Author Topic: Aleksander Sokurov  (Read 1155 times)

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wilder

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Aleksander Sokurov
« on: January 19, 2013, 04:32:40 AM »
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Interview with Alexander Sokurov on Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky
Really rough translation from this page

Interview conducted by Lyubov Arkous, published in the magazine СЕАНС ​​, June 1996

The non-encounter between Bergman and Tarkovsky, their mutual admiration, problems Tarkovsky on the set of his latest film collaboration with difficult Nykvist, his fear of actors, his lack of professionalism, the type of religious belief Bergman Tarkovsky, their relationship to philosophy, freedom in art.



Lyubov Arkous: Sacha, I would like to talk with you about Bergman and Tarkovsky. If we consider the relations maintained by the Russian cinema with art Bergman, one inevitably thinks and foremost the art and personality of Tarkovsky. Bergman, in his list of ten favorite films, says Andrei Rublev . Tarkovsky, in a similar list, quotes immediately two films of Bergman. It is obvious that, although never having met, they thought to each other and each recognized something in the other - probably a common thing, a similarity. It is only on the recognition and similarity that can build attraction and mutual sympathy between two artists, is not it?

Alexander Sokurov : You know they have not met in Sweden? They were next to each other, and yet they have not met. The reason is quite understandable.

 

LA: I asked many people about this point in Stockholm. I was told that Bergman did not talk to him through an interpreter. It is a practical detail, true of course, but their meeting is a non-issue too full of artistic sense to exhaust through the details of this type.

Sokurov  : The problem was that they had met, they would have looked in a mirror. Tarkovsky would have seen something in the mirror, and Bergman, another. Their dialogue was possible in the art space, clear, devoid of real human space world culture. And what would they talk about? As mere humans, they had nothing to say, in my opinion. Their experiences were too different - their social experiences and thus professional and personal same end. The artistic point of view, how is it possible - and take in all at once ... meeting, they could walk and silence - all they needed to know about one another, they knew without using words. But in reality, this must be a very serious attraction and calm. If we remember that at the time Tarkovsky making a film, and it was not going well ... Me neither I would not have risked such a time to meet someone important to me, a person that I admire him - and find themselves helpless, angry, agitated. Photos and movies on the set of Sacrifice , on which I worked when I realized the Moscow Elegy , showed well in what state he was. I often observe birds, and although it was like a bird, its movements, ... Homeland abandoned, family problems, violence he felt all the time financial problems, unable to speak with the players in a common language. In his work with the actors, he often used, which seems quite understandable, not accents meaning, but intonation. That is to say between ten words, they chose the one that had the tone that suited him. He probably spoke all the time with the actors by kinds of slogans, half-philosophical, half professionals, and it annoyed him. And when he understood that there was no match in the translation and they do not understand, he began to say to them, she is here, she goes there. And they nodded a nod, thinking he saw them as pawns dolls. The fallacy has arisen, and precisely in these relationships where falsehood is unacceptable, unhealthy. I experienced similar sensations in Japan I felt horror when, while working, I was talking with people. I developed my thoughts while they were still further back, they were just beginning to understand when it was necessary for me to be far off. This puts you in a state of extreme distress. On the other hand, I think there was another reason for this inadequacy - small, ordinary, yet painful. The humiliation. A small budget, the money is counted carefully, each invitation to lunch or dinner is taken into account ... There was a monstrous scale incompatibility between the bottom of his inner life and external circumstances. Incompatibility, and therefore incongruous for an event as important and serious Tarkovsky might have been for a meeting with Bergman. The incongruity is the word I was looking for. They were in unequal situations ... I saw the recording of a conversation with Tarkovsky Kurosawa restaurant in Tokyo. It feels good to pay the bill, we feel subordination, lack of freedom of Tarkovsky, his lack of confidence ...


LA: What do you think of Tarkovsky collaboration with Sven Nykvist and Bergman actresses?

