The director Semyon Serzin is one of those who are sure that our deeds should speak for us, because they are usually louder than words. Parallel rehearsals and filming are commonplace for him. And although Semyon does not consider himself an actor, soon he will be able to be seen not only in the performances of apartments in the "Invisible Theater" invented by him, but also in the film by Kirill Serebrennikov "The Petrovs in the Flu". Finding himself on the site of the "Petrovs" in the frame, and not behind him, after Serzin went to shoot his own first film - "The Man from Podolsk". Based on the play of the same name by Dmitry Danilov, he has already staged a play at the Yaroslavl Volkovsky theater, but now you can watch the development of the absurd story on the screen.
Dmitry Danilov's play has long been overgrown with many - and very different - theatrical incarnations, but on the screen your interpretation is the very first. And history in a sense has been transformed. We learned new things about the main character, the same man from Podolsk, even the 90s appeared for a moment.
I don't know what exactly, but something has changed, probably. Cinema is primarily about visual perception, and text is text. And although all the dialogues to a large extent have been preserved, they have become smaller in number and in total mass. This happened because it seemed to me that I needed to tell about the main character. After all, we are looking at this whole story through him, we connect to him, therefore such additional scenes about the hero appeared around the text of Dmitry Danilov. Well, and also, already continuing to think about this material in the context of the film and about all these questions that the police ask a man from Podolsk, reproaching that he does not notice beauty, I thought about how different we all see and perceive in childhood. For example, I recalled my 90s: how we played "square" in the yard,found some kind of crap on broken playgrounds and we were all interested. In childhood, everything seems new, and you see some things for the first time. Maybe that's why this flashback from the 90s appeared in the film, as a different sense of the world, which by and large, probably, does not change, but you yourself change in relation to the world.
It is clear that you can be unhappy in conditional New York or Paris in the same way as in Podolsk, and happy too, but still, how much can the mood and ability to notice and appreciate beauty depend on the place?
I've traveled to Podolsk, and there you can burn out much faster than, it seems to me, in Petersburg, or in Moscow, or in some places less suitable for burnout.
© Georgy Kardava
Is it connected with the circumstances of the surrounding reality, with dullness?
Well, yes, otherwise there would be no absurdity, there would be a moralizing story about a person who does not see anything that is happening around him. It seems to me that he just sees very well, and in comparison, the police begin to juggle his own words, turn everything inside out and do as it suits them. Therefore, they are probably the power in this situation. This is still not a story about a lesson, it is about a choice and, in general, about the feeling of oneself in the city in which you live, in the country, at a specific point, in this place. Around the play, the performance, and now the film, there were exclamations of many: "Like, I also don't notice what color the walls are in my entrance …" Maybe such a position, such a feeling from what I saw.
In the context of the plot of the play, it seems logical to ask whether it is possible to learn to notice this beauty, which the police officers so insist on?
When we were studying, our master Veniamin Mikhailovich Filshtinsky gave the following task: to see something beautiful every day. And you, willy-nilly, begin to notice this in your everyday life, but this does not quite determine the questions that are in this material. Because you can compare Podolsk and Amsterdam, of course, but then you have every right to choose Amsterdam. There are people who will make a choice in favor of Podolsk, and there are those who will say “Amsterdam” without hesitation, and you cannot make this decision for anyone.
© Georgy Kardava
In our country, it seems to me, everyone compares their hometown not so much with Amsterdam, Rome, London and so on, but with Moscow and St. Petersburg. Have you traveled a lot around the country, staging performances, noticed this vital context of comparisons?
I have lived in Murmansk for 19 years, so such trips are probably returns to my youth, to my childhood, because I am not a metropolitan person. I have lived in St. Petersburg for a long time, now in Moscow, but still, to some extent, I feel myself here as someone who came. Therefore, I do not lose this connection, but I will not say that I like it so much. For example, the last time I was in Kudymkar. And it's hard to love a city where nothing happens for people, where everything is in this state. Amsterdam is easy to love, it's a cool city. I've been thinking, if you project this play on Europe - although it was staged in Germany, in Estonia, but still mainly in the CIS -, transfer the same situation to Amsterdam, where the police begin to ask a person from a small idyllic town: “Why are you don't you notice the beauty? " It's hard to notice the beautiful when you live in shit. Because,if we abstract and just look at this Frolov, how he lives and how he tries: of course, he is a weak person, he is not a superhero, he hasn’t jumped over his head, but he is what he is, and, probably, this is his right - to be like that. He did not kill anyone, did nothing to harm anyone.
