Articles, Blog

Русский Голливуд / Russian Hollywood (English subs)

This is Los Angeles. And this part right next to us is called
Hollywood. It just so happens that this is the third time we’re here
this year, and we can attest: people from all over the world still flock to Los Angeles
to make it big. First and foremost, in show
business. And a lot of them are
Russians. The next ninety minutes will be about some of the
people who don’t sit on their asses. You might have a good or even a great
job at home, but that doesn’t mean you should forget where the
big leagues of your craft are. We’ll show you both those still working to get
to the next level and someone who
already has. Normally, we would preface our video by telling
what drove us to make it. This time, we’ll echo the intro of one of
our fall episodes. We shot this to remind everyone that it’s hard and
intimidating to try new things, but trying new things
is vital. Let’s go! While Yura is still at the customs, I’m standing here
outside of the Laugh Factory. [The Moscow – Los Angeles flight has landed]
[Dud’s been held up at the passport control]
[for two hours at this point]
This is one of the most iconic clubs in the US and
in the world. You can see the line. Every day, comedians gather here for a chance
to perform at an open mic. To do that, you have to stand
in this line. For a guaranteed chance
to perform, you have to be one of the first ten
people in this line. The first ten always go through and
get to perform. The rest are chosen with
a lottery. So in total, twenty people get
to perform. But the other ten are unknown — who will get
to perform and who won’t. ‘Cause there’s usually 25 or 30 people
in the line, or more. We arrived here at 1 PM. There were eight people
in the line already. I’m ninth. [Our cameramen, both Sergeis, are still at the airport]
[Dud’ is filming on his own] [Aleksandr Nezlobin, 35, comedian]
[In Russia: currently — the face of STS channel]
[formerly — member of Comedy Club on TNT channel]
[In America: nobody] Wait, is Amy Schumer playing
here? No, it’s just a super premium
advertising spot. – Right…
– See? She’s pregnant… – …she’s wearing a ring, got married. All for the special.
– Damn! It’s kind of ironic that people line up right
under her feet, and not just feet, but other parts
as well, huh? That’s what everyone says: “Oh, you’re Russian?
Privyet, idi nakhuy*.”
[*”Hi” and “fuck you,” respectively] That’s all the words they
know. “Babushka*,” “idi nakhuy.”
[*”Grandma”] [Nezlobin is going to perform]
[Filming inside the club is prohibited] [Nikolay Stravinsky, 33, rock musician]
[In Russia: ex-guitarist of the band “Tarakany*”]
[In America: nobody]
[*”Cockroaches”] The waitress that brought us
the beers… – …she obviously had implants.
– Yeah. – Is it commonplace here?
– Yes, very much. Have you ever… with
implants? I had a girlfriend with those, but this was a long
time ago and not in this country. Down here, unfortunately, I’m slowly forgetting what
it’s like to have sex… – Why?
– …unlike in Russia where I had it in spades. It’s expensive. You don’t know.
You have to… No, I don’t mean
hookers. If you don’t want to deal with hookers, and want to
have sex the good old way… – Yeah?
– Consensual, as it is. You need to take her
somewhere, spend at least, I don’t know,
$50 on drinks, and then think up a place
for the night. – I live in a tiny studio apartment…
– With Dimon.
– …with Dimon, yeah. So, that’s kinda the
gist of it. In this whole time, I had
sex once. And this was about a
month ago. Yeah. With an American
girl. Otherwise, it’s been ten months
of celibacy. Okay, there’s about 30-40 people
inside [Nezlobin finished his set five minutes ago]
Okay, there’s about 30-40 people
inside [Nezlobin finished his set five minutes ago]
watching people with
dreams of a career of the likes of Jim Carrey and
Andrey Beburishvili.*
[*26 y.o. rising comedy star on Russian TV] – Yes.
– Those guys are doing their sets in there. Sanya came out to tell his English jokes that he’s told
about a thousand times. – Right?
– I wouldn’t say “thousand”… [(Top) Also in the US, but several months earlier] Jokes about stereotypes and stuff
like that. You said they initially laughed, but once you got to
the topic of sexism, they went flat. – They stiffen up sometimes, yeah.
– Yes.
– I can tell you why… Your impressions? Impressions? Dude, I’d been standing in this line for
hours before you showed up. So… I wasn’t too
prepared. But the impressions are alright,
actually. When I was here in May…
This was May 8, [Nezlobin means May 8, 2018]
May 9 in Russia. I got inside — we were just visiting, as tourists, with my wife — I went to perform. I stood in the line. I came beforehand.
It was exhausting. I won the house spot. It’s when they give
you two minutes, and if you win, you get
four minutes. The next day, right? The next week. They do these
once a week. I came outside, called my wife. This was
my own Victory Day*.
[May 9 is celebrated in Russia as Victory Day.] This was like… I don’t know. I felt like I’d won the grand
final of Golos talent show. I came out all emotional. I called my wife. She said:
“Okay, let’s stay then. Right? “Our girl doesn’t go to school yet, so sure, let’s stay.”
“Okay!” Meaning, “we have a year for you to try
and make it here.” “If you wanna try it, it’s now
or never.” I wrote four minutes of brand
new material. I thought I’d already made it. My wife and I were
all but selecting a house. – In Santa Monica, right?
– In Santa Monica, yeah. An HBO special… I was falling asleep thinking:
I’d buy this, and this… – I came up, and it was four minutes of pure bomb.
– …of dead silence? Not just silence. It was bordering
on booing. This has been with me since childhood.
We all dreamed of America. I mean I did. I don’t know about
everybody. I didn’t. Yeah. I remember being a kid holding a
Master of Puppets record and imagining myself here, in California, at a
Metallica show or something. And then came the thought: “I either go now, or it’s
probably gonna be too late.” I just wanted to test myself. I wanted to change
something. I wanted to… leave the zone
where [Takarany gig in Moscow]
leave the zone
where [Takarany gig in Moscow]
everything is cool and
great everything is cool and
great, where I regularly tour, and I don’t know…
where I’m doing good, and go somewhere where no one’s
waiting for me to start building myself from
ground up. [Nezlobin and Stravinsky were born and grew up in Russia,]
[but really want to achieve something big in the US.] [This may surprise you,]
[but it’s not uncommon for artistic jobs.] [Fury (2014)]
[Budget – $68,000,000] [Suicide Squad (2016)]
[Budget – $175,000,000] [Cinematography on all these films was done by]
[Roman Vasyanov]
[Bright (2017)]
[Budget – $90,000,000] [Roman Vasyanov, 38, cinematographer]
[In Russia: shot Stilyagi, Piranha, Tiski]
[In America: shot Suicide Squad, Fury, Bright] This was 2009. Late 2009. I came here with a certain amount
of money. How much? $20,000. I had $20,000. I realized that if I don’t start
shooting in, like… three or four months, then I have to decide to either
go back, and if I do, I either fly back
and forth, or I borrow more money and
sit tight. I brought my family
with me, simply because I realized that,
you know, we either do this together or the family
itself becomes an uncertainty. Yeah. And my wife, she is this
fearless person, I am eternally grateful to her
for that. She agreed, and we went together into this
uncertainty with two kids: our son is four, our daughter is
8 months old. We rented an apartment. I took out a loan with the help of a friend who vouched
for me that I wouldn’t just bail. One morning, we woke up as citizens
of Los Angeles. I remember one day, we went to the store
to buy groceries. I can picture the front of the store
right now. We gathered a bunch of stuff like we’re used to
and headed for the checkout. They’re scanning our groceries, and I watch
the total go… At this point, I realize: like, I can’t spend $400
on groceries. I mean, I don’t have this kind
of money. But there’s a line of Americans
behind us, and I go, “Masha, we can’t.
We gotta cancel.” She looks at me, and it’s so surreal:
you got two kids, you got four people worth of groceries
over here and a line of people behind you who just wanna
buy something and leave, but you realize that you physically can’t pull
out the card and pay this kind of money for food, ’cause it just won’t
go down later on. I curb myself and go:
“Sorry. Excuse us. I’m sorry.” And we start taking the
food back. And I can tell that everyone in the store
is in shock. We come out and get into our
rented car, and a buyer runs
up to us. A salesman rather,
sorry. And he says, “Why didn’t you buy the groceries?”
I go, “I’m sorry.” “Our prices are the same as Whole Foods’
across the street!” Whole Foods is the Americans’ go-to place
for food. It’s super. I realize that this is a
problem. So I start calling friends, asking: where do people
down here get food, like, for a week? Someone finally told me about a store where it
all cost $180 or $150. After you saw the $400 total, $150 is like: “Okay! $150!
That’s probably a fair price!” And you’re already hip to
local pricing. But overall, at first, we were positively
stunned. But we eventually got
over it. [Here’s another person]
[who doesn’t just sit on their ass] I want to tell you about another person who
doesn’t sit on their ass. You know my boy
Zheka Savin. A year ago, he had every opportunity
to remain on TV and be a excellent, exciting, and sought-after
caster and host. But to him, it wasn’t enough, so he launched
a YouTube blog, which, as of spring of 2019, has become the #1 sports outlet in Russia. Zheka has a birthday in
mid-April. He does all his filming with an
action camera. He travels all over and some shots would become even better if
done from a drone. That drone is what I plan to
give him. You could ask, “Yura, why would you publicly
reveal your gift? “You’ll spoil the surprise!” Zheka NEVER watches
vDud’. This doesn’t affect our
friendship and will even help me
out today. Before going to an online store
for our drone, we will pick the perfect model on
e-Katalog. Okay… Full HD, Ultra HD… 49 models, let’s check
’em. Damn, they’re beauties. We narrowed it down to 49.
That’s pretty good. But not low enough for my brain. Let’s come up
with more filters. Let’s also check “Follow me” and
“Circling a spot.” It will film on its own and free
Dzhekson’s hands. Because Zheka travels alone with a backpack, it would be great it fit in that purse of his. But… Score! Nine models. You know, I don’t think I even give my wife birthday
presents that cost this much. Zheka, I hope you deliver and
use it properly. To expose mansions and all the corrupt figures
of Russian soccer, and everything they built on people’s
money, and the stuff they appropriated! In short, Zheka: who else if
not you? And… send them to
Compare. I suggest this one. What’s “zoom?” To enlarge? Wait! So if someone’s sunbathing behind the fence,
you can… you know? Yep! Let’s take this one.
“Personal card.” If you too need to quickly find a gift for
someone close, follow the link in the description and pick one
on e-Katalog. As a bonus, you can grab a gift
for yourself. From April 4 to 19, e-Katalog is
hosting a raffle. To register for it you
need to: register on
or; pick one or several products from the
Gadgets category with the total Budget of up to $2,000 and add
them to your wishlist; share your wishlist on facebook
or on vk and put one of the hashtags
in the post; leave a link to your OPEN social media account
on the raffle page. The winner will get everything on their wishlist,
courtesy of e-Katalog. The winner will be picked on April 19,
at 12:00 PM MSK with the help of and announced on the raffle
page. Let’s go! $2,000 is a good bit of change,
isn’t it? Go! Happy birthday, Dzhekson! [Zheka, don’t stop!] You’ve told the story of your rise a
thousand times. – Because I respect you, I’m not going to…
– Thanks! I won’t make you tell this story
in detail. Let’s do it briefly, as is custom on,
with bullet points. – “Bullet points!”
– Briefly. You had a next door neighbor who worked
as a cinematographer. My father knew him, yeah. They lived
above us. He suggested you apply to VGIK*.
[*Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography] – Yep.
– You did. You were shocked to find out how clueless you were
compared to other students. – You fell in love with the craft, started learning…
– Yes. Plus, you got lucky, because you were covering
tuition yourself, then you ran out of money,
but someone skipped class… Yeah, he got the boot, I got his
state-funded spot. That’s how you got into the world
of cinema. The States happened after the Philips
commercial. A couple of things happened
at once. The Philips video I shot got the Film Craft
Grand Prix in Cannes. The commercial. At the same time, the film Stilyagi was shown at
the Toronto Film Festival. When people called me, they actually thought those
were works by two different people. When my agent called me, he thought the ad
was shot by a young guy, and the film Stilyagi — by someone
who’s sixty-ish, ’cause it’s huge and it’s
a musical. In America, you can’t imagine a 26-year-old shooting
something like Stilyagi. Like, it’s physically
impossible. Why? Wrong genre or
something? No, because to them, it’s an enormous
movie. Like, roughly, if in Russia something Budgets
$6, 7 or 8 million to shoot, in America, it would’ve Budget
$70 million. Of production value. In America, if a movie has a budget
of $70 million, then there’s absolutely zero chance it’s gonna be
shot by a 27 years old. Even if he’s a genius of
art cinema. Simply because there are
producers, there’s an insurance
company… In other words, you have to be an experienced
cinematographer. Responsibility’s too big. Responsibility’s too big, of course. Every day of
shooting Budgets, like, $1 million. And if you mess something up — plus back then,
we were using film, so it was kind of like a strategic stance
in a sense. The idea is the same as with
soccer, right? Somewhere in Argentina, Uruguay,
or Poland a talented player emerges, and he’s immediately in
the crosshairs of major teams. Basically, yes. There are five or six gigantic agencies
operating in the US who represent actors, cinematographers, directors,
production designers, editors… And there’s this ongoing festival-wide and now Internet-wide
search. They’re constantly looking for
talents. And their approach is honestly
brilliant. They bring the person in, knowing that they’re hungry
and that they’re gonna go to the top. And they can make a lot of money off of him, plus,
