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New film adaptation of "Gloomy River": Why Julia Peresild was afraid of the reaction of Lyudmila Chursina
New film adaptation of "Gloomy River": Why Julia Peresild was afraid of the reaction of Lyudmila Chursina

On March 9, the screening of Yuri Moroz's 16-episode series "Gloomy River", a new screen version of the novel of the same name by Vyacheslav Shishkov, started showing, and from the very first episodes the project caused a wide response. Comparisons with the Soviet film of 1968 are inevitable, and the opinions of critics and viewers were divided: some call the new version more complete and dynamic, while others are disappointed with the selection of actors. The project participants themselves did not stay away from the discussions: the performer of the role of Anfisa Yulia Peresild was afraid of how Lyudmila Chursina, who played the same role, would perceive her work, and her reaction was not long in coming.

What is the difference between the new film adaptation from the Soviet "Gloomy River"

Still from the movie Gloom River, 1968

The four-part television film "Gloomy River" directed by Yaropolk Lapshin was at one time very popular with viewers and has long become a recognized classic of Soviet cinema. Professor-culturologist, film critic N. Kirillova wrote about this film: "".

Julia Peresild and Alexander Baluev in the TV series Gloom River, 2020

Directors who create remakes of everyone's favorite Soviet films always run the risk of becoming an object of devastating criticism, because new versions, as a rule, cannot be compared with recognized classics, and any modernization of an old plot usually looks ridiculous. However, judging by the ratings and resonance among the audience, it became clear from the first episodes that the new "Gloomy River" certainly cannot be called a failure and unsuccessful. Although it is still far from the end of the screening, in the first week there were dozens of reviews and reviews of this film. The opinions of critics and viewers were divided, but already by their number it is clear: Yuri Moroz's project has become an event in the film world.

Shot from the TV series Gloomy River, 2020

First of all, it should be noted that, in essence, Yuri Moroz's film is not a remake of Yaropolk Lapshin's "Gloomy River", because in the first film version of the novel only some plot lines were used, and the 2020 series was the first full screen version of Shishkov's work. The director also made no attempts to modernize the plot or transfer it to new realities. Critics write that Moroz translated this material into the language of today due to the dynamism of the plot, the rapid rhythm of the narrative and the shift in emphasis from the class struggle, which was at the center of the Soviet film, to the love line and personal relationships of the heroes. In addition, the beauty of Siberia's nature was lost on the black-and-white film of the Soviet film, and in the new series it seems to become the main character of the story.

A film novel instead of a film story

Series producers Evgeny Evstigneev, Konstantin Ernst and director Yuri Moroz

The project was produced by Konstantin Ernst and Evgeny Evstigneev. The latter said: "".

Shot from the TV series Gloomy River, 2020

Director Yuri Moroz has already given several interviews, in which he explained his idea: the Soviet version was more of a movie story, and the new one became a movie novel - 16 episodes instead of 4. Several plot lines of the novel were expanded and added to make the motivation of the characters' actions clearer. The director is sure that the majority of young viewers have not seen the 1968 film, and the new film adaptation will be their first acquaintance with Shishkov's novel.

Alexander Gorbatov as Prokhor Gromov

According to Moroz, this work does not lose its relevance today and can be read in a new way: "".

Two Anfisa

Lyudmila Chursina as Anfisa in the Gloomy River, 1968

In any new version of old films, the selection of actors traditionally evokes a flurry of criticism - if only because the audience fell in love with Soviet film characters, and it is already very difficult to imagine any other actors in the same images. Especially in those cases when the film work became one hundred percent hitting the target - as in the case of Anfisa Lyudmila Chursina.

People's Artist of the USSR Lyudmila Chursina

In addition to the obvious visual appeal, her heroine has what is called the word "sweetness". Her beauty is fatal, her inner strength is crushing, and the depth in her gaze is bottomless. It is simply impossible to “replay” the actress in this image, but Yulia Peresild did not set herself such a task.

Julia Peresild on the set of the TV series Gloom River, 2020

Of course, Julia Peresild was the first to come under the spotlight of critics and viewers. The actress understood the full degree of responsibility and was afraid of the reaction of the audience, but first of all - of her predecessor, Lyudmila Chursina. The 79-year-old actress watched the first episodes and immediately commented on them: "".

Julia Peresild as Anfisa

Julia Peresild breathed a sigh of relief when she heard the flattering review of one of the best Soviet actresses, whom she considers great without exaggeration, and admitted that it was her opinion that was very important to her. Those viewers who drew parallels with the Soviet film were disappointed with the choice of the actress for this role, but there is no need to compare, because Peresild created a completely different picture of the role - her Anfisa is more eccentric, brave, daring and desperate.

Filming difficulties

Shot from the TV series Gloomy River, 2020

Director Yuri Moroz said that he would not read reviews and comments until at least 12 episodes out of 16 were released, because they began to write after the first 4 episodes, although it will be possible to add up a full picture of the new film adaptation only in the final. The only thing that can be judged right now is that the project has become one of the most difficult in its implementation over the past few years. During the year of filming, the film crew made 7 expeditions and changed 3 difficult locations related to traveling along the river, where the actors had to cross the rapids on the Iset River in the Urals by boat.

Shot from the TV series Gloomy River, 2020

In reality, the Gloom River does not exist - its prototype for the writer was the lower tributary of the Yenisei, the Lower Tunguska. The filming of the series by Yuri Moroz took place in several locations: in the Urals, in the vicinity of Yekaterinburg, in Minsk, Kineshma, Suzdal and in the Moscow region. The most difficult were the expeditions to Siberia - the filming took place in hard-to-reach places, 100-150 km away from settlements. The director explained this by the fact that he wanted to capture the real nature, so that the audience would believe in the authenticity of what was happening.

On the set of the series

Another drama series could be shot about the life of the actors who starred in the Soviet film adaptation: How did the fate of the stars of "Gloom River".

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