Photo: Frame from the film “Sleepwalkers”
The “Window to Europe” film festival has changed its name since this year, now it is officially called “Vyborg”. It is easy to understand why this happened: for example, because Finland, 60 kilometers from where the Baltic city is located, has become completely inhospitable. But, to be honest, the Vyborg festival was never a “window on Europe”, rather it was the most common revision of domestic painting, so the name change did not affect it in any way.
The festival opened according to tradition with a solemn procession of guests, participants and townspeople who joined them from the Druzhba Hotel to the Vyborg Palace cinema. In the cinema itself, the mood was rather lower – this is the first festival to be held without Armen Medvedev, film critic, producer, former USSR Minister of Cinematography. He was one of the founders of Window on Europe and the soul of the event. Unfortunately, Armen Nikolayevich died in December last year.
At the opening, the competition film “Nina” was shown, shot by Oksana Bychkova, author of “Piter FM” and “One More Year”. It is about a woman named, respectively, Nina (Julia Peresild), who seems absolutely happy. She has a loving and sensitive husband (Kirill Kyaro), two wonderful children. And suddenly a call is heard from a former boyfriend (Evgeny Tsyganov) – he is in Tbilisi, dying of a rare heart disease. He wants to finally see the girl he once loved and offers to go immediately to him. Her husband, a holy man, lets Nina go to the Caucasus, and her adventures begin there. First of all, the ex-boyfriend discreetly tries to finally take possession of her (you have to slowly fight him, instead of having sex, remembering 2005, when they were together: “We should have seen what we will become in time! ”) Second, at the market, Nina meets a handsome churchkhela seller, and this will have far-reaching consequences. The husband, with whom Nina Skypes every night, begins to suspect that there is no point in him waiting for her to come home. In general, he will be right.
In “Nina” there are such good artists (first of all, this concerns Tsyganov) and such picturesque Georgian winter landscapes that you do not immediately pay attention to the extreme fragility of the product. This is the story of a beautiful lady who herself does not know what she wants; every time you need to demonstrate the complex inner world that she has, the camera freezes for a minute, staring at the beautiful Peresild. And the inner world becomes more and more complicated, and actions become more unpredictable. Crowning “Nina” is an absurd, illogical and, even if simply, completely idiotic ending.
How could Bychkova, once the author of good movies, unleash an obvious illiquid asset? The answer lies in the words that she recently wrote on the social network: “Unfortunately, in the film“ Nina ”my only material and last name are in the credits. I confess: I lost my heart, I did not take off my last name. Editing and sound-she did it without me. Color – without operator. A very tragic story for me. Actually here. ” It is not clear why Bychkova did not finish the film herself and how it would look in the author’s version, but the story really turned out to be unhappy.
Another competing picture is called Sleepwalkers, directed by its honored director Yuri Moroz (Kamenskaya TV series, The Brothers Karamazov, Pelagia and the White Bulldog, Gloomy River), and his wife Victoria Isakova played the main role. His heroine is a very well-groomed lady who produces art projects and lives on the money of a wealthy ex-husband. She has a son, Nikita, a rapper and “conscious drug addict” (meaning someone who understands everything about himself and the harm of drugs, but doesn’t want to stop doing it). Tired of her overdoses, each of which can end in death, her mother decides on a radical treatment. And the guy just falls off the radar. Six months later, his girlfriend takes a statement to the police: it seems to her that her boyfriend was killed. The investigator (Aleksey Filimonov) meets with her mother and finds out how she treated her adult son.
And this treatment is called a “psychoprobe” (or something like that), in its course the patient’s subconscious is affected, and his memory changes. “There will be no more drugs in her memories,” the doctor promises, and in fact Nikita becomes a different person. The most curious thing is that “Lunatics” is based on a true story: Yuri Moroz claims that the hero has a prototype, the memory of which was wiped in the same way, after which his life was transformed. This technique was developed in the USSR by academician Igor Smirnov, and probably deserves a separate story, not as part of a festival report.
Sergey Ursulyak: If the cinema did not distract me, I would only bake pancakes for my granddaughter
The famous director, author of “Liquidation”, “Life and Fate”, “Quiet Flows the Don” and “Bad Weather”, headed the jury of the Vyborg-2023 festival. In Vyborg we met with him (details)