13 May "Parquet" is released, fourth director's picture by Alexander Mindadze, famous Soviet and Russian playwright, known for cooperation with Vadim Abdrashitov. Starring - Andrzej Chyra ("Doctor Lisa"), Evgeniya Dodina ("Killing Eve") and Agatha Kulesha ("And yes"). The international premiere of the film took place six months ago at the Dark Nights Festival in Tallinn, Russian - at the Moscow International Film Festival. Ivan Afanasyev talks about, than this time one of the most unusual directors of Russia surprised the audience.
Mindadze is a rare example of a real artist-author in our cinema. In Soviet times, he was noted for scripts for, perhaps, all iconic paintings by Vadim Abdrashitov - their philosophical and metaphorical parables about human nature and death ("The train stopped", "Parade of planets", "Armavir") became iconic, a special phenomenon. After that he worked with Alexey Uchitel and Andrey Proshkin, but he reached his peak as an author precisely in his own directorial work. First picture, "Detachment", about the relatives of the passengers killed in the plane crash presented the tragedy of loss as a space of spiritual death. The work "On Saturday", dedicated to the Chernobyl accident, pitted the little man against the consequences of the terrible events of the catastrophe. In "Parquet", as it may seem, a complete idyll reigns - everyone dances and talks about love. But no, actually, and here they only talk about, that everything will be over soon.
In the cramped space of a dance club, there is no overcrowding - everyone is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their beloved premises. A rejuvenating ex-tangero is scurrying among the people, proudly asking everyone he met: “I'm a Cockatoo! remember me?" But no, something nobody remembers. Glass of champagne by glass, awkward flirting seeking a familiar face, a little aggression, and now - bright, like a parrot, but a seasoned dancer gets a groin from Valencia's ex-wife, middle-aged lady, who still recognized her old love. Almost immediately, a lady of the same age is nailed to them - Elizabeth recognizes Cockatoo in her, second beloved woman in his life, ex-lover and ex-partner. Such an unexpected meeting generates an unrestrained desire to go dancing - away from people.. Secluded in the expensive and faceless space of a huge hotel room at the same time, more like a rehearsal room with bedrooms, they remember their company number, pulling clothes off each other, grabbing by the hair, laugh and cry - like the last time (amendment: without "how").
"Parquet" can be called the quintessence of Mindadze's style as a director. Movie, mostly shot in close-ups, characters-riddles, information about which is consumed bit by bit from half hints, cross-cutting motive of anxiety, anxiety and unreality of what is happening. All the more surprising, that after a rather sweeping "Saturday", when it came to a whole nation, Mindadze switched to individual, an almost intimate story for three people, later growing to about eight and a half (half - the grandson of one of the heroes). The rest of the characters are extras, decorations, I even want to say - space, in which the main characters are almost impossible to breathe. The viewer has the same feeling.: despite the melodramatic setting, "Parquet" is a surprisingly unromantic movie, moreover, it is exhausting. With its unusual shape, elusive plot, mockingly incoherent, at first sight, dialogues, general understatement of what is happening. But it normal. Mindadze has a high entry threshold, but catharsis is on top.
His heroes are dancing, and, since this is tango, and even three, dancing is more like a prelude to sex. Not literally, a, rather, figuratively: in a tangle of three completely different personalities (middle-aged Cockatoo and two of his ex-lovers, tied with a strange mixture of hatred for each other and admiration) there is such a powerful erotic tension, that the viewer's attention is completely absorbed. They communicate with each other like this, as if they are barely holding back the passion: in pieces, scraps, as if chopping off endings and beginnings of sentences. "Crazy", “The key gave!”, "Take off your panties"; no, not then, why do you think. Spoiler: There will be no “then” in the film at all, and even condoms are inflated here, rather than using them for their intended purpose. Otherwise, all the human salt of the film would have gone into the ground. "Parquet" - it's just not about sex, passion and love, but about the impossibility of all this. beautiful, still desired and willing, but not at all young people are trying to give their best dance, like the good old, but everything hinders them - from uncomfortable shoes and unspoken feelings for each other to strangers and even a wolf.
Last, by the way, appears in the film for a reason - as another element of this intellectual satire on swaggering old age: wolf, as a totem animal in many cultures, symbolizes a kind of guardian spirit - and if a spirit came to the party, then they obviously won't have much fun here. "Parquet" is not about life and love, but about their complete opposites - death and hatred. Once in a pair of Kakadu with Valencia, Elizabeth appeared - what exactly happened, unknown (although it is obvious), because we don't even know their real names. But one thing is clear: something then died and a new one was born. And then it went away too. The theme of dying runs throughout the film.: then a light stroke will roll on the impulsive Cockatoo from too zealous dance, then someone chokes on pork cartilage, then what else will happen. Even the hotel space, where the action takes place, abstract and some ... uncontested, whether. it seems, what heroes, taking the elevator (or going down? good question!), away from the crowds of dancing people, knew in advance, that this not too exciting trip may be the last.
Shortly speaking, go to "Parquet" with the thought of getting a movie like a conditional, forgive me lord, "Step forward" or something similar, will be the stupidest mistake of your life. This is a movie about a generation, which has outlived its life and is trying to squeeze out crumbs of bodily juices, about those outdated, few people need it and, in general, not too, to be honest, interesting people, trying to artificially rejuvenate their own lives. surprisingly, one side, to see such a gloomy and even hopeless movie from Alexander Mindadze, who recently hit 72 of the year. But, actually, this is not a sentence, a, rather, glorifying the impetuous urge to live in a person - and in fact, even though the movie is not romantic, but quite romantic.