Sokurov  : I think it was very difficult for Tarkovsky. Judging by the conversations I had with him at that time, he suffered a lot because of the group process, actresses. In fact, they worked without understanding. And I think it was anyone's fault. It was not only difficult for him, but for actresses, the director of photography. Especially the director of photography. Bergman, there is very little open space living, while in Tarkovsky, they have a decisive significance. And as soon as the director of photography delves into this living space uncontrollable, he instantly loses. It is true that there are specific schools - those specifications, limits ... There is more to the method itself. I think it was unacceptable Nykvist. The photos, movies filming the Sacrifice came to show us that Tarkovsky to occupy himself for the camera. The composition was so important that he had absolutely Tarkovsky skills of director of photography. Of course, Sven Nykvist, an artist and a professional level, with additional design some of the ethics of relations, did not understand and could not be satisfied with such a method of collaboration.

 

LA: Based on the interview Nykvist in session , we can not arrive at such a conclusion.

Sokurov  : Well, he perfectly understood how great event he had to encounter. This is a civilized man, I do not think he starts to talk about problems that occurred ten years ago. Over the problem of composition is important for a director, the harder it is to the cinematographer to work with the director. Because it is precisely the interpenetration begins. In such a case must work together or people very close spiritually, or who love a lot, which there was not the case, of course. There was a great distance between them. He could not speak with the chief operator in his native language, they communicate all the time with replicas chicken.

 

LA: You speak of the difficulties of working with the chief operator taking into account the difference between the formation of Bergman and Tarkovsky that. This concerns he also working with the actors?

Sokurov : All the same. With this in mind, we come to the diversity of vocational training. I do not know where and how Bergman studied, but for me it is quite clear that his way in the profession of director was in one way or another classic. I say this because Bergman relate the rare artistic gift, which the acquisition takes place in ways inscrutable, and the job of director, solid, professional, with which he earns his living, the price of sweat and his blood. And this has a direct relationship with working with actresses. This is precisely what I believe made ​​him invulnerable in working with people as difficult as artists. This is precisely what opens Bergman, in his work with them, endless possibilities. Andrei Arsenyevich was not a director at the level of actors in a sense, he was afraid of the actors, he could not talk to them in a language professional, the same problem of contact has never left, even in Russia. Here the question is how to form, consists the professional tool. When Tarkovsky started making films himself, he was not professional enough, in my opinion. It has nothing to do with his gifts or his personal qualities, it was due on the one hand, the difference in relation to professional artistic work, which is traditionally more ambitious among us, on the other hand, Unlike social conditions and opportunities for daily work, which in the West is accessible to all those who harbor such intentions, while at home, it is far from being accessible. It seems to me that Tarkovsky turned professional in its dealings with stakeholders can be only from Nostalghia . And before that, everything was only tentative. He told me bluntly that he was afraid of the actors.

 

LA: But you, it seems that you are afraid. How else can one explain your preference to work with non-professionals?

Sokurov  : No, why? I'm not afraid. I may have other problems. I can not say that I'm really not afraid somehow, I'm afraid so, but the causes are different. Theater Bergman - I do not know when formed theater - has solved its problems, and it was his roots, his foundation. If he had not had his theater, I think a lot of things would not have been present in his films. Why work as detailed in the actors? You can review many passages they want, they are absolutely completed a viewpoint actorial. We do not see the seams. But in reality it is a fundamental work. At some point, probably, his fate is arranged such that the solution was boiled in a cauldron, the paste is heated, and then it was only invented for her molds, and he cast into these molds that metal. But this is only possible if the internal development director is immense, it is basically grown, so he can afford. The problem of form is not worried at all, or worried in a very specific meaning. But the problem of content do not worry - it is solved for him. I do not know how to explain it, I have this feeling that something's worried not to break it by pulling the molding. I want to again emphasize that his themes were not developed from film. This is unprecedented. I can not even say that there are things in it that are found in the literature or biblical subjects. It is at such a high level that is independence.

