up, about finding your values. The main characters of the film are, first of all, ordinary people, with their personal problems, and only then – strong-willed athletes. Haley tries to cope with the resentment of her mother leaving the family, Joanne dreams of going to the prom, and Burt Vickerman struggles with his greed for victories.

A man’s perspective

The plot is interesting in that, if reversed, you get another stand-alone statement. In the exposition, we see a girl (Haley) completely disillusioned with the sport and finding her place in the skateboarding subculture. She sees sport – in this case, gymnastics – through. And it is extremely difficult to argue with her views: sport is indeed traumatic, both physically and mentally. A bizarre set of circumstances, or rather a choice without a choice (in which she is willing to choose prison and the military academy over returning to gymnastics, but her opinion is ignored) forces her to return to sport and take revenge (on herself or on life?). Throughout the film, her beliefs don’t really change. Rather, Hayley acts as a messiah and opens the eyes of other girl athletes, and therein lies her rebelliousness.
Turning the plot around in reverse order, we get a character who is disillusioned with the sport and has found herself in a different occupation and a different society. I don’t claim to know which is better, the original or the reverse, but the second is at least closer to the truth.

What's behind the cheeky shell? (source: Irecommend)
What’s behind the cheeky shell? (source: Irecommend)

Directing

A woman’s eye

«Stick it» is directed by Jessica Bendinger, who is known for writing scripts for films such as, «Bring it on» and «Aquamarine». Jessica is also the scriptwriter of some episodes of the popular TV series «Sex and the City».

Jessica Bendinger with the cast (source: kinomania)
Jessica Bendinger with the cast (source: kinomania)

Bendinger spent several years researching and selecting material on the sport of gymnastics before starting work on the film. She subsequently created a documentary presentation based on them, after which several studios were interested in the project. However, Disney got the rights for the project and so Bendinger made her directorial debut. Jessica thus completed her project for Touchstone Pictures in association with Spyglass Entertainment.
Despite the fact that «Stick it» pretends to be a sports story genre, many critics gave the film low marks precisely because of its poor conveyance of the atmosphere of sports. However, if you look at the film as a whole, you can’t help but enjoy it in terms of music, styling and color correction.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The costumes of the gymnasts reflect the inner world and character of each heroine. Haley Graham’s fiery leotard, in which the rebel gymnast performed freestyle exercises at the US championships to driving music, deserves special attention.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The musical component of the film is also admirable. The lead song was sung by six-time «Grammy» winner (Missy Elliott), and Mike Simpson, who has written music for such critically acclaimed hits as «Fight Club», «Road Trip» and «Freaky Friday», worked on most of the soundtrack.
It is also worth noting the presence of interesting technical tricks in the film, thanks to which «Stick it» looks with interest and does not lose its dynamism. The school championship scene which is mounted in kaleidoscope style stands out in this regard. All the gymnasts in brightly colored leotards and fast music perform their routines at the same time.

School championships, still from film (source: l2db)
School championships, still from film (source: l2db)

Also very evocative was the introduction scene of the two significant characters in the film, Burt Wickerman and Joanne. The figures of both characters scrolled 360 degrees while information about them appeared on the screen nearby.

A man’s perspective

The film offers aggressive editing in the comedy and action scenes, and conversely, long, even slow-motion shots in the drama scenes, further enhancing the emotional edge of the action. The overall aesthetic, coupled with soundtracks and sound effects, is reminiscent of MTV music videos. Flip phones, BMX bikes, snapbacks all evoke a sense of nostalgia for the early to mid-2000s, the time when the film was released.

Overall impression

A woman’s perspective.

The story may be sagging in terms of sports atmospherics, but «Stick it» is definitely a colorful, stylistic film that’s a pleasure to watch. At the same time, the film is not devoid of meaning; each protagonist has his own drama and questions about himself and his life.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The film is really not about sport but about people. Haley Graham tries to understand who is guilty of her failures throughout the whole film. Eventually, the girl realizes that there is no point in looking for those responsible – she has to act because everything depends only on herself. This allows the protagonist to curb her rebellious spirit and gain the courage to take complete control of her life.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The film leaves a pleasant aftertaste, brimming with inspiration and hope. The story brings out the universal rule of life: it’s never too late to take matters into your own hands. And it doesn’t matter at all whether the issue is sports, decency or winning. In this respect, it’s a good thing that the subject matter is not limited to sports because this makes «Stick it» more interesting to a wider audience.

Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham at the US Championships, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)
Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham at the US Championships, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)

The male perspective

The film, which is announced as a sports drama, maintains a relaxed atmosphere. And though the humor is sometimes based on toilet jokes and stereotypical behavior of the stereotypical characters, you don’t have a desire to switch it off – all the same it is a light film for an evening viewing, preferably in the company of your friends. As for the overall message, it’s clear: if the sport is brutal and meaningless and – since you happen to be there – stay in solidarity with your partners and rivals, and be prepared to take responsibility for your actions. A similar philosophy should be transferred to life. For Haley, it does, as the sport becomes just the backdrop to a central message voiced by the heroine herself: «We are the only ones responsible for everything. That’s the real reality».

 

 

 

Марвел покоряет мир телесериалов

Кинокомпания взяла курс на многосерийные проекты

Reading time 4 minutes

Марвел покоряет мир телесериалов
Кинокомпания взяла курс на многосерийные проекты

Marvel Studios известна по экранизации супергеройских комиксов и по таким блокбастерам, как «Железный человек», «Мстители» и «Тор». В 2021 году кинокомпания выпустила три многосерийных проекта на Disney+ с уже знакомыми зрителям героями: «ВандаВижн», «Сокол и Зимний солдат», «Локи». Эти сериалы положили начало Четвертой фазе кинематографической вселенной Марвел.
ВандаВижн
Минисериал рассказывает о событиях после «Мстители: Финал» – фильма, который заканчивает повествование о первой команде супергероев. В центре сюжета два бывших мстителя – Алая Ведьма, девушка со способностями к колдовству, и Вижн, робот-андроид в теле человека. В отличие от фильмов Marvel, сериал снят в жанрах ситкома и драмы: Ванда, не смирившись со смертью любимого, создает отдельный мир, где они оба счастливы. Со временем герои начинают подозревать, что их реальность ненастоящая.
Роль Ванды Максимофф исполнила Элизабет Олсен, а роль Вижна – Том Беттани. Режиссером выступил Мэтт Шекманн, известный по работе над «Игрой престолов» и «Доктором Хаусом». Ситком оценили критики: на IMDB рейтинг составил 8,1. Прямым продолжением сериала станет фильм «Доктор Стрэндж: В мультивселенной безумия», который выйдет в 2022 году.

Сокол и Зимний солдат
Сериал о Соколе и Зимнем солдате хронологически располагается после заключительного фильма «Мстители: Финал». Сэм по настоянию Капитана Америки должен стать следующим символом надежды и принять щит. На фоне личной драмы героя разворачиваются другие события: появляется анархистская международная организация, Зимний солдат учится жить в современном мире, а государство создает нового Капитана Америку.
Съемки начались еще в 2019 в Америке и Чехии, но были приостановлены из-за пандемии коронавируса. Премьера минисериала состоялась 23 марта, эпизоды выходили в течение месяца. К ролям Баки Барнса и Сэма Уилсона вернулись Себастиан Стэн и Энтони Маки. Продолжением телешоу станет четвертый фильм из цикла картин про Капитана Америку.

Локи
«Локи» – американский сериал, созданный Майклом Уилдроном на основе комиксов Марвел. Несмотря на то, что вышло только три серии, проект получил высокую оценку на рейтинговом сервисе Rotten Tomatoes: критики дали шоу 93%, а аудитория – 88%. Кинокомпания также анонсировала выход второго сезона.

Локи не только бог обмана и лжи, но и знакомый зрителю персонаж в исполнении Тома Хиддлстона из «Тора». В первой части «Мстителей» (2012) он был главным антагонистом, который пытался разрушить Нью-Йорк. Действия шоу развиваются после сразу после нью-йоркского нападения: Локи сбегает от команды мстителей при помощи Камня бесконечности. Бог попадает в бюрократическую организацию «Управление временными изменениями», где ему предстоит ответить за совершенные преступления.

5 reasons to watch Patrick Melrose

Not recommended for the faint of heart, but still...

Reading time 6 minutes

In 2018, German filmmaker Edward Berger premiered the mini-series «Patrick Melrose», which tells the story of the eponymous hero’s attempts to deal with the traumas of his past and live a life of dignity. The project did not receive an unequivocally enthusiastic response from the audience but was nevertheless extraordinary. This article explains why it’s worth watching.

