- Today the series “Text. Reality". How will he be interesting to someone who has already watched the film? Will the viewer see any fundamentally important new scenes?

- The series includes new scenes in existing lines, but there is, for example, the ending of the story of Gosha - a friend of Peter who buys cocaine from him in a bar. We will see how it all ended. There will be more scenes with Ilya, the main character. For example, we learn that he attempted to avoid punishment.

This is not to say that this is just a serial version. The project is called “Text. Reality ”is not just like that, but because we have changed the approach to storytelling. I removed the cinematic gadgets that I used in the film: parallel editing, a lot of active music, voiceover. All of this is practically not here. But there is a more serious immersion in the reality of what is happening. This is for me the meaning of this audiovisual work.

- At what point did you realize that you need to make two versions of the “Text”?

- First, on the set. We thoroughly worked through all the scenes, lines, situations and shot them very carefully. And they were well received in this format - it was interesting to watch.

That scene, which now takes five minutes in the film, lasted 15 on the set. Not because we did not know how to shorten it, no, it looked beautiful. At the same time, we understood that for the film it would be necessary to reduce this scene: it already lasts two hours and 15 minutes. For cinemas such timing is already on the verge.

Therefore, the first time I got the idea about the series on the set. And then the film came out, became successful, gained an audience. People began to revise it. A million messages were sent to me: "I went to the cinema for a movie two, three, four times."

I invited Eduard Iloyan to make this story with minimal means, to reveal it deeper. The material has already been. Edward supported this idea, and we were allocated funds to finalize post-production.

I didn’t want the same movie, but longer. Therefore, for example, I specifically changed duplicates. Maybe the same scene that the viewer saw in the film remains, but the take is different. In each take, the actor plays differently. Sometimes it’s completely different. And the scene from this looks different.

In addition, people who liked the book will find more of it here: for the film, we greatly reduced or even cut out many scenes, but here they are. 

  • Photo from the filming of the film "Text"
  • © kinopoisk.ru

- Are there any scenes that were shot but were not included in the film or in the series?

- Yes, there is, and a lot: scenes from the line of Peter, the relationship of Peter and Nina, Gosh, and some other scenes with Ilya ... There are a lot of things.

The viewer must immediately prepare for the fact that this is an immersion. This is not a quick experience. Now in general, on a global scale, there is a tendency to slow down the story - both in series and in films. Generation MTV, clip cuts - very few filmmakers use this now. Therefore, “Text. Reality ”exists in the global narrative trend.

- It somehow happened that the sex scene of the heroes Asmus and Yankovsky became almost the most vivid (but certainly the most scandalous) frank scene in Russian cinema. Did you expect this to happen?

- Yes, I expected. We all knew that would be so. To be honest, we even thought that there would be even more scandal.

We know the context, we know the history of Russian cinema. We know how it is customary to show sex in it or how it was shown. And we perfectly understood that what we shot was much bolder. And what if they scolded for other similar scenes, then they will scold for this even more.

- They wanted to test the viewer for strength?

- We did not leave him any choice - let him check. Would you like to? Well, yes, we can say, and wanted to. But everything came directly from the need for this scene in history. I immediately thought that it was necessary. Just such - and no other.

But I thought the reaction would be stronger. I thought that the viewer was even more sensitive. It turned out - not so much.

- This scene is now again being talked about a lot in the context of the Asmus and Kharlamov divorce. Many shootings in the “Text” are considered the reason for their separation. It turns out that for the Russian audience such frankness remains in the category of taboos?

- This is a lot where, not only with us. I still think that such explicit sex scenes are taboo everywhere. And in America. Maybe in France they look calmer. But in our country, of course, society is basically still conservative. And therefore, of course, such an open sexuality scares many.

  • Photo from the filming of the film "Text"
  • © kinopoisk.ru

- I would like to talk about your other project. Tell us, at what stage is the work on the action thriller about Yesenin?

- At the low start stage. The project has been submitted to the Cinema Fund, and we really hope for support: it seems to me that such a project should be supported by the Ministry of Culture and the fund. A positive decision will allow us to begin work - directly preparing and shooting the film. Hope even this year.

- How did you work with the historical basis of the plot?

- We studied a lot and continue to study the texture. This idea came to my mind a long time ago, but in the end I realized it with my father, Alexei Shipenko.