 

LA: I think we are, of course, and in the literature and biblical subjects. In the latter especially. It seemed obvious that in Bergman's films, an unfinished dialogue with the Creator took place in the form of unique content and uninterrupted. To me, this is in agreement with the Protestant tradition, which, unlike the orthodox religion, offers a contact without intermediary and the opportunity to ask - and not only through the prayers and forgiveness of sins. Bergman, with his ability to ask questions and wait for a reply, with what looks like his "walk under God" has always seemed to me an artist deeply religious. And I found strange and surprising in Sweden, he has criticized his irreligion. And objected to his irreligion religiosity Tarkovsky, perceiving, it is unclear why a fundamental difference between them

Sokurov  : When it comes to the faith of the artists, it is difficult to be precise. Tarkovsky, perhaps, be regarded as God himself - in the sense of his impeccable artistic ability, his artistic talent he confessed and did not hide. In Europe, there is almost no religious exaltation, and all tormented Russian breakout passes for a journey of faith exalted. Tarkovsky was not a believer in the orthodox sense, I have no doubt about it. He was a philosopher free. Not a philosopher in the sense that he knew philosophy had special training in this area, not. I think he was a philosopher by nature, not by training or inclination of his mind. While Bergman was absolutely. And training, and by autodidactie, and its roots ... But I do not think Bergman is reason to doubt. It seems to me that he never doubted the existence of the Creator. There is no doubt, but despair at the impossibility of understanding the world order, the place of man in this world. The creation of the world and the problem of art are one and the same. Do not analyze the artistic work, it emerges in full, in a manner somewhat unique. And artist (I speak now of both Bergman and Tarkovsky) is given, provided that ... call it what you like - say whether or recreating ambition - if not the world, then picture of the world. The temptation is given as seduction, but the possibilities are limited. More the artist is freer, he feels the notorious morbidly damaging his desire to embrace all things, to bring the simulated image. And it is not his own will, but the tragic abyss of the original nature of the art.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 04:30:57 PM by wilder »

wilder

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Re: Alexander Sokurov
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 06:49:25 AM »
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Sorry guys, this thing is fucking impossible to read. I got trigger happy with the post button.

Pubrick

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Re: Alexander Sokurov
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 10:30:04 PM »
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^just got through it. it's not that bad. only once does a sentence randomly end in "chicken".

i didn't know tarkovsky feared actors. overall there's nothing really revealing mentioned. his understanding of why bergman had better relationships with actors (often literally off screen) is pretty well established, ie. his theatre background. the best parts would have been a clearer analysis of spirituality in their films/lives, that bit was a bit muddled due to translation or otherwise.

probably not the best way to start a thread on this guy though.
under the paving stones.

wilder

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Re: Alexander Sokurov
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 08:23:14 PM »
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Films Boutique visits the Louvre with Sokurov
15 May 2013
via ScreenDaily

Berlin-based sales outfit Films Boutique is back in business with celebrated Russian auteur and Golden Lion winner Alexander Sokurov

Following their collaboration on Faust (which carried off the main prize at the 2011 Venice Festival), Films Boutique and Sokurov are working together on new feature Francofonia - Le Louvre Under German Occupation.

Produced by Berlin-based company Zero One Film, by Paris-based Idéale Audience and with the involvement of the Louvre itself,  the film will be shot in the Museum at the end of the year and should be ready by mid-2014.

The film will again see Sokurov work with French cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel (Amelie, Dark Shadows, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). The Louvre project looks as if it is shaping up as a companion piece to Sokurov’s 2002 feature (and Cannes contender) Russian Ark, which was filmed entirely in the Winter Palace of the Russian Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

“Following Faust, we are very proud and excited to continue our collaboration with Mr Sokurov. Many people discovered his work with Russian Ark. It’s a cinephile’s dream to have Mr Sokurov working on a new film shot in Le Louvre,” commented Films Boutique CEO Jean-Christophe Simon.

In time for Cannes, Films Boutique also acquired world rights on the new feature documentary Concerning Violence by Swedish filmmaker Göran Olsson who previously directed The Black Power Mixtape.

Concerning Violence will cover the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation in the African colonies based on newly discovered, powerful archive material and based on the book, The Wretched of the Earth, by Franz Fanon. The film is expected to be ready in late 2013/Spring 2014

 

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