the guy gets to make it big. And this system works. I wondered whether creative agencies or talent
agencies were possible in Russia. Like a conglomerate
of sorts. ‘Cause they actually possess
enormous… power, let’s say, in
Hollywood. I realized it was impossible
in Russia, simply because we have completely different
approaches to the word “talent.” What do you mean? Here, film production is
often terrifying in terms of valuing human lives and
human resources. People sometimes work
for, like… don’t get paid overtime, work extra
hours for years with a single day off,
and so on. And everyone thinks
it’s fine. In the West, in all civilized countries and
particularly in America, when it comes to agencies
and agents, these people don’t just fight for your salaries, monitor
your income, and so on. They first and foremost protect your rights
as a talent. Meaning, if you work, like, over 15 hours, they’ll make
sure you get paid overtime. There has to be at least a 12-hour break between
shifts so you could SLEEP, so you’d come in the next day well-rested, rather than
after three hours of sleep. ‘Cause in Russia, some people think it’s okay to wrap
up at 2 AM and be back on the set at 7 AM. So I mean… – It affects your work.
– Of course! I actually think that this idea of
“the worse the better” is super outdated. I mean this idea that “a tougher set makes a better film”
is outdated. ‘Cause it’s about people not having a general idea
of what they’re trying to shoot; it’s about unpreparedness and about not having
done your homework. I was stunned when I was shooting my first
film in America. I got my call sheet. It said:
8 AM – shift start. I thought: “Okay, 8 AM. I’ll set the lighting, wait till the actors show up. “We’ll probably start shooting
around 10:30.” On the first day, I arrived
at 7:45, thinking, “Hey, I even showed up
15 minutes early!” And I see the whole crew is already
finishing breakfast, people are on the set,
people are busy. I’m thinking, “Okay, that’s probably
procedure.” I get behind the camera, thinking, “So I’ll put the
lights here and here…” Then bam! — 8 AM, they bring out
Emile Hirsch, the actor. I realize I’m not just
unprepared — [Alpha Dog, Milk, Savages]
I’m completely
unprepared. And at that point, they go, “You all set? We ready to shoot?
Roma, you all set?” And me, I feel like I’m gonna
throw up. Like, it’s your first project.
You’re shaking. Everyone speaks English.
Not a word in Russian. I said: “Yes! I need ten
minutes.” Like, I need ten minutes. They go:
“Ten minutes? Okay.” You leave and everyone’s like: “Hm, what’s wrong
with this guy? Is he okay?” “Who else is available? Should we make a
couple of calls?” And your brain starts to work
like a scalpel. You pick up a bulb and put it in the perfect spot
where it has to go. And you’re like, one, two, three.
“Okay, all set!” And they go:,”Oh yeah, he probably changed his
mind on something.” They don’t think,
“He’s unprepared.” No. “He got a different artistic idea. A better one.”
You go, “Yeah, yeah.” And then… And then you start
shooting. I remember the next day, I arrived at 6:45 though the
shift started at 8:00. At that point, I realized: well yeah, breakfast
from 6:45 to 7:15, then you go on set and give the gaffer not just
a lighting layout, [Gaffer is another name for chief lighting technician]
then you go on set and give the gaffer not just
a lighting layout, [Gaffer is another name for chief lighting technician]
but rather particular, like,
definite… but rather particular, like,
definitive… exact spots where equipment
should stand. You have to have done your
homework: where the actors go, how you light them,
how you adapt if blocking changes — that’s scene staging, where they’re gonna stand —
what you gonna do then. So realistically, I think there’s no greater school of
cinematography in terms of mastery — it’s hand crafting, like, it is a craft, and it’s a wonderful word, there’s
nothing insulting about it, it’s very accurate — in terms
of craft, than what they have in America, in Hollywood,
anywhere in the world. I shot all over the place. And I think theirs is
the highest caliber. When you’re good at it, when you’ve mastered it,
it feels awesome. At that point you think: “Should I try to direct something? Just outta curiosity. Then to back.” [Vasyanov currently shoots in Russia as a director]
[He is currently adapting A. Ivanov’s Dorm on Blood]
Like, you realize you possess certain knowledge
that in the end will stay with you forever.
It’s a vocation. You can make amazing shoes that will always be
in high demand. In a sense. This is a hostel. Wait, don’t you
live alone? No, right now I live
with my… I used to live in the room
next door. [Nezlobin doesn’t reside in the US]
[He only flies in to perform]
I had my wife fly over to support me,
what a boss. [Nezlobin doesn’t reside in the US]
[He only flies in to perform]
Russian. Just like you
like it. This is where my DP
sleeps. [Nezlobin is making a film about his adventures]
[in America, so he brings a cinematographer]
He says, “Sanya, we can switch beds
if you want.” He’s Latvian. Look. He’s reading about
Brezhnev. He’s also got magazines
about the SS. No comment about what’s going on in Latvia.
Russia and Latvia are friends. This is where I sleep. This is
my wardrobe. I didn’t expect you to come in,
so I… tidied up. Why a hostel though? Because this place is
within walking distance of three of America’s
biggest clubs that deal with comedy. I could stay at Roosevelt
Hotel. But I’d rather pay off my mortgage loan sooner and buy
a second camera to shoot the film. – Rooms here are about $150, right?
– $120. I learned yesterday. You wanna know the
best part? The total Budget of equipment in
this rooms could buy you half of this
building. It was my wife who picked the hotel. I’m the
spender in the family. [This is breakfast in Nezlobin’s hostel]
I showed her apartments on Airbnb and the
Roosevelt Hotel. She said something
cool. She said, “If it’s possible, “I’d rather we paid off a portion of the loan and you
canceled some the your work, “so we could spend more time
together.” I want you to tell us in this
setting where the apartment that you took out the
loan for is located. – The loan one?
– Yes. What part of Moscow is
it in? Oh. In Patriarch’s Ponds. Yep. A guy from Patriks* came here to
live in a hostel.
[*P. Ponds is a very affluent residential area] But I wouldn’t have been able to buy that apartment if
I didn’t live in hostels like this one. I would’ve slowly spent
it all. Plus, I didn’t *buy* it. You know
how much I owe? You know what the funniest
part is? Sberbank told me to test
for HIV. Not cancer. HIV, dude. – So you don’t die too soon?
– …to give me the loan. Yes. But HIV! I thought,
“Why not cancer?” Then I realized. They’re telling you
frankly that for the next twenty years, we’re gonna
fuck you, dude. We need you to be
healthy. To clarify, this is the sickest place
in Moscow. I didn’t know that. Vladimir Pozner lives in
Ponds. In their golden times, Mikhail Shatz and Tatiana Lazareva
got a big apartment there. STS channel! 33 million rubles*.
[*~$508,000 in May of 2019] – Got it.
– Will you add the ka-ching sound here? We will. For the first two weeks, we’d wake up in
our new apartment, I’d go, “Sweetheart, can you believe
this place?” She said, “I can’t.” We are people who
enjoy. Prior to that, the three of us spent a
year at a place measuring 34 m², where you’d wake up —
and there’s the bathroom. My wife would go: “We’ll manage.
We’re fine. It’s fine.” Now, we wake up… Dude, for the first two days, we’d go:
“You have to WALK to the bathroom?!” We’d walk there. My legs would
get tired. I live without an elevator, specifically for you.
To lose weight. Dude, we get so much pleasure
out of it. We are people who
appreciate. Some people have billions and a bunch
of property. To me, this is a golden anchor that I’ve
dropped in Moscow. And we thank fate for giving us this
opportunity. But at the same time, we figure:
fuck, we deserve this! Like, I earned it. So I think: why should I feel embarrassed
about it? – Who says you should?
– No, no, but I have it inside me. Embarrassment? Yeah, it’s like a Soviet atavism:
what will people say? And it stops me from getting
somewhere here. People don’t have
it here? Here, you’re supposed to say:
“I’m awesome!” And I can’t. I go, like, “I might say something
funny tonight.” These days, I don’t do that
anymore. I’m learning to… My wife actually helped me get
my self-esteem up. Fun fact about coffee and tea in airports
and on planes is that they don’t wash those
kettles. ‘Cause it’s impossible to wash that coffee off,
and they constantly use them. So in China, previously used good quality
kettles Budget more. – Those that were used to make tea.
– Why? ‘Cause there’s tea residue on walls, and you get
better brews. This Regular Coffee here is like that too.
They never wash it. They make coffee, and caffeine accumulates over
the course of years. Wait, can I open it to look
inside? Sure you can. A guy with eczema did.
Why can’t you? [Selfieman is Stravinsky’s project]
[that he intends to conquer America with] Show us the digs. It’s like I’m stuck in the middle
of a tour, in some hotel near
Saratov; stuck in this single hotel
room. It’s a single room. No antechamber, no kitchen, nothing.
Bathroom, shower, and that’s it. – Is this your bed?
– It’s Diman’s. – He’s bigger in terms of…
– Size?
– Yeah. Right. Diman is your friend who came
here with you. Yeah. We’ve been friends since
childhood. We’ve known each other
since 1994. We went to choreography school together
for years. And he was even the bassist in my
very first band. – Oh! He’s from Ulyanovsk too.
– Yes. – Is this the kitchen?
– This is the kitchen, yeah. I never used a stove in my life.
Never cooked. In all my years renting places,
I probably… – …made pelmeni once every 3 years. Not my forte.
– It caught up to you here, huh. – It caught up to me, yeah.
– Why? Well, caught up how? I still don’t know
how to cook. If, say, in Russia I could go to16 Tons
for lunch every day, [16 Tons is a club and restaurant in the center of Moscow]
here, I can’t afford this kind
of luxury. [16 Tons is a club and restaurant in the center of Moscow]
So I have to cook something
myself. So I have to cook
myself. Because supermarket prices here are about
the same as prices at chow places
back home. How much do you pay for
this place? Well, with all the bills, just under
$1300 a month. Woah, room with a
view! Basically, yeah. If you open
the blinds, you can’t really do anything
here. Though what could you do here that you
couldn’t show? Misfits curtains? Yeah, it’s a gift from a
local friend. Unfortunately, it’s a few inches
too long. So when people complain about their bad apartment
but they have a bath… What wouldn’t I give for
a bath! I’d give half of my life to just lie in
warm water. I really miss that. One of your sources of
income is writing music for clients in
Russia. In terms of movies, it’s all local
folks. In terms of arrangements, [Stravinsky writes scores for short films]
[for Californian film school students]
[In such projects, the composer]
[makes on average $500-700]
yeah, there are a few guys that I work with; they send me a guitar song and I build
them an arrangement. Can you explain building an
arrangement? In 30 seconds. For complete
dummies. Someone is playing the guitar and
singing a song, using three or four of the most
common chords. And I build it into something
that sounds… the way a song is supposed
to sound. They overlapped. Yeah, you can make
them… So it’s like there’re two guitarists
in the band. You can record an entire orchestra this way.
Which is what I do. Do you live in your own
place in LA? Yes. So you bought the
apartment? Well, yeah. Are you aware that very few people
in LA do that? Since I’m completely clueless when it
comes to investment and I don’t have a lot
of money, I believe that real estate is the only thing
worth investing in. Actually, I have this
associate… a person who does my
bookkeeping. ‘Cause it’s really complex in the US. He’s like a SP’s
accountant in Russia. And he said something wise: “Buy real estate.
It’s all the land we’ll get.” Like, there’s planet Earth. And it’s all there is. It’s not
getting bigger. You can buy land or a house, and your chunk
will not shrink. I think that’s genius. Even though the value could grow slowly or not
grow at all, or whatever. I think it’s still a sort of an old school way
of parking your cash. I believe that… Plus, I prefer living at
my own place. I’ve had my fill of rented apartments in America.
With kids and so on. So I was very happy when I got the opportunity
to buy a place. Did your friend come to make it big
in the US too? I think his goals are slightly
different. He just decided to radically change
his life and get a degree in
filmmaking. Writing scripts, shooting,
and so on. So he attends a film
school. Yes. Los Angeles City
College. Mark Hamill is one of their
alumni. He’s the Jedi, Luke Skywalker. Who else do they have? They have some
special dude. Yes, they have a special
dude. He’s American and he’s from
California, which is very important,
because he’s a hobo and he studies there for
free. So. He comes to lectures with a
suitcase. He listens to them, watches, maybe does some
sort of home work, then gets off college grounds and goes to
sleep on a sidewalk. So. Literally?! Quite literally. Like: that’s it, I’m home. Okay. But doesn’t he smell in
class? Somehow, someway,
he doesn’t. I’m not exaggerating. I was dumbfounded
myself, but… I mean it looks so
weird. Hobos want to socialize. But there’s more. Walking around Hollywood, this would get me every
time: you walk past someone’s tent, and they have an
AC in there. And it looks so
weird. – An AC inside the tent?
– An AC in the tent, yes. He’s hot. He’s hot, so he
has an AC. That’s it. He’s got a power cable running
from somewhere. Dude, they sit around with iPhones,
they’ve music playing. They’re loving life. – Because they get $800 of aid a month.
– Yep. Why not? Why would you pay rent for a tiny
room like this, when you can enjoy life under
the sky. And if you’re cold, you have
the AC. They live the dream. So you moved and just
waited. Yes, I moved and waited. And went
to interviews. They start sending you
scripts. You go, “I like this one.” I’d take every script they
offered me. And basically, chance brought me to
director David Ayer, who was looking for a way to shoot a cop film,
End of Watch, on a GoPro. This was my second
interview. He invited me. We sat down,
started talking. He goes, “You’re Russian?” ‘Cause the thing is, he used
to serve on a nuclear submarine. He said: “I’ve visited Russia. I won’t tell you where though.”