Recently I read a wonderful book by Zakhar Prilepin in the ZhZL about Yesenin - a huge thousand-page book. I overpowered it thanks to quarantine. Otherwise, it would hardly have succeeded, probably. So here self-isolation has benefited me.

The film will not be documentary. This is an art tape, in many ways phantasmagoria, with elements of a thriller and action, I’m not afraid of the word. Although the action, of course, is a dangerous word: one gets the feeling that it is about endless skirmishes. Minimum shootings are expected, but the action will also be. And the dynamics and rhythm.

I hope that we will succeed in making the film a spectator, fascinating and it will become a big event. But only if supported by the Cinema Foundation. Therefore, all attention is now paid to them.

- How will fiction and facts interact in the tape?

- The fact is that Yesenin’s death is a mystery, covered in darkness. There are some investigations. There is an official version, but it is questioned and overgrown with myths. And no one knows exactly how he died. If we do not say that we trust the investigation conducted by the GPU (State Political Administration under the NKVD of the RSFSR. - RT ) impeccably  , then by and large there is room for myths and speculation.

The degree of fiction will be determined by people who consider themselves experts in the biography, in the life and death of Yesenin. I think there will be a lot of truth and fiction. But this fiction does not mean at all that I invent what I want: it is based on sensations, on the world of this person. Therefore, to what extent our history can be called a lie is also a big question. Maybe this is true, but everything else is fiction? No one knows.

“You mentioned that you read Prilepin in isolation.” What else did you do? How was your period of self-isolation?

“I think the isolation went fine for me.” There are several books that I would not read if it were not for isolation. I watched some long films, series, which I would never get to. Well, or would get in five years.

I am working. Developed a few new scenarios. Therefore, everything went quite productively in this regard. Although at first, of course, there were moments of freezes: you had to get used to it. But now that I’m used to it, it seems that if this self-isolation had continued for another six months, I would have something to do.

- You said that you did not want to make films in those genres that you had previously worked on. Considering that you have already tried a lot - what is currently in your creative interests?

- I said that I did not want to immediately shoot comedy again. Or after "Text" - again a drama. This does not mean that I will never return to them. I just don’t want to shoot two comedies in a row: I am bored with this repetition.

I am experimenting. Therefore, with a very high probability I will return to some genres - to the same comedies. I just wanted to do it after a break. 

  • Klim Shipenko
  • RIA News
  • © Ekaterina Chesnokova

Some genres are not within the scope of my interests. And for the rest I’m open. I’m not very interested in horror films, I don’t watch them, I don’t like them. Another genre to which I am indifferent is very frank science fiction. That, in fact, is all.

- You mentioned that in our country, unlike the United States, the institution of people-brands and stars is not so well developed. Nevertheless, in your recent films the sought-after actors play - Alexander Petrov, Milos Bikovich, Christina Asmus, Alexandra Bortich. Is it important for you that well-established artists act in your films?

- Yes and no. I sincerely love these actors. I take them not because they have proven themselves and are media, but because (first of all) I am their fan. And, as a rule, they are tested. For example, Milos Bikovic auditioned for a role in the film "Serf" along with many actors. And there were also proven ones.

The institute of stars in Russia seems to be there, but no one knows what audience this star leads. Specifically in numbers - in television, in online viewing, in finance, in the monetary equivalent of tickets to movie theaters.

In America there are such numbers and there is understanding. And we don’t have it. We understand that this is a famous actor. Probably, he will lead the audience a little more than the other. But no one understands how much and how much it costs.

- In your opinion, in the future in the domestic film industry may appear methods of such assessment?

- Yes, if the industry continues to develop, systems of statistics, calculation and so on will develop. I do not know the technical side - how they calculate, but it is precisely calculated. We know how much the name of Brad Pitt on the poster costs, how much the film will earn thanks to his participation. It is in connection with this that Brad Pitt announces his fee - not from the bulldozer.

In the USA, if you agreed to play the same good old Brad Pitt, you can go to the bank with this paper and take money for the movie: “Look, I have ten $ 10 million. And here is the paper that Brad Pitt agreed to play.” "Ah, well, if Brad Pitt is there, keep another $ 20 million."

This does not work for us. We hope that, relatively speaking, Sasha Petrov’s fame will add something to the box office. But there are examples when films with his presence were not collected at the box office. This means that no one understands anything. Everyone hopes for something, but they don’t know the specific numbers.