  1. An atypical role for Benedict Cumberbatch

One of the most in-demand actors, not only in the UK but worldwide, admitted in an interview:

«I think my strength is in my brain, not my muscles. But that doesn’t embarrass me. It is very easy to look clever. It is much harder to play smart. But, because I grew up in high society and went to one of the oldest schools in the world, I have to play asexual sociopathic intellectuals for the rest of my life…»

Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.

So Patrick’s eccentric role is an entirely different one. The protagonist claims to be a self-destructive leader in every possible way: alcohol, drugs, promiscuity – the list does not end there. Not every film gives you the opportunity to watch an almost completely demoralized Benedict dancing in a drunken stupor.

  1. Visuals.

«Patrick Melrose» is full of its own aesthetic: in places bright and juicy, like the fruit on the trees that grows outside the luxurious Melrose villa, in places depressing and gloomy, highlighting the spiritual poverty of the individual characters (no spoilers).

Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.

The detailed interiors complement the style of the recreated time. The same applies to the choice of locations (the French countryside alone) and the costumes of the characters: together, they create a harmonious picture that is particularly pleasant to look at in natural, warm light.

sun was shining. What else was it supposed to do? - Patrick Melrose
The sun was shining. What else was it supposed to do? – Patrick Melrose
  1. The sound of music

The musical accompaniment to this story also leaves no one indifferent. The retro atmosphere here is not just in the picture, but also in the soundtracks. The pilot episode, for example, is accompanied by the Cat Stevens song «Wild world», as if preparing the viewer for a mental transport to a couple of decades ago. Except that as one gradually delves into Patrick’s childhood and learns details of his interactions with his parents, it becomes difficult to call the nostalgic mood evoked by the music a restful one.

A person can lose their mind because they are experiencing an emotion that they have to suppress. - Patrick Melrose
A person can lose their mind because they are experiencing an emotion that they have to suppress. – Patrick Melrose

The series also has a place for original soundtracks, with emotional responses ranging from anxious and disturbing to melancholy and alienating.

  1. A witty tragicomedy

Patrick’s story is a coherent narrative not only and not so much about the ways in which he destroys his ‘normal’ life, but about the reasons that have made the latter unbearable (primarily mentally). Melrose was born into a well-to-do aristocratic family, but his background and wealth did not make him happy. His mother’s indifference and his father’s unreasonable, perverted cruelty turned little Patrick’s life upside down for many years to come. The relationship within the family is a central theme of Berger’s mini-series, and one which all of us can feel particularly strongly about.

Forgiveness is an important thing, especially when you are forgiven. - Patrick Melrose
Forgiveness is an important thing, especially when you are forgiven. – Patrick Melrose

With each series, the life of the protagonist grows more and more hopelessly detailed.  Nevertheless, his story is presented in an interesting, even amusing and satirical way so that we want to watch it through to the end (even if it is psychologically difficult).

  1. A chance to compare the series’ experience with the books

The plot of the series is based on the series of novels by Edward St. Aubyn, whose work is highly regarded by the performer of the title role. The series of books is called a modern classic, noting the author’s distinctive style with its inherent sincerity, impartiality and irony. It is important to note that the works about Patrick Melrose are largely autobiographical: their idea was inspired by real events in the life of St. Aubyn.

 

How Estella became Cruella

Disney has filmed the story of the antagonist from «101 Dalmatians»

Reading time 5 minutes

«Cruella» premiered in Los Angeles on 18 May. At the same time, on 28 May, the film became available for viewing in cinemas and on the Disney+ platform. The screening in Russian cinemas started on 3 June. The director was Craig Gillespie, known for his work on the drama «I, Tonya».

«Cruella» is a prequel to the Disney animated films «101 Dalmatians» and «102 Dalmatians». Work on the adaptation began back in 2011, when the studio saw the first script for the project, and after another five years the cast was joined by the lead actors. In 2019, Disney unveiled the «Cruella» announcement at D23Expo.

Half a century after the release of the cartoon series, Disney presents the personal story of the villain. In the film adaptation, the action takes place in ’70s London – a time of punk rock and flashy clothes. The plot tells the story of the antagonist’s childhood and her traumas, which turned young Estella into the villainous Cruella. The heroine is not just an evil and bloodthirsty millionaire who tortures dogs. She dreams of becoming a famous designer. To achieve this, Estella takes a job with Baroness von Hellman, the owner of a fashion house. A rivalry between the young fashion designer and her boss leads to unexpected consequences.