I go, “I get it.” Meaning… He probably surfaced somewhere in
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. So we talked. I told him about
myself. He said, “Okay.”
And he left. I got a call. I needed to go shoot an ad for
MTS in Odessa. I told my wife: “I’m gonna fly coach there and back.
Make us some money.” So I went to Odessa for two
weeks. I shot the ad. They called me while I was in
Odessa and told me: “This director wants to shoot with you.
David. You met him.” So I got back from Odessa right into
pre-production. So it took me — what? — about
a month before I got my first project
in America. But if you didn’t, the $20,000 would’ve turned
into a zero and… They would’ve run out and I would’ve told my wife:
“Well, it’s been fun. Oh well.” We’d’ve gotten into a car and
gone home. How would you explain why
you left? Being in such high demand
in Russia. If have this feeling, which I partly hate
about myself, because it stops me from being able to enjoy
what I have in life. Say I worked hard, and I made some money
or achieved something, and it’s time to breathe out and
enjoy it. But I wake up the next morning in a cold
sweat, thinking: “My life is awful. It’s not in order. I’m not growing.
I’m becoming an idiot.” I don’t want these thoughts, but I can’t get
rid of them. Moving here was the same
deal. I’d wake up in Russia, thinking: “I need to do something
soon! Maybe film this or that.” It’s an intuition. It’s a subconscious thing
that I can’t explain. When I answered the phone, I knew I needed to
buy a ticket and leave. I didn’t question it. I was even scheduled to shoot a film in Russia.
It was in pre-production. It was being produced by
Sergey Selyanov. [Sergey Selyanov produced]
[Brother, Brother 2, Arrhythmia, Salyut 7 and others]
I called Sergey, I said: “I’m sorry. I have these
circumstances. [Sergey Selyanov produced]
[Brother, Brother 2, Arrhythmia, Salyut 7 and others]
“I was invited to America. I have to leave.
I won’t be able to shoot.” “I was invited to America. I have to leave.
I won’t be able to shoot.” Besides, this was seven or eight weeks
before shooting. Which made it a pretty nasty thing to do
to someone. – A bit of a flake out.
– A flake out, yeah. I apologized. And he knew me, we had worked
together. He knew I wouldn’t do
that unless I felt I had to go for
it 100%. If you stayed in Russia and continued shooting films
like Piranha and Stilyagi, big, influential films, would you have made
more or less than in your early years
in Hollywood? More… in Russia,
of course. Because in America, you pay
steep taxes. – 39%?
– 42%. – Forty-two percent.
– Yes. While in Russia, if you work as a SP,
it’s 7%, right? Yes, 7%. In addition to taxes, the agency
takes 10%. So you basically give
up 52%. What about the pay itself for working on a top
Russian film and a top American film? It’s a lot greater in America, of course, but if you account
for agency fees and taxes, you basically get identical figures.
Even for me right now. – Even now?
– Even now. However, there’s this thing in
America where you can deduct taxes from equipment that you buy
and so on, and so forth. So there’s a safety net. But overall, net figures are not wildly
different. They’re wildly different if you won an Oscar for
cinematography in the past and if you’re a straight up
guru, then the difference is
probably big. But at this average, alright… not even average, but let’s say at above
average, alright level, the salaries of top specialists are quite
comparable. I don’t know about now, but at least when I
was leaving, they were. Can you remind us how much your show
Budgets these days? 600,000 rubles per show. Or 650,000.
It depends. Office party? Depends on complexity, and on… how I feel at the
time. I try to avoid doing office parties, ’cause they make
me feel not right inside. I sometimes just name a ridiculous
figure, so that, if they agree, at least I know exactly
why I’m doing it. How ridiculous? – Can be 1.5 million.
– 1.5? – Can be more.
– Then why… If you’re still in high demand
in Russia and you can still convert your recognizability
into decent dough, why are you doing
this? Why stand in lines to open
mics? Why pursue these clubs
that, despite being holy and legendary,
look… – They look pretty bad.
– They look like shit. – Yeah.
– Why do you need all this? I don’t know, Yura. A couple
of times I… I once stood in that line and thought
to myself: “What is the point of this?
Why am I doing it?” But I can’t not
do it. I have several
answers. In short, first of all, it’s like a game to me.
It’s like I’m in GTA. First couple of weeks, I’d walk outside… There’s a local
crazy person talking to himself. You visit places. After all, this is filmmaking heaven
from childhood. So I sort of play this
thing. Second… Ambitions, of course.
You want to… Well, first of all, they made stand-up
comedy… Like, it emerged in Britain, but it’s here that they
turned it into an industry. And when you do something, it’s like in sports, you want
to get into the pro league. Coming up here… It’s also a way to learn the language.
That’s another answer. But coming on stage here and realizing that you’re funny to a completely different audience, one that thinks differently and speaks a
different language, it has an internal
payoff. What’s my goal? I won’t rest
until… I wanna do something internationally
in my life. I want to keep growing and
getting better as a producer and as
a performer. And it would be
cool to… And the money! You love
money, right? This industry has money
in it. It would be cool to get multimillion-dollar
paycheck for a single show. Though that’s not as
important to me. And my last big answer is that it’s
a hobby. Some people collect
butterflies. My hobby is conquering
America. Kinda. What can an earn you a multimillion-
dollar paycheck? A special. A comedy
special. Translate. What’s a special? It’s a show. It’s approximately forty to sixty minutes
of your material that you… It’s your show shot on camera, about an hour
of your jokes, that you sell to your Netflix, or Amazon, or HBO,
or whatever. – They pay you a couple of million dollars for it…
– Yes. and then sell it through their
platform — as producers of creative
content. Yes, they buy your
material. Well, from some people, they buy
shows for $100,000. Dave Chapelle has recently sold three specials
for $45 million. Wat. He sold three specials, three hours of material,
for $45 million. – To Netflix?
– Yes. But he’s a legend,
Yura. [Other sources say Chapelle was paid $60 million]
But he’s a legend,
Yura. [Other sources say Chapelle was paid $60 million]
He’s a legend.
He… [Other sources say Chapelle was paid $60 million]
– Can they possibly return their money?
– He retired, by the way. No, they can’t. It’s about growing the client
base. He retired. He left television when they
tried to collar him — he had a very successful show —
and moved somewhere in Central America, bought a ranch and lived
there. He returned. They asked him, “Why did you return?”
He said, “Money.” He returned, grabbed his basket of money,
and went back to grow corn. But he’s amazing.
He really is. What was your plan? The plan was as
follows. I planned that when I come here, I’ll do as many shows as
possible and, as it usually happens, study the local scene. When I arrived here,
I learned that it’s not that easy to
play here. In the sense that
there’s a metric fuckton of musicians
here. There’s like five bands per show with fifteen
people in the room. [Stravinsky playing in LA]
This is typical
for LA. [Stravinsky playing in LA]
This blew my mind. [Stravinsky playing in LA]
Plus, every promoter wants a pre-sale. Plus, every promoter wants a pre-sale. Which was normal in Moscow
in, like, 2007. What’s pre-sale? Pre-sale means sold tickets. You have to guarantee
that you’ll sell at least, say, 20 tickets. You normally buy them
yourself. Obviously. I just came here. Nobody knows
me yet. And obviously, there’s no talk of getting
paid to play. You’re the one paying. And these
tickets… They’re not Russian tickets. They’re at
least $10 or so. So you have to pay at least $200 for the
honor of playing, and bringing the stage,
and… – All the equipment.
– Yeah, all the equipment. Everything. After doing several shows
like that, I realized I had to radically
change my plan. Which I’m currently
doing. I’m trying to come up with the most
kickass album. I’m recording it. Trying to make it less
academic. ‘Cause Selfieman is fairly complex
music for the listener, I can
see that. Trying to make it faster and not
too lyrical, because people come to shows to relax, dance,
and hop around. And basically, trying to come up with a very strong
idea for a video and then promote it with all
I’ve got. Oh, by the way! You said they do karaoke nights on
Wednesday. On Mondays, they do comedy bbq.
There you go. What does that
mean? It means students eat bbq and whoever wants can
do their comedy. Does anyone here NOT want to
be a comedian? I don’t know. Probably no. Down here… We’ll go to the club. When you see this crowd of
comedians outside, it’s like the air is filled with the smell of
ruined lives. Because these people… They return again and again. They work nine to five
to make ends meet, then they go to this open mic,
and it’s painful. I went to bed at 12:30 AM
last night. Well, got home, because it’s a
waiting game. You wait and you wait, and you don’t know
if they’ll call you. And it grounds you real hard and hits you
square in the head. So the industry actually has a clever
method to it. I think people here don’t get lightheaded from
getting super rich overnight, because it never
happens. There’s a long road to travel, and they humiliate
you all the way. Same happened to me. I used to stand
near the stairs. It’s a three-hour shoot. You keep hearing: “Yeah, yeah,
we’ll put you in.” And then they wrap. – In Comedy Club?
– Yes. You go take off the mic, remove the makeup. Not everyone likes
LA. And some say that an atmosphere of ruined lives
hangs in the air here. Right? As a citizen of LA, do you
notice that? I think it’s mostly about
actors. ‘Cause people have this
kind of dream. Like, honestly, there certainly are people like
that, but after you talk to them for three minutes, you realize
why that happened. Like, it’s not that fate was unfair
to them. In most cases, at the time of making
their decision, they hadn’t thought things through
properly, let’s say. – They overestimated themselves.
– They overestimated their ability. More so, it’s usually people without a
precise goal. Like, for example… They don’t go: “I want to come to LA and be the
best at reeling cables.” Those people do start reeling
cables, and things happen naturally in
their lives. These people go: “I wanna come to LA and
succeed.” Full stop. Succeed… in what? “In getting fame and
money.” Okay, but this isn’t a… I think that’s technically impossible, because
it’s not a goal. I think the goal has to be very
specific. Then there’s a chance to
reach it. But if your goal is this wishy-washy,
that’s harder. What you’re saying is
great. But there was this comment with the most likes
under your teaser, I think, on your YouTube
channel. You’re making a film about you
conquering the US, and you uploaded a
teaser. Do you think we’ll show the US who’s
fucking boss? We have every chance to show them
who’s fucking boss. And one particular comment caught my eye and
expressed my thoughts as well: “Show who’s ‘fucking boss’ in
Russia first. “Then go to the US.” Yeah. Okay. Your
question? What do you say to
that? Don’t you find this comment extremely
reasonable? Well, yeah, but you see, the thing about Russia
is that, I think, the peak of what you can do
in comedy is, I don’t know, becoming #1 comedian
in Russia. But that’s impossible, because it’s an ongoing
race. Someone gets in the
lead; another person gets pushed back because it’s
been a year since their last special; third, fourth… So there’s
kind of a… Nobody goes:
“This guy is #1. “We’re the judges. We picked him. He won.
He’s the best.” Right? We don’t have that.
So what’s the ceiling? Hosting your own late night show?
We have Vanya Urgant. I think he’s the best comedian in Russia
right now. It’s not fun to just keep
this up. I mean, I still do shows in Russia and tell
jokes in Russian. But I also want to expand and tell jokes
in English too. I think you can grow this way and this
way as well. How do I proceed? I continue doing shows in
Russia, and I try do improve my comedy
there. What stops me from growing in
both places? Why should I stop myself from performing in
English if I want to? Because of a comment written by
someone who watched me on the TV as a kid
and liked me, but then went: “I have my
own opinion!” – Okay, imagine then that I wrote that comment.
– Sure. What do I know about Sashka
Nezlobin? Sashka Nezlobin is one noteworthy Russian
comedians, not the best one, but who’s occasionally
funny, who made several films and
shows of questionable quality… – We’ll get back to them.
– Not all of them. Now, he suddenly goes to
America. Why him, rather than someone who’s
better regarded? Anyone can go. This isn’t a Soviet competition to get into
summer camp. “This is Union-wide tryouts to decide
who will go!” Because he fucking wants
to go. He can go, so he does. When it’s all in order on the
family front… I have a rule: my family has to feel good and
comfortable. Right? Second: my job on
STS, I mean at STS Media,
is secure, then I have me-space or
me-time. I can go on a fishing trip or to a
hookah bar. I go to LA to stand in
line. I fucking earned this
right. It’s my fishing. That’s it. Are you prepared to see another ruined life
join the others? Your own. I have immunity to these things,
you know? What I’m doing now, I think in a sense,
it’s a common cause. It doesn’t matter who it’s gonna be:
me or someone else. If someone else from Russia succeeds here,
I’ll be ecstatic. I’m over it. I don’t feel envy or jealousy
about others’ careers. Quite the opposite. I see these
things as… Well, not as a common
cause. But it’s cool, because what I’m doing here benefits
all Russian comedians. At first, they didn’t even let us inside
that club where we performed in Russian.
I’ll show you. [In December of 2018, Nezlobin did a show]
[in Russian in the legendary Improv club]
where we performed in Russian.
I’ll show you. [In December of 2018, Nezlobin did a show]
[in Russian in the legendary Improv club]
They didn’t let us perform
in Russian. [In December of 2018, Nezlobin did a show]
[in Russian in the legendary Improv club]
Now they go, “Oh, guys, hello!”
Completely different. Now they go, “Oh, guys, hello!”
Completely different. Did you envy others’