The man from Podolsk, who does not quite understand what is happening, was played by Vadik Korolyov, who also seemed not very aware of what was going on around, since he is not an actor, but a musician, and here is a playground, partners, a camera-motor, doubles, and so from day to day. The film's producer Natalya Mokritskaya, in general, does not hide that she did not make your decision right away, but still trusted. How to communicate on the set with an artist who is not really an artist, how to set him a task in order to scare enough, but not too much?
Yeah, you want me to reveal all the secrets here? (Laughs.) If I knew how to build the problem … (Laughs again.) I tend to think, although I have absolutely no experience, but it still exists now, albeit minimal, that the movie is filming itself. And the performances too - they make you, not you. I bear some kind of responsibility for everything that happens, but it is still a combination of circumstances that develop in a certain way. In my reflections on the material, there was nothing speculative: “So, I'm going to do“The Man from Podolsk”now, and how would I be so cool and do some unusual distribution of roles? Yeah, there is such a musician - Vadim Korolev, I'll call him. " It was scary to invite, on the contrary, an artist, although we even started reading the material with Yura Borisov, he had to act later in another project,but we had to start, and in the end it didn't work out. It is really not an easy task to understand nothing. Any normal artist will tell you: “What am I doing here? How exactly do I not understand? " This is difficult. And somehow, they all connected organically, and Natalya believed me, although we recorded bad samples … I don't know how to record and do all these tests, I hate castings both as an artist and as a director, and I don't like it in the theater either. It always seems to me that this is not real.both as a director and in the theater I don't like it either. It always seems to me that this is not real.both as a director and in the theater I don't like it either. It always seems to me that this is not real.
In general, I did not fully understand what was happening, to be honest, but I had a kind of stupid confidence … I came to shoot a movie, I don’t know how to do it, but I started to shoot, pretending that I could. Everyone believed in it and joined in. And I somehow removed it, we edited it, and then I watched it myself, already calmed down, and this is such adrenaline, because you do not fully realize what is happening. When I watched a movie on a projector at home, I kept thinking: “Damn, what is Vadik playing here? And now? Gosha!" He's a really great artist. Lacking any suitcase with stamps and all sorts of handicraft pieces, he analyzed the whole role in great detail for himself. I didn't understand anything with him. I sent him somewhere, and he existed there. There were some difficult moments too. As an artist, I tried not to ask him to do anything at all, but just adjusted it a little. And he really did not understand by what laws a lot of things happen, and this, too, probably worked.
© Georgy Kardava
Let's talk a little more about actors. You have formed a truly wonderful ensemble, where there is Viktoria Isakova, who is well known to the theater and cinema audiences, your colleagues in the Invisible Theater, Vladimir Meisinger, who played in your theatrical version of The Man from Podolsk. And it seems that now all casting directors should grasp your choice, because many new and completely necessary persons for Russian cinema appear on the screen. I don’t want to reduce everything to the question of why they were not invited to act before, but still?
It seems to me that some producers or directors not only don’t take artists to film, but simply don’t know them, and this is where it all ends. And I just because I traveled, before starting to work in Moscow, there are many places, I know a lot of cool artists, for some reason not very famous. An unreal artist, for example, is Oleg Yagodin, he will not go to Moscow just like that, he does not need it, but he is a truly outstanding actor. To be honest, I thought that I would not be allowed to do this, and for me it was just wow, when for some episodes I brought my St. Petersburg gang-watering can. There was a scene that people unfamiliar with each other cannot reliably play, and these are the guys who have sat at the table with each other more than once.
Your master, Veniamin Mikhailovich Filshtinsky, has a phrase that you sometimes recall in interviews. He believes that everything should be through resistance, and if everything works out at once, it succeeds, then in some sense it is even wrong and strange. How much do you agree with this? Does everything in cinema and theater really have to be through resistance?
