September 22, 2021

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‘Captain Volknogov escapes’ Helmers talk ‘retro-utopia in their photo’

3 min read

Natasha Merkulova and Alexei Chupov, the duo behind the Venice title “Captain Volknogov Flees” লড়াইfighting for a Golden Lion জিন thought of Jean-Paul Belmondo as their main character, a USSR law enforcer who suddenly fled and chased himself. By former colleagues. The legendary French actor, best known for “Breathless” and “Piert Le Fu”, died on 6 September.

“In one of the earlier versions of the script, we got the equivalent ending of ‘Breathless.’ Then we changed it, but the spirit of it remains,” says Chupov. Diversity In Venice after the film’s world premiere. “We grew up in his films.”

The Russian-Estonian-French joint production, although set in 1938, is not faithful to the politically charged period, the directors opted for a “retro-utopia” instead and, as they put it, rediscovering the past.

“It was not interesting to us to make a simple historical drama. I know people who like to make them, but we are not the people, ”said Chupov. “We wanted to combine different ingredients, mix them and see what happens. For us, it was a test.

Inspired by Russian fairy tales, the film features Volkonogov – seen by Yuri Borisov, recently seen in Cannes Grand Prix winner “Compartment No. 6” – apologizing to the families of his past victims, after a supernatural encounter makes him anxious about the situation.

“In these stories, the protagonist always has to do something three times to reach his goal,” Merkulova said. Although the duo have been working together for many years and are currently co-directing Netflix’s “Anna K”, a contemporary remake of Leo Tolstoy’s iconic novel starring Svetlana Khodchenkova and Borisov, she usually takes charge once on set. Diversity To find out.

“It’s usually hard for the audience to sympathize with a villain – so they have to watch the whole journey. For us, the most interesting thing was to show this transition from a ‘common man’ to a torturer. How is it? “

“We really believe that everyone is born good,” Chupov added. “Everyone is born with a spirit and some let it‘ sleep ’for a while. But it can always wake up, as in this case. You can see that ‘Russian fairy tale’ code because our movie is really an example, although some of the sad events that happened in our country are based on historical events. “

Yet, instead of focusing on the past or present situation in Russia, the directors have chosen a more universal approach, noting that people are still being tortured and injured around the world.

“Russian history forms a foundation here; It’s our history and we know it best. But we are also addressing people from different countries because torture still exists, although it is really hard to believe. If someone watches our movie, and later decides not to hurt another person, it will serve its purpose, ”Chupov said.

“We understand that when you show this kind of violence, it just turns into white words. You don’t notice it anymore. We decided to focus on the psychology of the protagonist instead, ”he says.

They still wanted “Captain Volkonogov to run away” some humor, however, Markulova admired the unrealistic humor of Yorgos Lanthimos.

“We wanted to present moments of black comedy, to give the audience some temporary relief. In the world, in general, nothing is absolutely serious, “he said, calling Chupov humor” a great tool for tragedy. “

“When you watch sitcom, you always hear laughter tracks. They’re basically telling you: ‘Smile, smile, this is the moment to laugh.’ When you watch dramas, they say to you: ‘Cry, cry, it’s time to cry right now.’ We like to combine the two, because humor helps you avoid pathos. It’s as if someone is hitting you really hard and at the same time giving you painkillers.

“Captain Volknogov Escaped” was produced by Valery Fedorovich and Evgeny Nikishev (Power Place), and Alexander Platnikov (Lukfilm), and Katrin Kisa (with Homeless Bob Productions), Charles-Evardov (Chelse-Evardov) .

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