Размер шрифта: Фон:

UDC 791.6
DOI: 10.30628/1994-9529-2021-17.3-118-148

Pavel S. Lungin
People’s Artist of the Russian Federation,
Member of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation,
Vasil’yevskaya Ulitsa, 13, build. 1, 123056, Moscow, Russia
Researcher ID: ABA-5989-2021
ORCID: 0000-0002-3713-0736
e-mail: guild-director@unikino.ru

Elizaveta S. Trusevich
acting Head of the Department of Dramaturgy, Associate Professor,
GITR Film and Television School,
Khoroshevskoe sh. 32, 123007, Moscow, Russia
Researcher ID: ABA-5979-2021
ORCID: 0000-0002-9724-9333
e-mail: li-tr@yandex.ru

Pyotr A. Klemeshev
student of the Department of Dramaturgy,
GITR Film and Television School,
Khoroshevskoe sh. 32, 123007, Moscow, Russia
Researcher ID: ABA-5957-2021
ORCID: 0000-0001-8833-4715
e-mail: p.klemeshev@mail.ru

For citation
Lungin P.S., Trusevich E.S., & Klemeshev P.A. “When the Horn Thawed, the Tune Poured out”: Pavel Lungin on the Making of Taxi Blues. The Art and Science of Television. 2021. 17 (3), pp. 118–148. https://doi.org/10.30628/1994-9529-17.3-118-148

“When the Horn Thawed, the Tune Poured out”: Pavel Lungin on the Making of Taxi Blues

Abstract. Russian film director Pavel Lungin explores the topic of independent cinema during perestroika, using the example of his debut film Taxi Blues, which received one of the first international awards in post-Soviet Russia—the Best Director Prize and the Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. In the interview, the interlocutors discuss the directorial and dramaturgical tools: how symbolism is interpreted in a historical context, how the audiovisual image is constructed, what are the signs of a chronotope — and explore the image of a man at the crash of an era. For instance, in Taxi Blues, Pavel Lungin intentionally contraposes the two male characters—that of Pyort Mamonov (the image of the 90s), and of Pyotr Zaichenko (the image of a Soviet man)—clashing them against each other not only plotwise (through a dramatic conflict), but also aesthetically (through fundamentally different physiognomy and acting plastics). The director analyzes the specifics of auteur and genre filmmaking, dividing his artistic biography into a “script-writing” period, when his films were highly successful in Soviet distribution, and a “directing” period, when he, being in the new historical conditions, began to make independent auteur films. Another question raised is why a full-fledged “New Wave” has not emerged in Russia, similar to those that had formed in French and English cinema. Lungin recalls and evaluates the forgotten figure of Marin Karmitz, who not only produced the New Wave directors, but also had an auteur cinema distribution network—an interesting experience of distribution in Europe, which can be actualized in scientific research to answer a very timely question: can auteur films be successful at the box office? Thus, the interview covers not only the early period of Pavel Lungin’s work (given that at the time of Taxi Blues there was no Internet yet, and many reviews and analytical articles about the film are still not digitized). Most importantly, the film Taxi Blues fits into the historical context; and this fact creates a cultural field both for modern interpretations and for understanding the art of perestroika—information about which is still insufficient, resulting in the absence of full-fledged analytical comprehension. In the interview, we also trace parallels with the processes that were taking place in world cinema—the New Wave in French cinema, the British “angry young men”, and the “Youth Rebellion” in Hollywood.
Keywords: Perestroika cinema, auteur cinema, distribution of auteur cinema, directing, dramaturgy, independent cinema, new waves