Still from the film, 2021 (source: YouTube)
Still from the film, 2021 (source: YouTube)

An important part of the film is the world of fashion. In the original, Cruella prefers a voluminous, red-lined coat and a black tailored dress. The color palette is retained in the film adaptation, but the outfits themselves have changed. «Cruella» follows the current trends of veganism and eco-consumerism: fur is replaced by artificial leather. Estella’s images are inspired by the punk aesthetic: rough boots, bright prints and army jackets. Cruella’s wardrobe is more feminine and extravagant. Costume designer and Oscar winner Jenny Bevan created the clothes for the film. A total of 47 full-length looks, inspired by the style of Vivienne Westwood, the punk grandmother, were made for the main character.

A still from the film, 2021 (source: Vogue)
A still from the film, 2021 (source: Vogue)

An Oscar-winning cast has been recruited to work on the film. Emma Stone, known for her roles in  «La La Land», «Spider-Man: No way home» and «The Favourite», plays the title role. The cast also includes Emma Thompson («Harry Potter» film series) and Mark Strong («Kingsman»). Little Estella was played by Tipper Seifert-Cleveland.

The audience met the fresh take on the children’s cartoon approvingly. The worldwide box office reached $84 million and «Cruella» was rated 7.4 on IMDB. Rotten Tomatoes editor-in-chief Joel Mears shared the positive sentiment on his Twitter: «If you’re wondering what a mix of «The Devil Wears Prada», «The Witcher» and «Death Becomes Her» would look like, then watch the film.».

Emma Stone with the makers of «Cruella» at the premiere, 2021 (source: Disney)
Emma Stone with the makers of «Cruella» at the premiere, 2021 (source: Disney)

 

«Winx» is saving the world again

Netflix has released a movie adaptation of the animated series about fairies

Reading time 4 minutes

The 6 episodes of the first season of «Fate: the Winx Saga» was released on the streaming platform Netflix on January 22. Directed by Brian Young, known for his work on «The Vampire Diaries», and Iginio Straffi, the creator of the original cartoon. Production was handled by Italy and the United Kingdom, and filming took place in Ireland.

The Netflix project is based on the Italian animated series «Winx Club». The fantastic series has been released since 2004 and from that time has won the love of viewers. At the moment, 8 seasons, 3 feature films and several spin–offs have been released. In addition, the manufacturer produces merch: comics, clothing, stationery, toys and computer games. Straffi conceived the film adaptation back in 2011, but Netflix only started shooting in 2019.

Despite its popularity among children and teenagers, the animated series has been repeatedly criticized. The creators of «Winx» were accused of sexual objectification of the heroines — sixteen-year-old fairies have a perfect body and wear too open clothes.

A shot from the first season of «Winx» (source: Amino Apps)
A shot from the first season of «Winx» (source: Amino Apps)

The plot of the film series differs from the original one. Sixteen-year-old Bloom (Abigail Cowen) gets into «Alphea». «Alphea» is a school for fairies and specialists from the magical world. The girl lives in a hostel with other fairies, communicates only with Aisha (Precious Mustapha), and with Stella (Hannah van der Westhuysen) is at enmity. The heroine has a bad relationship with her parents. Headmistress Miss Dowling (Eve Best) knows the truth about Bloom, but keeps it a secret. The young fairy has yet to learn about herself and her origins.

The series received an age limit of «18+». According to Straffi’s idea, the show is designed for adult fans of the animated series: in the Netflix adaptation, there are a large number of bed scenes and obscene language.

From left to right: Muse, Terra, Bloom, Stella, Aisha (source: Twitter)
From left to right: Muse, Terra, Bloom, Stella, Aisha (source: Twitter)

The public met the news of the film adaptation with conflicting reviews. Even at the stage of creation, the project was discussed because of the cast: the Asian Muse was made a white American, Techna was removed from the number of Winx fairies, and instead of Flora, another character appeared — her cousin Terra. Another heroine — Beatrix-became a collective image of the evil trinity Trix. There is no Muse and Riven couple that is loved by many: Riven is an open bisexual who is in love with another person.

The first season received many positive reviews. On IMDB, users rated the series 7 points on a ten-point scale. On Kinopoisk slightly below-6,4. After the premiere, the network received information that Netflix has extended «Fate: The Winx Saga». There was no official confirmation of the second season.

