Interview in Russian journal “Afisha” 30 December 2013 -12 January, 2014, page 26-27

100 best russian films        1992-2013

The History of Russian Cinema                                                  Interview by Olga Utkina

1992 –“Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya,
It Rains Again on Brighton Beach”

Leonid Gaidai (director)

Superagents of the KGB (Dmitri Kharatyan) and CIA (Kelly MacGrill) for the sake of peace between our countries are looking for the head of the Russian Mafia in the US, who was prone to many transformations (Andrey Myagkov). The last film of Gaidai, it was shot, despite its grandiose idea, in the style of “cooperative cinema.” This is the point where Soviet comedy symbolically intersects with new Russians and on its own territory, wins.

Dimitri Devyatkin  (producer): “A great friend of Soviet cinema, I had long studied at VGIK (the Moscow Cinema Institute), had shot many films myself, and was a well-known person to Russian cinematographers. Therefore, when production of “Deribasovskaya” was being conceived, I got a call from “Mosfilm” and was asked to be Line Producer. I read the screenplay, laughed uproariously – and immediately understood that it would be simply wonderful.

In those years, when Soviet people came to America, at first they arrived simply in shock, as if they had fallen into a new world. But those cinematographers were not the least surprised – They looked at everything completely seriously and in a businesslike way. They walked around, looked very carefully, but spent very little money – because they didn’t have much. They had limited amounts of hard currency and everyone wanted to hold on to it, in order to buy presents and souvenirs, so we economized, ate in some cheap cafeterias. We came to one (on 42nd Street), ordered vodka, and they brought us portions of 20 grams each, and immediately: Hey, what’s this? Is this all? Brighton Beach then, by the way, was a shining region for Russians. Now it is a depressing place, where only the poorest Russians live.

We had an episode with the Sheik, shot in the building of the old World Trade Center. There all the beauties surrounding the Sheik were played by workers from the Soviet UN embassy. And the episode shot in the casino ended comically. We were shooting the part when the hero played by Kharatyan starts winning against the “one armed bandits” (automatic gambling machines) in Atlantic City. We were in a tremendous fancy casino, “Taj Mahal,” owned by Donald Trump. I had come before and agreed on a unique barter arrangement: We could use the casino for free, but they could bring the press there, in order to show how brilliantly the Russians were shooting a movie at the “Taj Mahal.” And so, at 10 o’clock in the morning, all actors were in their places, the shining, fantastic casino was open only for us, and several dozen photographers and reporters stood with their cameras ready…  And then Gaidai started to argue with the screenwriter Inin about how to shoot that episode. They had both drunk heavily the night before and they were still under the influence and red faced, and their discussion had advanced to swearing. They yelled, argued, and it got even stronger. In the end, they almost began fighting and I had to explain to the journalists that Russian cinema is made exactly like that, that it was normal, and that it happened frequently.

At the end of the production, the great Gaidai had a heart attack, but there was no money of course for medical care. And there was no insurance, although I had warned them that they needed to have it. He was brought immediately to Roosevelt Hospital - a good hospital in the center of New York. I also went and explained that this was a famous Soviet film director, and they did everything on the best level and did not even give us a bill. Evidently they understood that he was in fact a really great man.”

Суперагенты КГБ (Дмитрий Харатьян) и ЦРУ (Келли МакГрилл) ради мира между нашими странами ищут главу русской мафии в США, склонного к перевоплощениям (Андрей Мягков). Последний фильм Гайдая, снятый, несмотря на некоторый постановочный размах, в стилистике «кооперативного кино». Точка, в которой советская комедия символически пересеклась с новой русской и та, находясь на своей территории, победила.

Дмитрий Девяткин



 «Я большой друг советского кино, долго учился во ВГИКе, снимал кино сам, а потому был для русских кинематографистов человек знакомый. Поэтому, когда задумывались съемки «Дерибасовской», мне позвонили с «Мосфильма» и попросили стать их лайн-продюсером. Я прочел сценарий, смеялся ужасно — и сразу понял, что это будет просто здорово.

В те годы, когда советские люди приезжали в Америку, они поначалу пребывали просто в шоке, как в другой мир попадали. Но этих кинематографистов было ничем не удивить — они на все это смотрели совершенно серьезно и по-деловому. Ходили, смотрели, денег особо не тратили — да их и не было. У них было опре­деленное количество валюты, и всю ее они берегли, чтобы купить подарки и сувениры, поэтому мы изрядно экономили, ели в каких-то дешевых столовках. Пришли как-то в одну на Брайтон-Бич, заказали водки, а нам выносят порции по 2