Chursina vs. Peresild. Team of the first «Gloomy River»

A new adaptation of Vyacheslav Shishkov’s novel «Gloomy River» by director Yuri Moroz is on the air on Channel One . Starring Julia Peresild, Alexander Gorbatov and Alexander Baluev.

The novel takes place at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, during the gold rush in Siberia. The story of how the main character, Prokhor Gromov, changes when he gets rich.

The series was filmed in the Urals, where the team of director Yaropolk Lapshin worked on the first film adaptation of the novel at the Sverdlovsk film studio in the 60s. We asked the film expert and the people involved in Lapshin’s «Gloomy River» how they had a new series and whether it was worthwhile at all to return to the novel, which had already been brilliantly filmed.

We also spoke with the director of the new series about people’s reactions to his work. Now only everyone is discussing that they say that the actors in the old film are more talented, and nature is richer. But is it really so?

Yuri Moroz, director of the TV series «Gloomy River» (2020)

— I already had a film adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov, and it was the same: they asked questions, why film the classics, why spoil the old film? Although the previous film adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov and mine did not fit at all in any way, these are completely different films in terms of structure and everything else. The same is with the «Gloomy River». I am calm about such comments.

Even if we tried to be similar, we would still be different from the previous film adaptation. Our view of history is still different. I believe that in terms of its structure and structure, Gloom River is very similar to the Brothers Karamazov. In both works, father and son fight for a woman. And there, and there the son wins, and the homeless people die. Further there is another love triangle, both there and there.

This is an absolutely identical structure. Only if Dostoevsky’s work is a philosophical novel, because it touches upon a huge range of moral, ethical and ethical problems, then Gloom River, from my point of view, is a more everyday novel, if I may say so. It is just interesting because the Siberian life of that time is described in great detail.

Plus the main character [in «Gloomy River»], which, roughly speaking, is Mitya Karamazov and Ivan Karamazov in one bottle. Shishkov took a little of this, a little of this, mixed everything, and from this came the «Gloomy River».

The old film adaptation is an old film adaptation, there is a different volume, completely different tasks were set, other ideas were considered. According to the mind, this does not need to be compared. Besides, we are not filming a remake of the film, we are filming a book.

A classic is a classic because it allows interpretation in one form or another.

The previous picture came out 50 years ago. Who are the Internet users who remember and know that movie? These are 50-60-year-old people who say that this is their favorite film since childhood. Look at it carefully, not with the blinkered eyes of your childhood. Now turn it on and see. First recall it, and then speak. In childhood, all trees were taller and the sugar was sweeter.

If a person watched «Gloomy River» as a child and now compares it to our film adaptation, I have no questions.

I myself do not appreciate the series. I shot it, I know all its pros and cons. I am better than anyone who writes something on the Internet, I know all its shortcomings, because I created them. These are my mistakes. And I know all his merits, because these are my merits. It’s like evaluating your child.

It turned out the way it turned out. Into me. Crooked? Well, then I’m crooked. There is no dispute about tastes, what to say here.

Lyudmila Chursina, performer of the role of Anfisa in «Gloomy River» 1968

I love this piece, I love this role and played it with pleasure. They filmed at the Sverdlovsk film studio, the studio is poor, there is not enough money — from one dress they altered a jacket, then a skirt, then a bonnet. All this was rather poor, but with a soul, because such roles and such works do not come across even every decade.

Naturally, there will always be people willing to work on good material. But here you need to look at everything, and then judge how Yulia Peresild is there, how Alexander Gorbatov is there in the role of Prokhor. We had great artists, powerful.

I looked in fragments, to look completely until there was time. So it’s difficult to judge for now, but it seems to me that everything was more powerful with us.

Everyone has their own perception and understanding. Time passed, new heroes, new ideas about feelings, about passions. Landscape shots are very good, but I can’t judge the rest.

Vyacheslav Shmyrov, film critic

Unfortunately, Yaropolk Lapshin’s film, for all its qualities, is technically very outdated, despite the outstanding acting work. Nobody made an attempt to restore it in time.

People began to forget that film. It may have become an event, but only for people of older generations, and other generations do not already know this film. The topic itself is fertile — the Urals, Siberia, the conquest of new spaces, the struggle against natural phenomena, powerful characters, the merchants, Russian capitalism, which is taking its first steps … hidden corners of the same Urals.

This is a wealth of material for acting, because there are powerful individuals here. Therefore, returning to such a novel is very natural, another question is what happened. Some of the first responses reach me. Negatives reach faster than positive ones, but it’s too early to judge.

Vladimir Makeranets, worked as a cameraman at the Sverdlovsk Film Studio

I looked at a small piece, and that was enough for me. It was not possible to beat the Lapshin «Gloomy River». I do not want to find fault with the artists of this adaptation, and there is no bias here, but Lapshin’s cast is very strong.

Landscapes — yes, beautiful, great, but there is no feeling of that time, in my opinion. People lived at that time, their own kind of relationship, characters. This adaptation did not work.

And why film the work again? I don’t understand that either. There is a classic — a film made by Yaropolk Lapshin.

What you decided to do is not prohibited, you have given the funds — work. This is not the first experience, there have already been attempts to repeat, change, improve something. But I, in general, was skeptical in advance.

It is impossible to say that that adaptation is outdated. Everything is in focus, black and white cinema, there is a sense of time — what else is needed? And what is modern in the new? The camera is digital, but the image is the image, no matter what you shoot. They are worse not in technical quality, but in creativity. If someone can reinvent the wheel, God bless him, but it didn’t work out.

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