 

Hogwarts doesn’t exist, the Dursleys are good, and Dumbledore is Death

Recalling fan theories on the anniversary of the last Harry Potter movie

Reading time 6 minutes

The Wizarding World stories premiered exactly ten years ago. Over the course of the franchise’s existence, fans have come up with theories, some of which completely overturn the usual story of the magical world.

Neville is the Chosen One

One of the most argued theories is that Harry was never the Chosen One. The real savior of Magical Britain is Neville. Although bumbling loser Longbottom doesn’t look like a superhero, he could have been the Boy Who Survived. According to the prophecy of Voldemort’s demise, the wizard will be killed by a boy born in July. Also, the child must be part of a family that has defied the Dark Lord three times. Not only do the Potters fit the description, but also the Longbottom. Why Tom Riddle decided it was Harry who would destroy him is not clear. Perhaps the wizard wanted to deal with Neville and his family after but did not have time.

Further events of the story also make you doubt Harry’s selectivity. The prophecy says that the child has a special gift. Potter had no gift (the boy’s knowledge of the snake language was passed down from Voldemort), but Neville had a strong knowledge of herbalism.

Theory #1: Neville is the Chosen One

Harry, Severus and Tom Riddle are brothers in the «Deathly Hallows» tale

The tale is about three brothers. Death gives them the Elder Wand, the Cloak of Invisibility, and the Resurrection Stone. Harry, Severus, and He-Who-No-Name resemble the Peverell brothers. Voldemort wishes to get his wand so he can wield power like his older brother. Snape, the middle one, is obsessed with the love of a dead woman. Harry wields the Cloak of Invisibility, which makes him look like the younger brother.

If you follow this theory, Death is Dumbledore. The Professor is the only one who possessed all the Hallows. Also, when Harry is killed by the Dark Lord, it is Albus who waits for him and meets him as an “old friend.” – Another reference to the fairy tale.

Theory # 2: Harry, Severus and Tom Riddle are brothers in the «Deathly Hallows» tale

Draco is in love with Hermione

Many fans believe that Draco was in love with Hermione. He was always bullying the girl, calling her a «filthy dirty girl» following on the heels of the Golden Trio, all to get Granger’s attention. This behavior was caused by the fact that Malfoy grew up in a family where Muggles were considered the scum of society, but the boy himself thought otherwise. The version about the Slytherin’s crush is common among fans of movies because there Draco is shown as a deeper and more compassionate person.

Theory #3: Draco is in love with Hermione

Harry is to blame for the bad temper of the Dursleys

In the books, the Dursley family had a strong dislike for the Boy-who-survived. Harry lived in a closet, subjected to insults and hard labor. There is a theory: the character of the relatives was influenced by Potter, or rather by Voldemort’s Horcrux imprisoned in the wizard.

In «Deathly Hallows» Harry, Hermione and Ron wore a locket around their necks – part of the Dark Lord’s soul. The teenagers were negatively influenced by black magic: they argued, fought, were aggressive. The theory is that Harry’s presence had the same effect on the Dursleys. Although this assumption does not explain why the boy did not influence his friends and other wizards in his surroundings.

Theory #4: Harry is to blame for the Dursleys’ bad temper

Harry made up the world of magic

What if there is no magic world? That’s probably the saddest theory. Its proponents are certain that Harry never left the house on Tees Street, never received a letter from Hogwarts, and never fought Voldemort. The boy-who-survived- made it all up, and the fantasy is an attempt to escape the brutal reality. The writer believes this viewpoint fits into the original story.

Theory #5: Harry made up the world of magic

 

 

Russian sensation

"To the lake" - the most expensive Russian series on Netflix

Reading time 3 minutes

“To the Lake” is a Russian sci-fi thriller series directed by Nika Award nominee Pavel Kostomarov. It was added to the Netflix catalogue in October 2020. The platform bought the series for a record-breaking sum – $1,5 million. The Russian name of the series is “Эпидемия” (Epidemic).

Главный герой сериала
The main character moves to Karelia because of the epidemic

It is based on the novel ‘Vongozero’ by author Yana Vagner. The plot is literally repeating the events of the current pandemic. Life in Moscow has become life-threatening because of the new disease. The main character, accompanied by his family, ex-wife and neighbours, moves to Karelia, to a small island in the middle of a lake.They have a dangerous way to go. Netflix got interested in the series in January, when the pandemic just started.

“To the lake” was ranked the 4-th most watched series in the Netflix rating. Stephen King tweeted about the series: he called it “pretty darn good” and highlighted the excess of snow, cold and vodka in the show. There is even a fan-page of the series on the Internet.