careers? Of course I did. How does it manifest? Do you look at Volya* and go,
[*Pavel Volya, Nezlobin’s Comedy Club colleague] No, I never envied the
guys. It’s just general competition,
when you… Not against someone in
particular. But when someone does something successful,
you go… (Panicked sounds.) I don’t do that anymore. I just go:
awesome! This surprises some people
in Russia. Guys were doing a show in Riga or something.
I came down. I went: “This is so cool! Good for you!
I’m so glad!” And people were a bit perplexed, as if:
is he making fun of us? – “Fucking weirdo.”
– Yeah. But it was honest. Besides, if we look at it from a purely
capitalist angle, the more successful people surround you,
the better it is for you. You said on multiple occasions
that our nation, our people are a lot more talented than
they think of themselves. – A hundred percent.
– Can you elaborate? I think, after 70 years of
communism and of this almost slave-like
treatment, I’m not saying it’s happening now or whatever,
but this overarching mentality that the crowd is more important than
an individual, we kind of lost our
freedom in looking at things. Basically, we look at the world in a very
specific way in terms of what’s right and
what’s wrong. And we don’t let ourselves ask questions like:
“Why do I look at this thing this way? “Why can’t I turn it over and look at
it differently?” Here’s an example. I studied at VGIK. My mentor was Vadim Yusov, an amazing Soviet
cinematographer who worked with Tarkovsky. [Vadim Yusov: Walking the Streets of Moscow,]
[Andrei Rublev, Solaris]
My mentor was Vadim Yusov, an amazing Soviet
cinematographer who worked with Tarkovsky. [Vadim Yusov: Walking the Streets of Moscow,]
[Andrei Rublev, Solaris]
And we learned a kind of grammar:
“This is what ‘correct’ and ‘good’ look like.” And we learned a kind of grammar:
“This is what ‘correct’ and ‘good’ look like.” But the more I work, the clearer it becomes
that in reality… Especially in Scandinavia. A Scandinavian
cinematographer shows up and he does things I know I’ll never
be able to do. Not because I’m not talented
enough, but because I grew up in a different social
environment. In an environment where since early
childhood, you’re forbidden to look at things
differently. I can’t explain this.
It’s like… Take painting, right? We have the great Russian
literature. But do we have great
painting? With all due respect, classic Russian
painting is… Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and all the other OGs
at Prado are out of our league. We’ll never be as good.
Never. There was change early in the 20 century, after the
revolution, with constructivism. El Lissitzky, Chagall, Malevich. After the fall of czarist Russia, these people suddenly
felt incredible freedom, they said: “Screw y’all, we’ll just paint
a black square!” They changed art. Then you-know-who
came, and we got 70 years of rules, social realism, and so on,
and so forth, which killed all visual
culture. And it started to more or less come back to life
in late ’80s and early ’90s. But it never recovered to where it was in
early 20 century. And I think it’s because of the
fact that visual art — some might argue that it’s
provocative. But what is Van Gogh? It’s a look at the world from
a completely different angle. “I don’t paint what I see.
I paint what I feel.” We as a nation, in our perception of painting
and art in general, are very narrow-minded. We don’t know how to find a new perspective.
It’s hard for us to… We’re good at replicating. We can’t pick a reference
and… But to come up with something of our own that
would take the world by storm — with that, we struggle. And I think the only industry, and the
people I meet, capable of these things, is the
IT crowd. ‘Cause LA has a huge community
of people, not just from movies, but from show business and
entertainment in general, but it also has a huge IT
community. And I spend even more time
with them, ’cause they’re fascinating people who see the
world at a different angle. You can learn some things
from them. I mean… I personally think that
if we completely abandoned
the idea of trying to do
“like them” and started doing from the point of what’s
important to US and how WE want to present
the world, I think Russia would’ve been
a lot richer in terms of visual arts like film, painting,
photography, and so on. So you’re saying it’s wrong to look to
the successful Western world of
entertainment? It is, because our results will
always be inferior. Even if you go balls to
the wall, and go, “We’re making Russian
Transformers!” I actually get emails and
scripts like: “We’re filming a Russian
Harry Potter!” “We’re filming a Russian
Lord of the Rings.” It’s impossible, because we don’t have the
industry for it. At the same time, we have the brilliant Filatov with his
Tale of Fedot the Strelets. [Leonid Filatov]
[The Tale of Fedot the Strelets (1988)]
[Kinopoisk rating: 8.3]
At the same time, we have the brilliant Filatov with his
Tale of Fedot the Strelets. [Leonid Filatov]
[The Tale of Fedot the Strelets (1988)]
[Kinopoisk rating: 8.3]
It’s cool. It’s really cool.
It’s folklore. And I can tell you
that… Kirill Serebrennikov’s wonderful film Leto
recently came out. I enjoyed it immensely, and I think it’s
his best one yet. I have great respect for Kirill, though I’ve
never met him. I would love to shoot something
for him. Yeah. And I thought: how would
people abroad perceive Kino and Tsoi, and will
they GET it? ‘Cause it’s something ours,
Russian. And you know, I have a close friend, a producer
named Jon Kilik. [Jon Kilik]
[Producer (Babel, Inside Man, A Bronx Tale)]
He produced films directed by Julian Schnabel,
Spike Lee, Oliver Stone. [Jon Kilik]
[Producer (Babel, Inside Man, A Bronx Tale)]
He was at the Cannes Film Festival where
they screened Leto. He was at the Cannes Festival where they
screened Leto. And he told me: “I saw it. It’s a
wonderful film!” This just goes to show that we have
things to say. We just need to say things we know rather
than those we don’t, while copying what they do over there and doing
it a hundred times worse. What amazes me the most is that I thought you
step on a rake ONCE, and that’s it. But this rake feels
endless. We keep stepping
on it. And that amazes me.
But… People will tell you then, in the comments
or whatever: Wait a minute! But you
moved to LA! You shoot there. You create American
product — one way or another. You make… What’s your
response? Well, my response is that I create it there
because it’s where it’s made. – ‘Cause it’s about America and…
– I don’t mean geography. I don’t mean geography. You’re not a government
official after all. Do you shoot as a disciple of the Russian
cinema school? Absolutely. When I was
shooting Fury, I showed the director,
David Ayer, films like Alexei German Sr.’s
My Friend Ivan Lapshin, Trial on the Road —
Soviet films. We made a Soviet film with
Brad Pitt. 100%. ‘Cause I knew that I… I knew that everything I had to
say myself could only come from my
background, meaning my personal
experience. In the current episode, we’re showing three people taking
on the States. Interestingly, the two other people are
trying to do it with the American
product. But in another craft,
not in cinema. They’re a stand-up comedian and
a rock musician. Yours is a different story. You became a
star in Russia, and they shipped you in just like
they ship stars from Argentine
River Plate… – What?
– Golovin in Monaco. – Yeah, yeah, basically. You believe in the idea of becoming a Golovin
in Russia prior to leaving. I’d say, yes. I believe in the
idea that… It’s just that I saw people show up with
nothing to offer. They stay in perpetual
limbo. Perpetually with nothing
to offer. Because chances of you being given a chance
there are minuscule. Can you briefly, in a couple of dozen seconds,
answer the question: why you swapped TNT for
STS? [Nezlobin moved to STS in summer of 2018]
[together with Sergei Svetlakov]
Because I stopped growing
there and [Nezlobin moved to STS in summer of 2018]
[together with Sergei Svetlakov]
the limitation of my artistic freedom wasn’t
adequately compensated. the limitation of my artistic freedom wasn’t
adequately compensated. Give me an example of artistic
un-freedom on TNT. When you can…
When you can’t… You don’t have the time or the
freedom to — and please note that I’m not
accusing anyone. TNT gave me something
amazing. On the other hand, if I didn’t make them money,
they wouldn’t have. I was able to work next to Garik Martirosyan
for ten years. This is awesome
for me. He helped me write and come
up with things. He would sometimes say: “Nezlobin, your way
isn’t funny. Here’s how it’s funny,”* —
[*Parodies thick Armenian accent] and produce an eight-minute tirade
on the spot. I’m very grateful to him. And to
Artur Janibekyan, who bought me a compartment (!) train
ticket to Moscow. And to everyone who worked
there. But the thing is… Our show, Comedy Club, operated then
in such a way that you couldn’t do anything else in your
life beside it. And… It took up all of
your time. Like, when you’re writing a
stand-up show, you can do a lot of things, but they
won’t work on TV. Sometimes, you need to make a pause,
let people think, you know? And we were slotted on Friday,
what, 9 PM? In the epicenter of TV fray where
you got The Voice contest! A one-legged man crying!
Mother ate her kid! Who was scheduled for
the Voice. In that slot, you can’t go,
“You know, I think… “What’s the deal with speed
bumps?” You cannot say that. You know?
So it’s like… So what were you supposed to do?
Quick jokes. “Right!” You come up. The previous skit ended
on sex. You know? You can’t say, “You know, my grandpa
used to tell me…” No, you come up, you make
a dick joke. Okay, you got the attention, caught the
previous wave. You can try to put some thinking
inside the bit. But again, be brief and
fast, fast, fast. I got tired of it, ’cause I
wanna do the “express myself”
thing. I think I’m completely
different to what you saw on that
show. First thing you and Svetlakov made on STS was
Thank God You’re Here. Do you agree that the first season
was very bad? It didn’t come out as we wanted it to,
I agree. “Very bad” is what I’d call some other
certain works. I can’t say it was good.
That’s for sure. Yeah. I’m definitely to
blame for the fact that scripts didn’t
reflect the quality that we
envisioned. But, you know… What can I say? That’s why we have season two
coming. Let’s see how that looks. How did you learn
English? I learned it like probably a lot of people,
in school. But you know, it had very little to do with
actual English. Coming here, I thought my English was more or
less adequate. ‘Cause I mostly talked to non-native speakers.
Germans and so on. It seemed okay. But when I came here, my mind
was blown, because my first crowd
here was mostly rock musicians. But rock musicians in California, and in LA in particular,
do blow like there’s no tomorrow. So in addition to the fact that they’re native speakers
and don’t exactly talk like… – Germans, Indians, and so on.
– Germans, yeah. They talk extremely fast and without
pauses. Because they’re always
coked up. So at first I was like, “What the hell
is going on? “I need to take a course or
something.” [The school where Stravinsky is studying]
So I’m taking an English course at a school,
and it’s helping out a lot. It broke down a lot of things I didn’t
understand. About The Groom. First of all. It brought
a profit, right? [Nezlobin wrote and directed]
About The Groom. First of all. It brought
a profit, right? [Nezlobin wrote and directed]
Yes, it’s our first profitable
film. You spent a million bucks. How much
did it make? Something like that. It made 460 or
500-something. [The Groom made $7.7 million at the box office]
[(taken from Kinopoisk)]
Something like that. It made 460 or
500-something. [The Groom made $7.7 million at the box office]
[(taken from Kinopoisk)]
– 500 million.
– No! 550 or something. [The Groom made $7.7 million at the box office]
[(taken from Kinopoisk)]
The finale. [We’re gonna spoil The Groom]
[If you care, fast forward 5 minutes] What the fuck? What specifically? The fact that… – The fact that she comes back?
– Spoilers! She comes back. – Yes.
– She comes back, and it makes no sense. I don’t want to be Zhenya BadComedian,
who would say: “What does he love
her for?!” You don’t fucking love FOR
something. It’s chemistry, sparks,
and so on. I GET it. But that was just
complete… – That cannot happen!
– In short… That cannot happen. I’ll give you a short
answer. To me, it can and it does
happen. ‘Cause we had a full stop in our script.
Where she leaves. No, immediately, when we sat
to write, when we realized we needed to put in the German
guy to add comedy, we realized that… She has to leave with
the German. I remember saying: “Seryi, let’s make her leave
with the German. “‘Cause otherwise they’ll accuse us of propaganda.
That Russians are so great, you know?” He goes, “Yeah, absolutely.” Then we started writing and we knew: she can’t
leave with him. More so! In the book, he saves
a cat. In our script, as I mentioned, he dragged the
German from fire, gave him to her and said: “Be with him.” And she left
with him. That was his only good deed in the whole film.
Which we then cut. But I didn’t like that it was so much
like the book. Instead, I played the art film card to show that that’s
what happens, that’s a Russian wom… You never heard stories
like that? I have a billion stories from
Sverdlovsk Oblast, where the husband is bad, he’s a wife-beater,
he cheats, and so on, and she finds a good alternative, but she
can’t go through with it! She comes back to live with
the drunk. After the credits, Svetlakov’s character got drunk
and fucked someone. Let’s say, right? – That’s life.
– Did you shoot that? No. That’s just life. She regretted her decision
many times. Don’t you know Russian women who wash
dishes thinking: “Fuck. I had Fedya Viktorov from
class 7-B. “He’s now… – How do you explain it?
– “Makes music with foam sheets.” How do you?.. I wanted to say “a deputy,” then decided to stick
with young people. – How do I explain it?
– Yes. Russian women…
– Because Russians love to suffer. We love suffering. We really love
suffering. We have to get resistance
everywhere. I have a few friends in
America, who attained success in their careers,
but they have sad eyes. ‘Cause they do
something… They have carefree lives. They don’t have
this “in spite of” plight. We? We had to wear a hat and march to school.
You’re doing it in spite of. You wake up in the morning and you do
everything in spite of! I don’t like it, but I will! We have that. We can’t just enjoy
