PAUL SHUMOV (producer), STANISLAV BULOFF (director)

Q: The dynamics of the story… what each character knows and what we (the audience) know about each one… sound like masterful storytelling. How did the story evolve? How difficult was it to keep these four people dancing without losing control of the story?

Stanislav: Writing the story, I had a number of restrictions: it had to be a country house and its suburbs, because the producer could provide it, and the number of actors should be 4 plus-minus couple. And the main goal I had was to create a story that would have some fresh twist.
I thought that primarily it’d be great to turn a classical “love triangle” into “love quadrangle” with a powerful heroine who makes men fall on their knees after the first glance at her. So I wrote Olga off of one of my friends, who is specifically that kind of a girl. Then I realized that the climax and the ending could be only the way they are now: unexpected, rough and fresh enough. And only then the middle part of the story appeared in my mind.

The hero called Pasha was easy to write – he’s got a lot of my own sides of character. The other guys were harder to create: they had been changing, morphing and finally they became a bit different when the actors played them. Each actor added something personal so it’s tough to understand the real source of energy: either it’s the script or the directing or the play or everything all together. The script is just like vivid organism – so it breathed before, during and after shooting. But that’s how the cinema is born.

Q: What is it about Olga that drives her to the edge of grave danger and back so often?

Stanislav: I think, it’s her need to test the strength of the world around her. The need to feel the real truth and the real feelings in everything. In her case it’s the need to believe she can be truly loved. She’s just like a child who does not want to grow up. The very image of “adulthood” pushes her off. She sees the falseness of the adult world, its hypocrisy and its fake feelings. The world with no real men and real women. So all she’s doing is trying to fight the fear of death, look behind the edge.  That’s her way of fighting the fear that can poison all her life. To be a child, to be free and to live playing is her motto.

Pavel: For me, Olga as the character is the quintessence of everything a female is: attractiveness, wisdom, wittiness in planning her life and the lives of people around her. Let’s call it chemistry – and just like any chemical reaction with explosive components, it makes the vessel any human is a real bomb. So what makes a bomb be on the edge of exploding? It’s her nature.

Q: Without giving away too much, how will each of these four emerge from this two fateful days?

Stanislav: Even though an audience can see it the other way, I think that there’re only three of them left and she came back to life only in Pasha’s imagination. I want to believe he’ll manage with it. Ilya and Slava will have their sad days, but they’ll forget about it soon enough. Maybe Slava will sell his house and move somewhere else. And I think they all will stop seeing each other.

Pavel: That’s cool when every person can see the story from his own point of view, because for me that’s a happy ending. Olga had her catharsis, reached all her goals and collected all the proofs she wanted, and even some she never expected to get.  That’s a visual metaphor for maturing: it’s not a secret that many girls love bad guys when they’re young and after maturing they start appreciating that calm feeling with no rollercoaster emotions the real love is. That’s what the story is about. For me, surely.

What do you think the actions of these four say about the nature of desire and attraction?

Pasha thinks it’s not about an attraction or desire on its own: a human needs freedom – either it’s a woman or a man. He’s the advocate of an absolute equality. The problem is you can’t beat the forces of nature and sometimes a man has to take a whip in his hands (figuratively saying, sure thing) to show what he’s worth of (or the power of his feelings).

Olga feels the same as Pasha, buy just like any woman she wants to feel protected. And she tests her boyfriend during all the film to see what is he ready to go for for her. So desire and attraction for her are the tools. From one hand she wants to be free, but from the other hand she wants warmth. But the real warmth comes from one true partner, and never – from a crowd of admirers.

Slava is more primitive, he thinks he’s in love at last – and here’s his dream. But it’s obvious he’s not ready to fight for his “love”. Actually it’s a million dollar question: whether it’s possible to fight for your love consciously.

Ilya is a young rolling stone. Who knows if he feels love ever in his life for real. He sees life just like Olga, but he wants freedom too much to become a responsible person.





© 2014 Chain NYC Film Festival