I once did not quite correctly formulate his formulation for myself, I perceived this statement as a kind of starting point, that you should drive yourself into circumstances, take material that you do not fully feel, but think that you can handle it, take artists, with which you hope to cope, take some circumstances, venues, theaters and so on, where you need to exist in spite of everything. It seems to me in the end that this is associated with him, Veniamin Mikhailovich, this sense of truth. He brought us to white heat so that there was truth, so that I believed in it to the end. And you probably need to do what you do, but all the time somewhere to keep this bell like this: "And you are not lying now, you are not deceiving yourself and everyone now?" "Is it really true, is it fair, is it real?" And so you have to check yourself. And if not, then you don't need it. But the installation is contrary to everything - I realized that it, in fact, does not give any adequate results. Even Veniamin Mikhailovich always said that the most important thing is the artists. That is, any casting, relatively speaking, who plays this material, is 80 percent of what will turn out. And if you do it inaccurately, incorrectly, if everything is ugly, out of place, it is unlikely that something will work. I agree with that. I agree with that. I agree with that.
© Georgy Kardava
Success has always had many different manifestations, including external ones, but now especially. All of them can, if not out of focus, then distract. How not to get lost in all this and remember what is important?
A difficult question - how can a modern artist exist at all, how not to get lost. I don't know how not to get lost. Probably, if you understand why you are doing this, then you continue. But it's very difficult not to get lost, because - I judge by myself - if something resonant happens, it's cool, and there are a lot of interviews, discussions … You don't have to agree to everything, not talk to everyone, but it is important to pronounce some things. And a lot of useful things appear around, in fact, but it takes a very long time. In general, I felt such a thing - not that you are on the crest of a wave of success, there is nothing like that, of course, but you did something like that, and a little imaginary thing arises: but then you have to do something in order not to lower the bar … This is probably not true. How can it be? This is life, and you did it now,and then … well, cool if it works out more. And there is such a pseudo-scrupulous attention of oneself to oneself, and this must be somehow knocked down a little, probably: "Okay, then I do my business, something will turn out better, something worse." Probably so.
Those who are both filming and filming at the same time, that is, actors and directors in one person, are often asked this question, but still: how to switch and how not to start, for example, to give some comments regarding a role on someone else's set, when are you in the frame, not behind him?
The worst thing is that such a desire sometimes arises, and this is a fiasco. When there is a need inside you to prompt, it is wrong. Sometimes, when I act myself, I don't ask questions, because as a director I understand everything. Well, it turns out, why ask them. And so, if you have complete trust in the director, no matter what he does there, you come and trust. As a director, I myself hate it when artists start doing your work. This is wrong, it blurs all boundaries. There can be no democracy either on the stage or in the theater.
© Georgy Kardava
When you were filming with Kirill Serebrennikov in "Petrovs in the Flu", did you observe, took notes for yourself, and as a director too? After all, it turns out that those shootings were before the launch of your own full-length directorial debut.
For me it was a cool experience, because this is a real big movie, such a multi-level, multi-layered, complicated, very authorial. With the incredible operator Opelyants. And for me it, of course, was such an experience before my filming, when I walked around and absorbed what was happening on the set like a sponge. This is one of the best examples of venues I've been to. I'm not so much where as an actor was filmed, so for me it was such a spring that I wound up, so that later I could go into my story. This is how I perceive it. The way Kirill Semenovich builds the process is very close to me, but there was no such thing that I deliberately borrowed something. But there is one definite move that I really - and intentionally - stole. But not from Kirill Semenovich, but from Michael Haneke from the movie "Funny Games". It was the main emotional reference of the cinema about forms of violence against a person,only there it is physical, and here it is psychological.
The “invisible theater” that you have invented often gives the audience a sense of belonging, possessing some kind of secret. Like people walking down the street and they don't know, but I know. Is it important for you not to lose this when talking about the theater?