life. When I was a pioneer counselor and mentor
at summer camp, I remember the camp’s director
telling me, Natalya Sergeyevna, she said, “Nezlobin, why do
you suffer so much? “Why are you like this? It’s like you
enjoy suffering.” We have that in us,
I think. We… No! Our parents. “No! We will sleep on
the floor! “Let the kids sleep on
the bed!” I mean fuck! You’re old. You have
back problems. YOU should sleep on the bed, and kids,
on the floor. ‘Cause they’ll recover
from it. Why do our parents avoid going to
the doctor? Because in the Soviet times, they were told the
story of the Spartan boy who picked up a fox cub and
endured. You know this tale? He picked up a little fox, put it
under his shirt, and endured. The little fox got hungry but couldn’t
get out, so he started biting into the boy’s stomach
and eating it. But the boy endured it because it
was in class, so he kept silent and
died. So our parents go: “I’m fine! What doctor? It’s 2,500 rubles.
I’m fine.” They want to go, but
they don’t. ‘Cause “it’s fine, I’ll just
stay here…” My mom always asks: “Can I get a ticket to
your show? “Not in the center. Somewhere in the corner.
In the back. “I’ll just stand on broken
glass. “Somewhere dark where I can’t see you.
Other room’s okay, as long as I can hear.” Just stop. Simply ask, “Can I get a ticket to
your show?” Of course you can. There’s always
a ticket for you. Even if there isn’t one, we’ll throw
someone out. But this, “No, it’s fine…” We love to suffer,
Yura. Do you know why Suicide Squad was
panned by critics? [Suicide Squad]
[Budget – $175 000 000]
[International box office – $746 846 894]
Do you know why Suicide Squad was
panned by critics? [Suicide Squad]
[Budget – $175 000 000]
[International box office – $746 846 894]
– Of course.
– Why? Because key script-related matters weren’t
resolved at the point when they were
supposed to. Why did that happen? Because movies like
that are rushing trains. And directors often find themselves inside a rushing
train that they can’t stop. So they have to solve problems
on the go. There are examples of successes, where this
crisis management works. And there are failures. And I think that probably,
definitely, unfortunately, Suicide Squad was an example of a
failure in that regard. Though it was very successful
commercially. But of course, when we were shooting it,
we wanted both critics and viewers to
like it. But, well, things happened. Two days ago, I saw Joe Rogan
here. It’s on his podcast that Elon Musk smoked some weed,
which sent Tesla stock tumbling. They’re still falling.
It’s still echoing. Joe Rogan says, “Leave Musk
alone!” He goes: “What’s wrong with you? He’s creating
the future. He can do whatever he wants! “Can you create an electric car?
How about you?” He had a very funny bit on
the subject. Joe Rogan does shows here all the time, even though
the place only has 200 seats, and the money is laughable
to them. But they do it for the
culture. First, you go to open
mics. You go to open mics and nobody cares
about you. Then someone notices
you. You get through in
some… There will be a guy who selects people will
be at one of the open mics. They email you, saying, “We wanna book
you for a show.” This happened to me at
Flappers. They first booked me for a room that only
fit eight people. – Viewers?
– Viewers. Eight people. – It’s like if every comedian brought a friend.
– Right. You do the show. I spent twelve hours on a
plane for that, dude. I flew in, did the show,
and flew back. I thought I was flying to
do a SHOW. They said: “This is a Friday show.
We booked you.” I’m going, “Finally!”
I get on the plane. I arrive, and the room is this small.
It’s tiny. Now, they book me for the
main room. That room can fit up to
150 people. That’s for when comedians bring their parents.
And their friends. I don’t know who those people are and how
they get there. But it’s all for free
so far. I’ve played there three times, and I plan to say,
“Guys, can you pay me at least a dollar?” ‘Cause it’s a different
experience. Yeah, yeah. Free labor and not
free labor. Yes. I’d perform for a
dollar. So. But that’s that club. Down there,
I’m already a… I get use the dressing room.
I get free water. I’m now a privileged…
loser. So. [Privileged loser] Down here, I also went to open mics. The sold out show
was here. I think it helped
a little. [The mentioned sold out show was in Russian]
I think it helped
a little. [The mentioned sold out show was in Russian]
I sent a recording to the other
manager. [The mentioned sold out show was in Russian]
Four months later… From the
other club. Four months later… From the
other club. Four months later, they
watched it. I was about to fly home,
and they go… It’s always the same!
As soon as I… You’re about to go home.
They what? – They gave me five minutes. They said…
– How many people? It’s gonna be people selected at
open mics. So it’s gonna be cool
openmicers. – People who showed themselves at open mics…
– Cool, privileged losers. Yes. And we’ll have a Rita in, who selects people
for the main room. The next step, probably, is, if you get into the main room, is you’re
on warm-up. In “Joe Rogan and
Friends.” And four or five people do their bits before
Joe Rogan comes on. But instead of Joe Rogan it’s gonna
be some… Alycia Cooper.
Whoever she is. – We don’t know her.
– But some headliner.
– Yeah And you’re opening
for him. And there are several people
like you. So it’s step, by step,
by step. You said many times in
interviews that the key difference, or one of the
key differences, between Russian and American film
industries, is the brutal professional competition
over yonder. Can you give a classic example of
this competition? As many as you want. There was a project recently with Spike Lee
attached to direct. And they were looking for a cinematographer for
this project. And obviously, a lot of people wanted the job,
’cause Spike Lee is a classic director. I heard, I don’t know how accurate this
information is, but they got around eighty applications
for the job. And that’s eighty A-listers. Meaning, these aren’t just any cinematographers.
These people have amazing careers. That means there’s at least eighty
of them, which is an enormous number of ultra
professionals willing to work and do certain
things quite often, if the project is interesting enough,
for any sort of money. So you definitely can’t work
willy-nilly there. Another thing is that there’s always new blood
arriving. ‘Cause what makes America
great? I think, if America suddenly closed all borders
and only used home talent, I think, things would not have
been as rosy. But because America attracts talent from
all over the world, they buy small European
companies, transform and integrate them into huge
corporations, they can bring in a person from a
small country who shot a YouTube video that got a
lot of views. They call him up: “Would you like to
(same happened to me) “come over and create something
here?” As a result, this upward pressure
is huge. At some point, you turn on a
video, and you’ve been thinking: “I shot something. It looks
good. I’m probably good,” then you click on some video on
the Internet and you go, “Who shot this?” And it turns out,
the person is 21 years old, and they’ve been filming with a handheld
prior to this. You realize that even if you did your damnedest,
you couldn’t repeat that, because this person sees the world differently,
they’re from a different generation. This serves as perpetual
motivation. And for the longest time,
I was in this stressful state. Like, you wake up in a cold sweat
thinking, “I need to make something
right now!” But then I realized that you can’t
live like that, because with a creative
job, there are two ways to go
about it. I call the first one
‘the Olympics.’ It’s basically you
going: “We’re gonna do better than them.
We’ll try harder than them!” But there’s a chance that you don’t get a medal.
And the result is depression. The second way, which I find… and which I eventually
adopted, is to do what you like and take on
what you like, and, let’s say, try not to… sort of… lie to yourself… but trust your intuition. And it took me a while to get to this. I really like competition and the struggle
itself. Yeah, but I realized you can’t live your
whole life like that. There are people, we all know
some of them, who do live their whole lives like
that and then really regret it. That’s why I live in a more balanced
state nowadays. – People like who?
– Like Steve Jobs. This was a man who created the greatest gadgets and the
greatest corporation, but who couldn’t… connect with his own
daughter. Isn’t that the tragedy? – I mean isn’t that…
– You mean personally? Yeah! That’s what the movie is
basically about. Jobs is a film about a man who runs around
and sees the future, that people will use their phones
differently. There’s his daughter holding a music player, and he
won’t even admit she’s his daughter. Realistically, this is a story that asks how willing
you are to forfeit your real life and embrace the unreal one to achieve
something in it. This is the Mecca of stand-up
comedy. I can even see ‘Eddie Murphy’ written
there. This is… This is probably the most famous club in
the world, has to be. Because it was one of the first ones to open.
Basically, everyone performed here. America saw an explosion in popularity of this
type of comedy in the ’80s. And I think what happened here in the ’80s is
happening today in Russia. Because it’s blowing up, and we have so
many great comedians. We have awesome underground
comedy. It’s great that this thing is blowing
up wide. It used to be that one TV channel held a
monopoly on this stuff. – Nowadays…
– TNT and the TV show where you… Thankfully, streams are shooting
everywhere, and it belongs to the people
now. – Streams of what?
– Streams of quality comedy. As a cinematographer, what are the three most beautiful scenes
in the history of cinema? [Warning!]
[Spoilers in the next 40 seconds]
Andrei Rublev. The scene of taking the stronghold
with the burning horse. It’s shot in a single long take. I think it’s
a masterpiece. Then the entrance and introduction of the
young emperor in Bernardo Bertolucci’s
The Last Emperor, where a little becomes the
emperor. It’s another scene without any dialogue
where the visual part alone overwhelms
you completely. And number three… It too needs to be something
simple, but at the same time… I think it’s American Beauty. Where the gun approaches from the back
and shoots him. Because… There are actually very few
people today, especially among
directors, who can speak with the
camera. They value dialogue and words more, believing
the picture is irrelevant, as long as the dialogues are
written properly. The most recent example is the Russian
TV show called Call DiCaprio! The cinematography is pretty
simplistic. But it has other qualities and
people dig it. And you could arguably film everything
this way. But if you look at great
directors, Kubrick, Paul Thomas Anderson,
Martin Scorsese, Tarkovsky, Bondarchuk Sr., these people could speak with the camera
without words and make you feel with the
camera. I think this is the real tour de force
in cinema — when the picture, the sound, the dialogues,
the music, all work together to create
that for which we love
cinema, where you enter a dark room and forget about
your life for two-ish hours and come out a changed
person. I think in Russia, Andrey Zvyagintsev does
that today, where seemingly simplistic imagery from
Misha Krichman, whom I’m honored to know
personally and consider one of the most talented
cinematographers — in the world, actually. So he… They do that. It always amazes, but it always requires
hard work. But on the commercial side of the film industry,
like what we have in America, it’s very hard to achieve that,
because you need the director to be on your side to
fight for your visual method. Because this usually implies time
and money. And people get nervous and unresponsive
when you mention those. They go: “Do we really need the
long take? “Let’s do a close-up of him, a close-up of him,
a wide shot, and move on.” Yeah. So you need to
fight for it. And so I think the most visually
spectacular films of the last five years were shot
by Mexicans: Cuarón, Iñárritu, Emmanuel Lubezki, because these guys act like gopniks,
in a good way. They go: “Fuck off. We’ll shoot
how we like.” At that point, this whole Hollywood
machine goes… And everyone freezes. They go: “No, no, we’ll have DiCaprio. We’ll shoot
for six months. He’ll crawl in snow. “We don’t care that he’s cold
or not.” ‘Cause 80% of directors
would’ve said: “What? No! We’ll use chroma key. We can’t put him
into real snow! We’ll use chroma key.” Meaning, this fear that you won’t wrap on time, that it’ll
take too long, that “we’re biting more than we
can chew” is so great that people don’t even
go there. While these guys… They doubled the film’s budget,
didn’t they? Yeah, the filming budget. It was a
year-long shoot. They were basically shooting like Tarkovsky
in the Soviet Union. They started filming, then went: “Wrong weather.
Gotta wait for snow.” And they did. So they almost never make movies like
that in the world. You mean they usually shoot stuff like
that with chroma key? – No. The Revenant was…
– No, no, not them. The rest. Yeah! Watch something like
Everest. I read the script, I was offered
to shoot it. It’s an awesome story about people trying to
climb the Everest. And the original idea was to go to the Everest
and shoot them climbing it. But then they went, “Wait, but the actors,
the insurance…” So they went with
chroma key. When you’re watching it, it’s obvious, and you
lose the sense of reality, you stop believing, and the
movie’s done. Movie magic is gone. Movie magic is gone, because nothing
beats reality. So for example, even in my latest film,
there’s kind of a journey, it’s called Triple Frontier, through jungle
and mountains. We tried to shoot outside, on location, as
much as possible and only add very distant backgrounds
on the computer. We didn’t want to just film the actors with chroma key and draw
everything in post-production. ‘Cause if you’re making a comic
book movie, then it’s conceptual and it looks
appropriate. But if it’s a film about real people fighting
for their lives, in my opinion, it just doesn’t
work, no matter the budget and the studio
doing the effects. How does your wife react to your attempts
to conquer… I mean, you’re spending family
money in large amounts —
to fly here… – You saw I don’t overspend.
– Yes. I fly coach. I use the free miles I accumulated
on business flights in Russia. So I try to spend as little as possible
on my hobby. I mean, if I was collecting motorcycles,