Стивен Кинг написал твит об «Эпидемии»
Stephen King’s tweet

This is not the first time when Netflix wants to buy a project created by Valeriy Fedorovich and Evgeniy Nikishov. In their interview to Meduza producers said that they had already refused to sell their projects to Netflix because the terms weren’t beneficial. At first Netflix wanted to pay for “To the lake” less than the other streaming platform. When the offer was rejected, the company suggested releasing the series with a “Netflix Originals” mark. Products from this category are generally more expensive. After some consideration producers accepted the offer.       

Netflix has already purchased more than 40 Russian cartoons, movies and tv shows. Before “To the lake” was added to the catalogues, the most expensive Russian project on Netflix was “Better than us”. The series cost one million dollars. 

Seven Lives of Sherlock Holmes

The most famous images of the detective in cinematography

Reading time 7 minutes

Sherlock is a character created by English writer Arthur Conan Doyle. Consulting detective lives in Victorian London on Baker Street and helps Scotland Yard police in solving crimes. Works about the adventures of Holmes and Dr. Watson have become classics of the detective genre, and screenings are still successful.

The first film adaptation is considered to be a thirty-second silent movie «Sherlock Holmes Baffled». The short sketch was premiered in May 1900. The names of the actors are unknown. The only copy was lost until it was restored by cards in 1968. «Baffled» is the first detective in the history of cinematography.

«Sherlock Holmes Baffled» // Frame from the restored film of 1900

The most popular screen adaptation among the Russian public is the Soviet series with Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin in the lead roles. The series «The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson» was released in 1979-1986 and consisted of eleven episodes. The plot was based on stories «A Study in Pink», «The Final Problem», «The Hound of the Baskervilles».

The TV series was appreciated abroad: the film critic Alan Barnes in his book «Sherlock Holmes on the screen» (1999) wrote that the detective performed by Livanov is the best of all time.

Frame from the Soviet series «The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson»

In 1970 the American film «The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes» was released. Oscar-winning director Billy Wilder worked on the picture, and the main character was played by British Robert Stevenson. Holmes and Watson visit the ball of Russian ballerina and bathe in women’s attention. Unlike his3 friend, Sherlock is not glad about this arrangement. At the same time, a standard detective line develops: the detective investigates the case of the disappearance of the man. The search brings the heroes to Loch Ness Lake.

Frame from «The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes»

«Sherlock Holmes» by Guy Ritchie was released in 2009, two years later – a continuation under the title «Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows» . The characters of the detective and the doctor were performed by Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. The friends save London from Moriarty’s plans and investigate terrorist attacks. Critics praised the screening, and the first film was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe. The third part of the franchise will be released in 2021.

Frame from «Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows»

«Sherlock» (2010) by the BBC is probably the most unusual of all. The action takes place not in Victorian England, but in the modern one. John Watson (Martin Freeman) blogs about his friend instead of notes. The image of Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, turned out to be extraordinary. Sherlock calls himself a «highly active sociopath», fights against drug addiction and denies the existence of feelings and emotions. The main antipode of the detective is James Moriarty.

At the moment, 4 seasons and a special episode  «The Abominable Bride» have been released. It is not known whether there will be a continuation.

Poster for the fourth season of «Sherlock» by the British company BBC

In 2012, CBS offered to the producers of the British «Sherlock» with a proposal to make a remake. The BBC refused to sell the copyrights, so the company created a TV series from scratch. «Elementary» was released in September of the same year.

Holmes comes to New York for treatment in a rehabilitation center and remains to work as a police consultant. Joanne Watson – in this adaptation the doctor became a girl – supervises the detective.

«Elementary» // Sherlock (John Lee Miller) and Joan (Lucy Lew)

«Enola Holmes» is an online platform project created by Netflix, released in autumn. Producer and main actress – 16-year-old Millie Bobby Brown. The focus is not on Sherlock, but his teenage sister Enola. The image of the detective turned out to be interesting, though not canonical. In the story Mycroft, Sherlock and Enola are looking for their missing mother.

«Enola Holmes» // Enola (Millie) and Sherlock (Henry Cavill)
«Enola Holmes» // Enola (Millie) and Sherlock (Henry Cavill)

There was also a scandal: Doyle’s heirs sued on Netflix. In their opinion, the producers used stories that are not yet in the public domain.

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.