Movie on the enthusiasm. How was shooting the film “Brother”?
Exactly 20 years ago on the screens released film by Alexei Balabanov “Brother.”
More precisely, he went not on the screens of cinemas in the country then almost was not, and on videotapes. But that didn’t stop the picture to become a popular and firmly fit into the history of the new Russian cinema.
About how it was filmed that behind the scenes, and for that “Brother” was hated by critics and cultural officials, Aify told in an exclusive interview with a close friend Balabanov and part of his permanent producer Sergey Selyanov.
“Let’s film take off? For free?”
— Looking back, it is safe to say that the film “Brother” appeared and took place not thanks to, but contrary to all circumstances. Judge: rental in the country at that time was not. Movie almost didn’t, because to get even the minimum money for the shooting was unreal. But Alex Balabanov could not exist outside the cinema. He was seized with the idea of making a film so low-budget as one could get. What is the movie? What? Someone to take it off? And most importantly, what money — didn’t realize until the end, neither he nor I.
In 1996, me and Alex went to the festival “Kinotavr”, where I saw the movie “the Caucasian captive” Sergey Bodrov-younger in the title role. As told Balabanov, they met with Sergei Bodrov almost immediately after the show and sat together at a beachside cafe in Sochi. As I recall, the discussion was not particularly long.
Balabanov, without hesitation, said Bodrov: “And come together movie will take? For free? About a guy who returned home after the army!”
Bodrov also did not think. Responded immediately: “Well, come on.”
“Too provocative! Too aggressive!”
— I liked the script immediately, without any remarks and reservations. Of course, I could not imagine that the film would become so popular. However, I have no doubt about it.
Even though many were ready to appear in “Brother” either free or for a symbolic amount of money, or for a fee, which we will be able to pay in six months, in any case at least some money is still needed. Who would I have shown the script — the leadership of TV, cultural officials, private investors — a story categorically don’t like.
Too provocative. Too ambiguous. Too aggressive.
With great difficulty we scraped the movie about a hundred thousand dollars. Had to save on everything. The film was shot in the apartment Balabanov, and the houses and cottages of the members of the crew. Costumes for the actors were either bought at a thrift store, or people just acted in their everyday clothes. Similarly, collecting the props for filming. Everything burned in this work, were willing to sacrifice time, personal belongings, health.
Was a talented team and a talented Director, talented script — everything was. Not only was enough money! But the city didn’t seem to care. That film will turn out, neither he nor I nor the rest of the crew didn’t hesitate for a second. And financial questions of the participants of shooting worried in the least.
“Oh, what vulgarity!”
— The painting was removed quickly — in about a month. In may 1997, the only decent cinema Moscow premiere. Critics hit the movie with terrible force. ‘ve been accused of vulgarity, violence, and politically incorrect, and unprofessional — Yes, all mortal sins!
Don’t know how Alex and I all these attacks are not upset at all. What’s more — they told me, honestly, were challenged and amused. Well, two weeks after the premiere of the film released on VHS — another way to try to bring the film to the audience simply did not exist.
About a month after launch, we suddenly realized that we had done something really relevant and necessary for people. Videotapes of the film were sold out like hot cakes. But even then the critics did not let up and continued to spit. Of course, after a while they changed the temper justice with mercy. But I was already neither heat nor cold.
The film was to live my life and continues to live until now, although, unfortunately, with us there is neither Serezha Bodrov, neither of Alexei Balabanov.