or computers, or planes, it would’ve been more
expensive. Still, you spend time. And wives react to it…
well, appropriately. They’re not happy. – Time’s more precious than money, yeah.
– Yes. What are your discussions
about it like? Does she say: “Sasha, can you stop
fucking about? “Just make the second season of Thank God
You’re Here better than the first one.” “Eat a sandwich and
sit on… the couch?” No. I’m very grateful
to her. First off, I attribute my career
breakthroughs to her, because it was she who changed my
self-esteem and made me believe in myself,
that I’m fun after all. Even performing on a popular
show, I still had major confidence
problems. Does she get the
purpose? Doubt it. But she understand
that I… That doing this, I’ll be
happier. She says: “Why should I prefer an
unhappy you “here “to having less of you but
happy.” That’s touching. But when my wife video calls me and I see
my daughter, I start thinking: “What am I doing here?
Career? What for? “Why am I doing this? Who know how
much I have left, “and I’m spending this time
in a line.” I’m standing in line, but overall, it’s not gonna
change my life, you know? Even if I get somewhere
here. But my daughter will
grow up. And I think, “I’m wasting my time
on bullshit. “That’s it. Tickets, pronto.” I end the call and I think:
I gotta go home. But then Danya calls and says:
“Hey, Improv called. “They have a spot on Sunday, but you need to
stay for two more days.” And I’m like… I think, “Okay, two more
days.” But it’s hard. It’s hard to stay for these two
extra days. But outside of video calls,
it’s easier. If you have to come
back… – ‘Cause your visa runs out in a year.
– Yes. How are they gonna decide to
extend it or not? I need to show my work here as much
as possible. So yeah, for now, it’s a
big issue. If you have to come back, what are
you gonna feel? – I mean damn…
– Will you feel that you shit the bed? Not really, no. To that, I kinda got
used to. Initially, when I was
leaving, I saw this, that everyone in Russia wants
you to fail. I mean… People who know you a little bit
do want you to fail. I don’t mean friends.
I mean acquaintances. They figure, they’ll never risk doing something
like this themselves, but if someone else does, they’ll be real bitter
in the person succeeds. Because of this… Well, unfortunately, we have
this in Russia. People envy God knows
what. If they lived like I have for ten
months, I think they would’ve looked at it very
differently. Many will ask: dude, why overcomplicate?
If you want to write music in English, why move to LA? You can stay in Moscow. – Moscow is a modern, European city…
– Yes. Where people speak every
language. You can stay and write
there. Little Big, I know they make a different
kind of music, but still, staying in Saint Petersburg didn’t
stop Little Big from going international and coming here this
spring with a tour. Half of their European tour is already
sold out. Yes, that’s true. I think it’s a different
deal. I really wanted to soak in the vibe that
exists only here. When it’s winter and -30 °C outside,
you can’t think about America and
whatnot and write music that they’d
dig here. You’re right about
Little Big. But they have a different
concept. Their idea from the
get-go was: we’re video makers, we shoot
videos, and then the numbers
will tell. It’s a huge amount
of work that they did staying at home,
true. You can only respect and applaud them
for that. But I wanted to do my thing
here and not be bothered, ’cause when you’re
at home, there’s a bunch of
distractions: friends, drinks, parties, girls, anything. Here, I can focus and sit down and write music, and not be
distracted. It’s awesome. Can you offer a few bits
of advice to guys like you in 2008, almost like
you in 2008, who rejected their ability to eventually make more
with their craft in Russia because they can’t resist America?
They can’t resist it! My first, well, it’s not really advice, it’s more
like observations. It’s not advice, more like… Yeah I don’t want
to advise anyone. – Bits of experience.
– Bits of my experience that might not even help. First, you need to have a clear idea why
you came to America. Either because you feel good and
at home there or because you came to achieve
something. ‘Cause a lot of people
mix up… Rather, can’t quite comprehend the scenario
where they realize they probably won’t achieve anything, but they just
feel at home here. – These are different things.
– More sunny days per year. Of course! Second, I think
that… You need to properly account for
your abilities in this American competition where the whole
country is all about it, where the culture of success and winning is king and
everyone chases after them. You have to sometimes look around
in this race to see if you’re running with the right people
and in the right direction, ’cause maybe you just need to step aside
and let them pass, and then get where you need to go at
your own pace. I think being sober like that towards
this matter can really help achieve success,
achieve what you want. And third, when you reach said
success, you need to keep in mind that it’s
not forever, that every success has a beginning and some
sort of an end. You can see it in biographies of great people,
great directors, who first made great movies, then super
great movies, and then, for the longest time, really not
great movies. I think you have to… The most important and impressive story is
to achieve success and then, if you happen to regress
in your career, find the strength to get back
to the top. What are the examples in your profession,
in cinema? In my profession, you can look at
Alfonso Cuarón, who made two successful films
first, then he made a very unsuccessful film
panned by critics. It was a complete failure of a movie, and he
said it himself in interviews. Then he sat down, he thought a bit and went to Mexico with a handheld
camera and shot Y Tu Mamá También, which has to be one of his
best films. Then he made
Children of Men. Then he made Gravity. And then he
made Roma. This person did not panic because
of failure. And I partly think that Andrey Zvyagintsev made
an amazing debut with The Return, which garnered a bunch
of awards. Then he made a
sort of a poorly understood, widely misunderstood and widely
rejected film The Banishment. Despite winning Best Male Role at the
Cannes Film Festival, this film is very difficult. It’s difficult
to approach. And I think 90% of Russian
directors would’ve said: “You’re all morons.
You didn’t get it.” And then they would’ve made
The Banishment 2, 3, 4, 5… But he sat down and
washed up, and went on to make Elena,
then Leviathan, and then Loveless, where he completely changed his
cinematic language and switched to literal scripts, and literal rules,
and literal drama. He adopted those in place of,
let’s say, a visually lyrical world, where names, objects, and other things are
not what they appear. I love stories like that, ’cause to me, this ability to come back up
after falling is sometimes more powerful than the ability
to just keep going. What is your ambition? My ambition is to shoot movies I’d want
to watch myself; to work in both cinematography and, if what’s
coming up works out… Actually, to try new things and grow
as a person and just tell stories. Because I realized that’s what I love most
about movies. You know, there’s this gilded
figurine… That ties into the previously mentioned
Olympics. I don’t participate
anymore. I think it’s a horrible goal
to have. If I get it, cool. If I don’t,
cool still. What did you think of Leonardo
DiCaprio’s story, whom this figurine
kept… kept dodging. You know, I think Leonardo DiCaprio
is kind of a… I mean, maybe he
wanted it. But he’s such a smart
performer. Did you know, for example, that Leonardo
DiCaprio buys scripts in which he will be able to play characters
in ten years? In other words, in ten years, he will be
old Leonardo DiCaprio, and he already has three scripts with roles for
old Leonardo DiCaprio. – You mean he’ll produce AND play?
– Yes. He knows that in ten years, he will be old
and right for this role, but he buys this
script now. – And no one else can play it, because he bought it.
– Yes. So I was never worried for
DiCaprio. What do you have to achieve
here to say: my conquest of the States
succeeded? I don’t… I don’t dream of selling out something like
MGM Grand, you know? [MGM Grand is a hotel and casino in Las Vegas]
I don’t dream of selling out something like
MGM Grand, you know? [MGM Grand is a hotel and casino in Las Vegas]
But if I get featured in some show,
let’s say, But if I get featured in some show,
let’s say, even on the Internet, on Netflix or
something, as part of something,
then I… One of the guest
artists. Then I’ll be content,
yeah. I used to have a dream when
I was little. In my ninth year, I wanted to
make a film. And my dream had an
extension — I wanted to get an Oscar,
to win an Oscar. I dreamed of becoming a film director
before Comedy Club. I joined Comedy because I figured it was
a shorter path to cinema than Sverdlovsk Film
School. So… I attended it.
In Sverdlovsk. I wanted to come up on stage
with the Oscar. I even rehearsed a speech. You know
when you… When you’re falling asleep or
showering, you sometimes answer Pozner’s
questions. From Proust Questionnaire. After you came along, I started answering
your flash quiz. I’m in the shower, rubbing myself, thinking:
“I if stood before…” I thought I’d win an Oscar
and say: “See? We, Russians, aren’t
idiots. “As you’re used to
thinking.” This used to really
bother me. I’d go: “We don’t have bears in
the streets. “We, too, can make good
films. “Thank you, and don’t think
ill of us.’ Something like that,
you know? But because Oscar is
becoming… The Oscars are dying, like television
is dying. The Oscars are dying as
an award. I don’t want to win it
anymore. – But through stand-up…
– But the idea is the same. Yeah, I’m saying with my stand-up
comedy that… guys, we exist too. What’s the ultimate goal of
your trip? What has to happen to make you say:
this wasn’t a waste. I can already say that it wasn’t
a waste. Again, I radically changed mentally
and musically. Truly radically. I can’t say what’s coming for me
or that in case I end up failing and they don’t extend my visa,
I won’t go home. I won’t say that. Obviously, I’ll give it my all
to stay. But I don’t regret coming,
100%. I realize now that the time I spent comfortably
I flushed down the toilet. I really did, in the sense that I could’ve done
so much more, compared to simply… basically, going to work. Touring was work. I wasn’t creating
anything. I wasn’t thinking or coming up
with things. I mean, yeah, I did something, but it
was meager. The relationship between Russia and the
USA is bad. Does it somehow
affect you? Americans are actually
very… not just not racist, but extremely tolerant
to other cultures. That’s a part of their
culture. They have a special attitude towards
Russians. It’s usually kind of
wary-inquisitive, or wary- respectful? It’s hard to
explain. But it’s completely different to how they treat
the French, the Italians, the British. With them, they’re the way we are with
Belorussians or Ukrainians. – There’s a feeling of friendship, love…
– Brotherhood! To us, they’re like,
“Yeah, hi.” And a slightly inspecting
look. But it has no effect. They’re perfectly open.
I have a lot of friends. But after Mr. Trump took
office, well, there was a sensation
of hysteria about Russia and
Russians. And there was a sort of, I wouldn’t call
it a witch hunt, it’s probably too
dramatic, but a bit of a re-evaluation of disposition
towards us. Obviously, smarter people didn’t
partake in it at all. But we only have ourselves to blame for their
wary disposition. I believe this applies to most cases.
I’ll explain. I travel around the world
a lot. I’ve been to and worked in many
countries. I arrive. Someone asks: “Where are you from?”
“I’m from Russia.” “Yeah, yeah, my grandpa’s from there,
from western Ukraine. “They ran away from the army.”
“Yeah, it happened a lot during WWII.” In another place. “Where are you from?”
“Russia.” “Yeah, I have relatives in
Hungary. “They fled after the
revolution hit.” “Where are you from?” “Russia.”
“You guys make good weapons.” And at some point,
you feel that you would prefer to hear people say:
“Yeah, I read War and Peace. It’s brilliant. “Russian writers are
great.” But everywhere we go we leave a
trail of violence. Maybe we do it involuntarily.
To survive. But it ends up becoming our thing, our main
feature kind of deal. And a lot of people are
proud that we are so strong and can kick
someone’s ass. But in me, it only evokes
confusion. Because Russian culture, Russian people…
Take the recent World Cup that two of my friends came
to watch. My assistants came to
Russia, they said: “Dude, Moscow is my
favorite city now. “I want to live here. Moscow and Paris are two
of the biggest cities in my life.” We’re incredibly hospitable, perfectly European,
perfectly normal. We just need to drop our inferiority
complex and stop compensating it with endless
aggression. We need to be who
we are — a normal, friendly, talented, and open
nation. And I think it’s sad what happened during
the World Cup, when they canceled foreigners’
visas. They could’ve come and seen that we don’t
have bears in the streets, that people are cheerful and nobody’s
mugging them, that we have clean streets, beautiful girls,
a wonderful cuisine. That’s what we need to do —
open the country and let people from around the world come and
see how beautiful it is. Then, when they meet you abroad,
they won’t recall that their grandpa fled the
reds. They’ll say: “We’ve been to Russia.
It was cool.” I think that’s important.
The second thing which I find our major problem is that
we live in the past. I left in 2008. I’d tune into Echo of Moscow
radio station and hear discussions of whether Stalin
was good or bad. I came back in 2018. I tuned into Echo of Moscow:
“Was Stalin good or bad?” All I hear in America is: “In 30 years, we’ll have a base on Mars with
1000 people producing oxygen, “this oxygen will become…” “We can live forever!”
“We will travel to other planets!” Their nation lives in the future.
We live in the past. As long as we live in the past, nothing is
gonna change. We’ll be stuck in this karmic cycle
with no escape. And yeah, people WILL resent and
mistrust us, and we will feel
uncomfortable. So the sooner we move on to the future and
let go of the past, the sooner the way people feel about
us will change. And every person, Russian and non-Russian
but from Russia, from our huge multi-ethnic
country, will feel a lot more
liberated by doing these simple, trivial


