how I went to Fyodor Bondarchuk’s master class – Movies and TV series on DTF

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I wrote the article 2 years ago, right after the meeting with the Bondarchuks in St. Petersburg. Remember when his movie “Invasion” was released? This is the second part of the sensational (or not very) “Attraction” with a score of 5.6. Of course, this was not a master class, but rather a PR campaign in honor of the release of a new film.

Yes, imagine, after the crushing failure of the first part of the franchise “Attraction” with a score of 5.6 on Kinopoisk Bondarchuk set about creating the second part. In short, this is a “little movie about love” with aliens and a sea of ​​special effects.

He explained the creation of the second part by the fact that in the first film the team created a whole universe, which had fans. I do not rule out. But he also mentioned one of the advantages of Russian cinema. Good service. This means that a large part of the funds spent on the film goes back to the producers. I dare say that from the Russian budget. If you remove the shit, you will still get a refund. Profitable, isn’t it?

How is your plot?

The director called the script the only disadvantage of Russian cinema among world cinema. Apparently, most Russian films are not very good. But let’s look at the plot of the movie “Attraction”. An alien ship accidentally hits the ground with meteor shower and falls directly on apartment buildings in Chertanovo.

The aliens were not going to harm the earthlings, they just wanted to repair their ship and fly back. But their forced stop in Chertanovo caused dissatisfaction among ordinary citizens, because they spent almost all the water to repair the ship. At the center, of course, is the love story of an ordinary girl Julia and an alien whose race is very similar to a human race.

Here is the movie trailer:

So what do we have? A typical high school student who meets a bully. A strict father who watches her every move. A standard friend-botanist in love with the main character. A best friend who dies in an accident. And, of course, a handsome guy who suddenly invades her life. Only in this case, he is an alien.

Does this also remind you of the plot of any feature film?

So, as the director describes the main conflict of the film, it is a standard conflict between society and a stranger. In other words, xenophobia – intolerance and fear of others, incomprehensible. There is also a line of father-daughter relationship. Everything would be so good if the love theme was not pushed in by the standard. Bondarchuk himself calls his film not an action movie, but a drama with elements of an action movie.

By the way, watched the review of “Attraction” from Bad Comedian? I heard he blew the film to smithereens. It is interesting that Boncharchuk calls this phenomenon a new manifestation of a statement about cinema. He believes that criticism should be. It’s especially good when the audience is more critical than the audience. And he talked about it quite seriously.

Special effects vs drama

Of course, most of them criticized the plot, which was too old-fashioned and too successful. But the topic of special effects is also very interesting to discuss. We, that is, the audience, were shown a video about how special effects were created. The work done was colossal – for six months more than a hundred people worked on post-production. Many criticized Attraction for spending most of its budget on computer graphics.

We were shown a video about how special effects were created, but we were forbidden to shoot it. So here’s a little bit of concept art and photos from the shooting:

According to the director, the special effects were only to complement the dramatic plot. But, according to viewers and critics, the creation of the entourage was given much more attention than the dramatic component. Therefore, the plot turned out to be weak.

Yes, the film is really full of special effects. Almost no frame was complete without computer graphics – from the fall of an alien ship to the movement of ordinary cars. Most scenes in the film are COMPLETELY drawn using a computer.

Interesting fact: technology has advanced so much that it is almost impossible to distinguish real objects from painted ones. In the scene of the fall of an alien ship on Chertanovo, the whole area was recreated on a computer. I was sure that he was just shot in a helicopter or quadcopter and imposed special effects. Imagine, I asked Bondarchuk’s team why. It turns out that it is more convenient and cheaper to create everything on a computer, because this way you can choose any angle and give the picture the desired shape. When you do real shooting, post-production processing is tied to a specific angle, color and light, which is difficult to change.

By the way, Bondarchuk justified his extremely fantastic plot and a lot of special effects by the fact that in many Hollywood films the drama is also in the center of the plot, and fantastic graphics act as a tool. For example, in The War of the Worlds, the father-son relationship plays a major role, in the Silent Place horror, the sisters fight for their father’s attention, and the Joker would not have gathered half the audience if the fantasy universe had not been created. In part, I agree with him.

But in his film, the center of the plot is the love line between an alien and a minor girl who fell in love with him a week after dating. Ask what?

Someone from the audience asked whether the mentality of the movie is lost under a layer of special effects. I also ask this question with each new blockbuster. Epic fights are made on a computer, landscapes are drawn on a green background, even the facial expressions of the characters can be artificially created. Remember the old movie of the 2000s, like The Lord of the Rings or the early Harry Potter. A minimum of graphics, a maximum of realism – the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand, shooting in a real castle, amazing costumes. These films will always be better for me, because they are real.

In fact, no matter how I treated Russian cinema, I liked Bondarchuk. He has a vision, he has a goal: to raise Russian cinema to a new level. 40 countries came to the auction for the purchase of “Attraction”, the forecasts for “Invasion” are even more favorable.

At first I thought to write an article only on the basis of his comments and viewed videos. But I decided to go further and, risking my state of mind, watched “Attraction”.

The idea is really interesting. The growing unrest of the residents of the area where the alien object fell is very well shown: from fear and shock to hatred. By the way, the film used footage of real news reports with people’s reactions to the riots in Biryulevo due to racial hatred and on the Manege in memory of the murder of a Spartak fan.

The scenes of the clash between residents and police are shown in the film quite realistically, because this is the reaction that causes intolerance and fear of the alien. Alas, this is the only scene that caused me at least some emotions. Maybe it’s my prejudice against Russian cinema or awareness of the popular assessment of the film, but I could not empathize with any character.

What caused me more questions was the timeline. It is completely unclear how much time passed from the moment the ship fell to the end of the story line – three days, a week, two weeks? Let’s guess. The alien that Julia fell in love with has been wearing the same clothes all this time. So, a maximum of 4 days should pass. But how in 4 days you can fall in love with a complete stranger from another planet and be ready for anything for him? Their love affair must develop much longer in order to somehow get closer to reality. I do not understand this.

As a director, Bondarchuk tried to create his own large-scale universe with his own characters and events. But while watching the first film, I learned nothing about the aliens or the main characters. And I’m also not sure that in the next part it will be revealed. But it is clear that the team is really burning with the idea of ​​making a good movie.

It’s just strange that no Bondarchuk’s film received more than 6.6 points among the audience … Maybe he should pay attention to topics other than war and love? Yes no, some nonsense.

In any case, the film was worth watching at least in order to get acquainted with the attempts to create a good movie. I think another ten years, and we will be able to create blockbusters based on real events. Nuclear war there, or the invasion of aliens who are tired of watching dying Russia. That’s when it will definitely be interesting.

In the meantime, you can enjoy the reviews of Bad Comedians and not try to find meaning in Russian cinema. Is he still releasing something?

How do you like Russian cinema? Did you watch something from Bondarchuk?

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