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            It is so wonderful that each time the context is different.

            The day before yesterday or yesterday Alimpiev spoke about the necessity of confessionalism, that an artist who makes cinema and this way or that assumes the role of judge in the sphere of ethics is sooner or later doomed to make a film-confession about himself. Or, anyway, as soon as he does it, he’ll have a moral right to try to comprehend others’ life. I can’t judge Mr. Leman’s creative work by just one picture shown yesterday. It looks to me more like a mystification, than an autobiographical research. Besides, Tatiana (Daniliants) emphasized that the author rather creates a myth about his life than some sort of confession. In this connection, I remember two films that I would call genuinely autobiographical. To retell their content is a sin, but, nevertheless, the initial position of these two pictures is remarkable.

                Many of you saw one of them; and I guess only a few saw the second one. The first was «Sherman’s campaign», an American film that amazed all of us about ten years ago. It was a totally outstanding piece of work at that time when the author didn’t have a video camera (it wasn’t born yet!), he put on his shoulder a portable 16mm and made a trip to the homeland of his first love, of his first formation as a man, to one of the American states. His route coincided with that of general Sherman’s army... This picture was striking in it utmost sincerity and ability for - I wouldn’t say self-exposure- self-irony. The thing is that, to my mind, in an autobiographical film we deal with shootings in the present and reflecting on them afterwards. And this junction - reflection on what I have shot on the condition, of course, of a certain approach, creates that wonderful combination of naturalness, confessionalism on the one side, and irony, from the other.

            It is hard to watch a film of an author who is particularly serious about himself. Any autobiographical action, to my mind, must contain at least irony. Otherwise you feel uncomfortable. The passages of the yesterday’s film made me fell awkward, not because I didn’t understand a half of it - it’s me personal problem - but because in that context I didn’t find any nearness to life or confessionalism...

            About the second film. We saw - Andrei, Leo, Serguei - an amazing Danish film, half-professional, as it seems at first glance. In Riga, last spring. A man made a film about himself, alone. A cinema-amateur! Then this amateur work was arranged by a professional. The extent of confessionalism is fantastic! The man tells his love story, how he fell in love, how the woman didn’t want to accept his love for a long time, how she finally did but them she abandoned him, how much he suffered and how he, in the end of the film, met her. There’s nothing but this openness, no hidden - God, I’m such an idiot! - in that picture. But it’s fantastic! He sets his camera, sits down in front of it, turns it on and confesses is a most resolute way. Having decided to leave that house, he wants to get rid of everything that tied him to it. He kills the dog. The wonderful dog, prettiest creature that connected him to life. When madam has left, he kills the dog on screen. On screen!.. Then he discusses with us, spectators, why he has done it.

            I suppose that in our discussions about time, in our theoretical premises we still have to stay on the level of the mentioned quote from Avvacum: «soul is non-ephemeral». Mr. Leman is, no doubt, a good constructor. He is a man of elegant constructions (sorry again that I’m making deductions before I have watched at least one more of his works). But what I already seen makes me think that the non-ephemerality  of soul is not important for this professional. Before us is a special kind of autobiographical creative work, where the formal component dominates. And to my mind, it shouldn’t dominate in revelations about oneself on screen.

Thank you