  1. вДудь Author

    Друзья! Это снова 4К, поэтому нужно будет потерпеть, пока все все загрузится в полном качестве.
    Кое-что из внутренностей:

    0:59 Незлобин пытается попасть на американский Открытый микрофон 
    2:54 «За 10 месяцев секс у меня был только однажды»
    4:02 Незлоб о своeм первом стендапе в Америке 
    6:06 Почему гитарист «Тараканов» уехал в Штаты? 
    7:08 «Отряд Самоубийц», «Ярость» и «Яркость» снял русский оператор. Ого!
    8:29 Сколько стоят продукты в США? (Ого!!!)
    10:14 Про лучшего ютуб-кореша Дудя
    13:19 Как Васьянов попал в кино
    16:14 В чем разница киноиндустрии России и Америки? 
    17:57 Первый съемочный день в Америке 
    20:46 В каких условиях в Штатах живет Незлобин? 
    25:37 В каких условиях в Штатах живет Стравинский? 
    28:28 Где живет Васьянов? 
    30:06 Бомжи в Калифорнии тоже ходят в киношколу. Настоящие бомжи
    31:44 Как Васьянов получил свой первый фильм в Америке
    33:02 Зачем он свалил в Штаты? 
    34:33 Сколько.Ты.Зарабатываешь? 
    36:03 Чего Незлобину не хватает на родине?
    40:06 Что у Стравинского пошло не так?
    42:50 «Здесь пахнет сломанными судьбами» 
    45:13 45 млн долларов за три часа или какие бабки платят американским стендаперам
    50:00 Очень важное и классное о нашем менталитете
    57:35 Почему Незлобин ушел с ТНТ? 
    1:00:39 Посмотрите, как выглядит обычная школа в Лос-Анджелесе
    1:01:42 Почему русский народ так любит страдать?
    1:06:30 Почему «Отряд самоубийц» не зашел критикам? 
    1:07:29 Илон Макс покурил в эфире и акции Тесла упали 
    1:07:59 Система открытых микрофонов – как она работает? 
    1:14:55 История американской комедии 
    1:15:38 Три самых красивых фрагмента мирового кино 
    1:20:19 Кое-что из цитатника мудрой жены (в данном случае – жены Незлобина)
    1:23:33 «Каждый в России ждет, что ты провалишься» 
    1:23:33 Зачем переезжать в Штаты, чтобы писать музыку? Это же можно делать и в России
    1:26:15 Советы Васьянова о том, как достичь успеха в Америке
    1:31:40 Глобальная мечта Незлобина 
    1:33:32 Глобальная мечта Стравинского
    1:34:34 Отношение к русским в мире; две наши главные проблемы

  2. Anella Edel' Author

    15:40 абсолютно согласна! Почему в России нет агентств талантов, креативных людей, киношников? В России киношники работают буквально за еду и ещё и в спартанских условиях… в США (Канаде, Австралии) права людей соблюдаются…

  3. Дмитрий Курамшин Author

    с превеликим удовольствием посмотрел этот "проект". И смысл его сразу был обозначен – просто не сиди на жопе ровно. Может на некоторых людей даже повлияет в лучшую сторону.