Yes, I like it when you have something exceptional, you feel involved in it. In general, in principle, you have to do some work to come to the play. We do not have a house near the theater, where everyone went to the buffet, sat down, and waited. This is also true for artists. The idea is in some kind of community and in the need to just be together. For me, "Invisible Theater" is a form of friendship, a form of such love for each other, which is expressed in the fact that we are united not by the fact that we went to drink beer, take a walk or something else, but there are some common themes, that we care about, for which we do performances. By the way, back to the question about success. This is my tuning fork - "Invisible Theater". When we play performances, we are this tuning fork for each other. You cannot lie in front of your friend, you cannot play worse than him, everything is very clear,and just "the boys won't understand." When my guys went to watch The Man from Podolsk, it was very important for me what they would say. They will not lie to me, but will tell me how it is, cool or not. And I always want the viewer to feel involved, and I always tell our entire small team that we should know very well who is coming. If someone comes two or three times, so that we address each spectator. Because the audience is not that big.so that we address each viewer in a targeted manner. Because the audience is not that big.so that we address each viewer in a targeted manner. Because the audience is not that big.
© Georgy Kardava
And in a classical large theater, with a stage and a hall, does the distance change? You have just released the play "Kisa" at the Comedian's Shelter. How was it there?
I would not say this is not that distance. We also have performances where there is a stage and a hall, and this is normal if the material implies such a need, when there are people who look specifically at what is happening on the stage. By the way, although the Comedian's Shelter is a repertory theater, it is the only theater in St. Petersburg without its own troupe, and still I gathered my own gang, and we are just there. The same "Invisible Theater", only we rehearsed not for a week, as usual, but for two months. But it happens that artists who are accustomed to working on the big stage (I had this at the Volkovsky theater), in the thousandth hall, need to be restrained. Because they have so much energy, they are in such a large hall training that it is worth bringing in some kind of documentary. But this is due to the fact that they have been working this way for many years. And when you do movies today, tomorrow you play in the basementand the day after tomorrow - on the big stage, you are in training in any case and, in principle, calmly switch. You just understand which registers need to be opened. You cannot play on a large stage as on a small one, if it is necessary to exist there precisely, honestly, in essence, and so on, and not in general. There is simply a different realization of energy costs.
Are you a director first and then an actor? Or both at the same time? Or is the priority irrelevant here?
I'm a director, yes, but an actor just sometimes. I cannot say that I am an actor. Even when I was filming somewhere, I didn't say that. An actor is a slightly different feeling of oneself, probably in the profession. Not in the sense that it's a hobby for me: if I work as an artist, I honestly do everything, but for me it's usually such a rest. It becomes possible to concentrate only on yourself, and not on everything. Probably, when you are an artist all the time, and you are all the time focused only on yourself, it is difficult to cope with it. It seems to me that this is a difficult profession.
You have said more than once that in Murmansk, where you grew up, everyone wanted to become sailors, including you.
It's just there, you have to want.
Can you imagine that you really became a sailor?
It seems to me that this life is somewhat familiar to me. It always seemed to me that when my dad went to sea, he went somewhere there to Africa, to Germany, to the Bahamas, and there is something about that. That is, you go on some kind of voyage, each time roughly imagining what will happen there, but you do not know what will happen there, what you will see there, whom you will meet. I think it's essentially the same as when you work as a director. You go on some kind of voyage with people you know, sometimes not quite friends. Sometimes you sailed on a ship that you know, like in the Invisible Theater, or on which you sailed once, like in the Comedian's Shelter, sometimes on which you never sailed, as in the case of The Man from Podolsk. I have a childhood friend, we recently met in Vyborg, I filmed there, and he has a ship there. We talked to him, and in fact, I don’t know if you are leaving to shoot or shoot a project - for a month or two months, you figure it out 12 hours a day, you see nothing but your carriage and the set, and these are groups. You come home to sleep, wake up and go again. And just as you go sailing - he works on a trawl, they figure this fish or crab there, leave for two months and return. You go into some process, and then you come to your senses a little, live, there is something else, and then again you go into some kind of situation. I think I imagine the life of a sailor. And just as you go sailing - he works on a trawl, they figure this fish or crab there, leave for two months and return. You go into some process, and then you come to your senses a little, live, there is something else, and then again you go into some kind of situation. I think I imagine the life of a sailor. And just as you go sailing - he works on a trawl, they figure this fish or crab there, leave for two months and return. You go into some process, and then you come to your senses a little, live, there is something else, and then again you go into some kind of situation. I think I imagine the life of a sailor.