Life around launches a series of materials in which film industry professionals will advise films and series that inspire themselves. Ahead - recommendations of operators and costume designers, make-up artists and authors of soundtracks. In the first issue, screenwriters of domestic TV shows tell about their favorite television shows.
"Lovers"Showtime. Creators: Hagai Levy, Sarah Trim. A shot from the series."Concerned, or Love is evil"TNT. Creators: Boris Khlebnikov, Semyon Slepakov, Irina Denezhkina. A shot from the series."Method", First channel. Creators: Yuri Bykov, Oleg Malovichko, Dmitry Ivanov. A shot from the series.Crash, BBC Two. Creator: Allan Cabitt. A shot from the series.
TV series "Tomorrow", "Quest", "Londongrad"
This did not include many of the works that I love all my life and regularly review. Well, just because who doesn't love Twin Peaks or The X-Files? This list is also pretty obvious, but it contains the series that I’ve been thinking about lately for one reason or another.
"War and Peace" by the BBC. I have a clear feeling that the British have recently felt Russian classics better than ourselves. And if at first “War and Peace” seems a little popular, then by the end you understand that everything that was put into this work by Tolstoy happened there. And even more precisely than you expected. Special thanks for the song "Oh, grief, mixed up with electronic beats."
Both seasons of Crash. A great example of a new approach to characters, when both the antagonist and the protagonist are equally pathological and equally attractive. Gillian Anderson could be watched for hours, even if she just washed the dishes, but here she is especially good.
Knickerbocker Hospital. About this series, even nothing to say. They’ve said everything a hundred times already. Soderbergh managed to outwit everyone. The first season we watched and gasped: "How it was shot, what music, what montage, what Clive Owen!" And then they added: "Well, even an ordinary soap opera can be made as a masterpiece." At the end of the second season, all the dramatic lines unexpectedly reached such a level of accuracy and acuity that it remains only to repeat once again: Soderberg is a genius.
Black Bookstore. A simple and very ironically written British series about the gloomy, cynical and heavy drinker of a bookstore owner played by Dylan Moran. It seems that there is nothing special here, but in Russia I really miss absurd stories about ordinary guys who drink in a nearby bar. Nothing super dramatic, shot for three pennies, but written and played in such a way that it is impossible to break away.
"Bridge". Although the fashion for the Scandinavian cold series is already underway, I really like the Danish original. Not least because the creators were not afraid to make the main character so strange and even repulsive at first glance. This is almost impossible with us. It seems to everyone that the viewer will not appreciate and understand. Want someone weird? Let's make a weird girlfriend. But not the main character.
"Good wife". This series, in principle, can be disassembled into textbooks on drama. That's for sure, the cases are almost not repeated, and this despite the number of them. The main thing is that the series is vertically horizontal: the cases that are in each series and the lines of characters that stretch from season to season are equally important there. The authors keep both at an incredible level.
"Lovers". A very good example of how a story that is quite simple at first glance in the sense of drama can work and keep the viewer's attention. The Israelis generally succeed perfectly. It would seem that it is simpler - there are always at least two views on the same incident, its and its version. But here these versions are told in such a way that I would like to tear myself away, but it doesn’t work out.
"In the thick of events." Such a series could appear only in the UK. To say that there are not enough political series in Russia is to say nothing. Roman Volobuev and I even tried to write one, but his life was short, albeit bright. And it was this British comedy series that inspired us mainly. About the tiny department in the British government, which even such a simple task as landscaping the lawn, manages to turn into a catastrophe of universal proportions.
"Concerned, or Love is evil." Everything is pretty simple here. I laughed very often and very loudly. Khlebnikov and Slepakov turned out to be the coolest characters in which you recognize the people who live around you. For Russian TV shows, this is rare. These are not some conventional genre heroes, not frankly comedic guys from the sitcoms, but slightly ridiculous, slightly awkward, not very successful people who want to empathize with and who are interesting to watch.