  4. Ana Author

    Красота по-американски — мой любимый фильм. Плакала после него всю ночь, когда только увидела. Кстати, не знаю, что имел ввиду Васьянов про говорящую камеру в сцене с пистолетом, но такое завершение фильма спокойно просматривалось, было вполне логичным и очевидным

  5. Анастасия Завалюева Author

    Пригласите, пожалуйста, Андрея Владимировича Курпатова. Это бесконечно интересный человек. С ним можно обсудить всё (ну кроме той чуши, которую пыталась обсудить Собчак). Самое интересное – это, конечно, вопросы цифрового слабоумия у детей, вопросы стремительно наступающего будущего. Его книга Четвёртая мировая – это же восхитительно.

  6. Артём Ефименко Author

    На финальной речи Васьянова аж прозрел – как просто вроде бы, но как точно. Невероятно просто!

  7. Анна Турицына Author

    Когда только вышел трейлер "Ярости", на первых секундах показалось, что это будет русский фильм, не знаю, почему. И тут оператор называет это "советское кино с Брэдом Питтом". Неожиданно

  8. Ksynja93 Author

    Объединять интервью такого глубокого человека как Васьянов с Незлобиным и "тараканом" просто неуместно.. Хотелось бы исключительно его послушать

  9. Максим Авилов Author

    Полежать в теплой водичке, это чувак говорит, который в LA живет, где мать его океан теплой водички

  10. ThisisSYNDICATE Author

    Очень крутой выпуск! Чел, который снимает коно вообще все грамотно раскидал! Респ🙌🏼

  11. Артём Харитонов Author

    Незлобин, все получится, умные люди тебя тоже смотрят и держат кулачки!

  12. Daniel Anohin Author

    Кстати этой весной "Лето" было в прокате в Испании, даже на Канарах крутили с успехом.

  13. Дмитрий Швыдкий Author

    В ответе на вопрос "Зачем поехал в Голливуд" мне показалось определенное лукавство. Захотел мирового признания, захотел лучшей жизни, больше денег, лучшей работы. Со всего мира ломятся в Голливуд. Чего тут стесняться?

  14. Дмитрий Швыдкий Author

    Интересно, какие у Стравинского билеты были в Москве? 10 баксов за билет, вполне себе цена для российской местячковой группы, даже ещё и больше.

  15. юрий павлов Author

    посмотрел фильм Тройная граница .Да , оператор хорош.Фильм только
    Говно )

  16. Великий Додда Author

    Дудь как можно было не спросить у Васьянова как это смотреть как Марго Робби переодевается перед тобой

  17. владислав валеев Author

    очень интересно и познавательно!Юра побольше такого!расширяй кругозор)

  18. Дмитрий Швыдкий Author

    Странно, что Васьянов говоря про "визуал" не слова не сказал не про китайцев, не про японцев, не про индийцев. Чан Имоу, Чан Кайге, Джонни То, Вонг Кар Вай. Поверить не могу, что он их не смотрел. И он говорит, что такие фильмы в мире не снимаются?

  19. Дмитрий Швыдкий Author

    Про Кубок Мира конечно, тоже, есть определенное лукавство. Ибо Васьянов не может не знать, как это все делалось, и что стало уже на следующий день после его завершения.

  20. Денис Белолюбский Author

    Очень душевно,больше спасибо и респект за отличное видео!

  21. Anton shutterstock Author

    В том, что Россию так воспринимают немалая вина и зарубежных СМИ. Почему вы, говоря об агрессивной России, не вспоминаете сколько войн устроили США – Вьетнам, Ирак, Сирия… Так же как наши СМИ делают образ Америки, то же самое делают и на Западе. Гребаная политика!( А про "Войну и Мир", так умные люди и там знают Толстого, Достоевского и другую классику.

  22. Anton shutterstock Author

    Кстати, о прекрасном будущем – посмотрите фильм с Лео ДиКаприо в качестве посла ООН "СПАСТИ ПЛАНЕТУ". В нем даже сам Лео сомневается, что американцы правильно живут!!!!)

  23. Татьяна Короткова Author

    Оч, здорово!! Васьянов покорил! Прямо символ человека, воспринимающего опыт и работающего над ошибками, мудрый мужчина! Николай удивил, бесконечными трудами и харизмой, у нас тут рок-музыкантов дефицит, а он там прозябает, чеши домой, негодник!! Несмотря на уважение к Незлобину, не покидало чувство жалости к нему!

  24. Ольга Чернопольская Author

    Роман, слушать Вас одно удовольствие! Невероятно глубоко и до мурашек💪🔥

  25. Katty Q Author

    Подписалась после этого ролика с запахом свободы! Это было очень СИЛЬНО!!! <3

  26. Velast Author

    150 баксов на семью из 4х в неделю… поберег бы он семью свою питаться "пластмассой":) за 400 зелени питаться неделю это нормально, если ты заботишься о своем здоровье и здоровье твоей семьи.

  27. Жанна Исабаева Zhanna Issabayeva Author

    Почему ОПЯТЬ одни мужчины? В Голливуде много женщин из России пытаются пробиться: актрисы, продюсеры, гримеры сценаристки( Лиля Ким). Почему бы для разнообразия хотя бы одну женщину не показать? Дудь, я тебя уважаю но ты чёртов сексист.

  28. maryguess1 Author

    Это потрясающе! В очередной раз хочу сказать: "Огромное спасибо тебе и твоей команде, Юра!"

  29. Джонни Монни Author

    И все таки Сталин был прав или не прав ??? Я думаю лет через 30 точно узнаем )))

  30. Дарья Таирова Author

    Спасибо. Отличный выпуск. Вновь с помощью Дудя получила мотивационного пинка)))

  31. Andrei Iudin Author

    Молодцы ребята. можно как угодно относиться к их творчеству. но нельзя не уважать за смелость, целеустремленность, трудолюбие и преданность своему делу. К Незлобину всегда относился противоречиво и даже с небольшим уклоном в негатив, но за такое стал уважать. Удачи всем. Искренне.
    P.S. Слова Васьянова про искусство необычайно точные. Пробило насквозь.

  32. Grong74 Author

    что я понял? валить надо туда, а тут тебя будут иметь бывшие уголовники из -90-ых

  33. OlegK 51 Author

    Когда я вижу комика или гитариста мне хочется выключить видео.Оператор-красавчег!Тебе респект за это шоу.

  34. Иван Иванов Author

    Наконец-то Незлобин нормально подстригся)))) удачи ему все получится

  35. Ана З Author

    Незлобин скучный, примитивный, человек, который будет быстро забыт как в России, так и в Америке. Человек совсем не развит и такое ощущение, что развиваться совсем не стремится, просто хочет быстрого бабла

  36. Lana Parfe-nova Author

    Я здесь после упоминания этого выпуска в видео Александра Короля.
    Юрий! Снимите интервью с Александром. Вот это порвет все шаблоны

    Ваш эпизод просто невероятный! Все участники смелые люди, спасибо им за то, что показали и рассказали правду о своей Американской мечте. Это очень отрезвляет!

  37. nikitoss 836 Author

    Васьянов единственный, кого реально интересно слушать) Давайте отдельное интервью с ним)


    Юрий благодарю Вас за мощное видео, которое заставляет реально взглянуть на многое, в том числе и увидеть настоящих смелых и дерзких людей!

  39. Афон Слепцовский Author

    01:38:08 "Был Сталин прав, не был Сталин прав" – Дудь улыбается и думает про свой следующий фильм про Колыму:)

  40. Alex Shady Author

    Людей, которых сначала унижают, а потом они имеют деньги, да и вообще возможность делать то же самое с другими, как правило, их рвет от денег и этих же возможностей. Незлобин клевый чувак, то с этим моментом я не согласен.

  41. Kira Logvenova Author

    под видео ни одного плохого коментария, знак отлично проделанной работы к которой даже не предраться!

  42. GFT Author

    Все я смотрю тут прям потекли от красивых слов человека, который то что ему нужно уже добился и как говорится- хорошо устроился. Я скажу вам, всем тем кто тут испытывает оргазмы от красивых слов чуваков с экрана, вы простые никому не известные люди, так и будете жить дальше ТАКЖЕ как и 90 процентов населения РФ. Это истории не про вас, ни про менеджеров мелких московских контор, ни про учителя и про воспитателя детского сада в какой нибудь Перми или Туле или Москве ни про врача из детской поликлиники номер 8. Не забывайте кто вам и что говорит с экрана. Люди восхищающиеся тарковскими и звягинцевыми, левиафанами и т д и тп. восхищайтесь дальше, когда в очередной раз на своей никому не нужной работке будете ждать зп которой хватит на жкх и макдональдс, обязательно вспомните любителей сша эти талантливых творческих людей которые вам раскажут как надо по-американски жить и думать, ведь там все сосредотачение мира, а вам предлагается забыть о прошлом, это очиудобно американцам, что бы вы забыли погибших прадедов на войне и оивойне забыли и о том как ссср спас мир от гитлера, тоже забудьте, восхищайтесь илоном маском джобсом, ведь оусские не имели никаких достижений, не было ничего кроме агрессии как говорят вам с экрана дуди, говорят вам какие то сомнительные операторы, снявшие говнофильмы, они говорят вам, забудьте прошлое, ничего ваша страна при ссср не создала ни сделала ни чем не прославилась, только прага, венгрия, война, агрессия. Не было ни великих строек, ученых, ни гагарина ни чего. Восхищайтесь дальше псевдомотивационными речами, коньюктурщиков и космополитов с тнт и панков. Заебись, так победим, молодцы

  43. Kristina Razmerova Author

    Очень сильный монолог в конце, потрясающе. Нужно прекращать замещать комплексы агрессией, мы ведь талантливые и дружелюбные, мы умеем гораздо больше, чем привыкли верить.
    Очень правильно. Я тоже живу за границей, нас реально супер заметно по агрессии и какому-то задерганному языку тела.

  44. Maria Zakharova Author

    Очень круто, что Москва нравится иностранным гостям. Очень жаль, что уже нельзя сказать, что и вся остальная Россия тоже похожа на Москву. К сожалению Москва и Россия это разные территории.


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