«Parquet» press conference report
On April 27, 2021, the press conference dedicated to the film «Parquet» by Russian director Aleksandr Mindadze took place. The film is in the out-of-competition program «8 ½ films» of the 43rd Moscow International Film Festival. Director and screenwriter Aleksandr Mindadze, actors Vladimir Mishukov, Aleksandr Isakov, actresses Evgeniya Dodina and Marina Manych, producer Liza Antonova participated in the press conference.
The film revolves around a tango club, where a terminally ill man and his former lover, whom he hasn't seen for 25 years, meet.
«This is my first work in Russian cinema. I left Russia 30 years ago and since then, haven't played in Russian, although worked on some films before my departure. I'm a fan of Mindadze and it's been my dream to work with him. I was sure that it couldn't come true. But when I heard that Aleksandr was making a new film, I asked to come to the audition. I wasn’t counting on much, I just wanted to meet him and read the text I was listening to with awe,» actress Evgeniya Dodina said.
She admitted that she instantly felt love for her character, although at the casting she was asked to read a man's monologue without any makeup. However, working on «Parquet» «struck home» for the actress. Dodina is sure that it's a story about «paying the price of compromises with oneself».
Polish actors Agata Kulesza and Andrzej Chyra played the other two main roles.
«I was trying to talk to a lot of actors in Poland, but when I saw Andrzej, it all just worked. He called on my door, I opened and was overwhelmed by seeing a face I was really attracted to. Although we tried a lot of other actors, including Russian celebrities, we came back to Andrzej. He is an exciting actor, although it took time to get used to his image of an introvert who keeps everything inside. Agata is also absolutely striking and she doesn’t look like an actress, like many amazing actresses; she works beyond any limits. I don't mean that she is a genius or that she plays herself; she finds the foundation for the role in everyday life. On top of that, she is a winner of a local competition that is like our «Dancing with stars». So we're lucky to have such actors,» Mindadze noted.
Russian actor Vladimir Mishukov has long wanted to work with Mindadze, too.
«When I was 15-16 years old, I auditioned for a part in his film «Plumbum», I was really extraverted and didn't really fit, but I met Abdrashitov and Mindadze back then. Many years passed – I watched all the films with scripts by Mindadze, and proceeded to watching his directorial works. I consider his previous film, «Dear Hand, Lovely Pyotr», a chef d'oeuvre. So being on the set of «Parquet» was my professional happiness, unique in so many respects. No one makes movies like this!» Mishukov said.
Marina Manych appeared in the film thanks to the casting director Vladimir Golov, and this work has become a turning point in her acting career.
«When I was going to the audition, I thought that it would be the last time and I would quit the acting job, because no one films me. I was so sad. The audition took place at the Meyerhold Center, and there were many of my friends there, and they came up to me after the audition and said, «Calm down, it'll be alright, no one has ever said so many kind words,» the actress shared.
«Parquet»'s youngest actor Aleksandr Isakov, on the contrary, didn't even want to go to the audition, as he was worried that he wouldn't be able to handle the role.
«My mum helped me, she convinced me to try, said that nothing bad would happen if I failed. And in the end, I didn't,» Isakov said.
According to producer Liza Antonova, the film was almost entirely shot in Romania.
«Location was our main difficulty. We needed a hotel — empty or half-empty — where we could shoot or, even better, also stay, this would save us a lot of money. And we found the hotel in the Romanian town of Constanta, a resort town on Black Sea. However, we were shooting in February-March and a bit in April, so it was off-season and we were the only ones staying at the hotel,» Antonova said.
Romanian DOP Oleg Mutu, who has worked on all the directorial projects by Mindadze, was responsible for the visuals.
«Oleg is an outstanding person and an original director of photography. He reads the idea with a sixth sense, thoroughly reads the script and gets some amazing insights, although he isn’t some high-brow intellectual; on the contrary, he is somewhat hard-boiled. However, his ability to delve into the idea, somewhere beyond the depth of the meaning, takes an amazing shape. I talk to him a lot before each film and we rarely disagree. Also, he has another trait. Things can get hard with the DOPs when you refuse to proceed with their plan and offer yours, they execute it like women in distress, and you start to make compliments, understand that they are offended, and you should somehow console them. It takes a lot of effort. Mutu is a complete opposite, he is an introvert, he is absolutely in love with his work,» Mindadze concluded.