"Masters of sex." I can’t say that from the point of view of dramaturgy this series is outstanding, but, firstly, Lizzy Kaplan is there. Please shoot Lizzy Kaplan everywhere and always. Secondly, her partner Michael Sheen has amazing charisma. In the first episodes, you think, "Lord, what is this?" And then you fall in love. Well and then, the series, where sex is dismantled in bricks, is just interesting.
the film "I stay", the series "Doctor Tyrsa", "Lines of Fate", "Thaw"
Now those who love stories with good drama, vivid characters and deep psychology are happy to watch the best Western shows. In the series, such stories are found more and more often, and in feature films, less and less. The best playwrights in the West work mainly on TV shows. And the best directors in recent years have drawn on television. There are a lot of good series - you won’t list all. Of my favorites: “The Soprano Clan”, “The Client is Always Dead”, “Deadwood”, “Mad Men”, “Agents S.H.I.T.”, “Boss”, “Bridge”, “Olivia Kitteridge” ... Of course, between Western serial industry and ours - a gigantic abyss. The situation is aggravated by the fact that before our eyes flickers all the serial garbage that goes on the screens, and from foreign ones we look at projects that have already passed some sort of audience selection.
But sometimes we make very worthy, high-quality TV shows. First of all, I recall the “Law” of Alexander Veledinsky, “Women in a Game without Rules” by Yuri Moroz, “Translator” Andrey Proshkin, “Doctor Zhivago” Alexander Proshkin, “The Thaw” by Valery Todorovsky, “Heavenly Court” by Alena Zvantsova, “Cadets” by Andrey Kavuna. Even in this television season, a series that I liked was already released - “Concerned, or Love of Evil” by Boris Khlebnikov.
series "Cream", "Attempt of Faith", "Fate of Choice"
At the moment, I'm a fan of three TV shows: Narco, Mr. Robot, and Bates Motel. The first is the story of a DEA agent war against Pablo Escobar, the second is about an autistic hacker who uses his outstanding abilities to help people. And the third is a detailed prequel to the film Psycho since Bates bought the motel.
In all three, the completely unpredictable main characters. Each is ingenious and so complex that it can be watched endlessly. Of the Russian works, I most recently liked the series “Concerned” according to the script by Irina Denezhkina and Semyon Slepakova.
films "Shavka", "Blood Noise", a teacher at the Moscow School of New Cinema
“Gracepoint” (the American version of the British show “Murder on the Beach”) and “True Detective” are atmospheric horizontal investigation series, where the protagonist has a dark, mysterious and almost criminal character.
“Collapse” continues this line, here the main character is a woman who has much more in common with the killer than she expected. From the first series we know who the criminal is, nevertheless, the battle between the female detective and the embodiment of evil, which is hidden in a successful psychoanalyst, does not let go even for a second. The first season of “Fargo” is built on the same principle: evil shows a face from the first minutes, but not so much the investigation comes to the fore as the formation of a man as a force that must stop the killer.
"Lovers" is a unique structural series about relationships. Half of the series is told on behalf of a man, half - from a woman. We see two points of view on the same event.
“My Eyes” is a Russian mystical series, where working with the form makes an enormous impression. Each episode is presented on behalf of one of its participants - the camera is mounted on the hero’s head, and we see the horrors of what happened through the eyes of an always new person. No wonder the Americans bought the show.
“Sweet Life” and “Cheating” is an attempt to analyze modern reality and determine the hero who lives here and now and is forced to face momentary difficulties and problems. For the first time after many years, people of our time began to appear on domestic television.
"Method" - despite some questions about the main character, this is a worthy product made as honestly as possible: the script is based on the real affairs of Russian serial killers. The series is criticized for imitating "Dexter", but, in my opinion, our authors went further because they found the courage to abandon the Dexter "robingudism" and declare their hero as the best friend and assistant of all maniacs. He is our guide to the pathological world, which in itself is already nonsense.
films "Christmas trees", "Ghost", the series "Method"
Of the latest projects, I like"Fargo", Happy Valley, Better Call Saul, The Nutty Ex, Silicon Valley, Rick and Morty. They are well written and compiled, well balanced form and essence. The format does not dominate, but helps creativity flourish. An additional thrill is added to the viewing pleasure when you understand how internal mechanisms work.
TV series "Treason"
His favorite drama series are Anatomy of Passion, The Good Wife, Downton Abbey and Lovers. I like the depth of elaboration of the images, the quality of the dramatic lines and the leisurely pace with inner tension. Favorite comedy series: The Big Bang Theory and Mommy. The sitcoms, of course, are most attracted to the stunning figures of speech - I look only in the original language, otherwise half the meaning is lost. From domestic TV shows, I watched with great interest "Sweet Life", "Method" and "Concerned".
cover: frame from the series "Concerned, or Love of Evil"