MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
We look into the office where the director worked and examine items reminiscent of the filming of his films.
In 2005, Eldar Ryazanov thought about opening a cinema center for a musical and comedy film, where his friends – actors, musicians, directors – would communicate with the audience. The cinema club, located in the reconstructed building of the cinema “Kazakhstan”, has become a real outlet for the director. On the arrangement of “Eldar”, to which Ryazanov devoted the last 10 years of his life, he worked with the same inspiration as on his famous paintings.
Especially for the director’s birthday, Eldar employees Elena Gurko and Alexei Kuznetsov organized a virtual tour for mos.ru readers.
Small European town
Since October 12, “Eldar” has a new name – now it is not a cinema club-museum, but a cinema-concert hall. People’s Artist of Russia Oleg Mityaev, who was appointed its artistic director in March 2021, plans to focus on concert activities: there are many meetings and creative evenings ahead. Despite the fact that the word “museum” has disappeared from the name, “Eldar” does not refuse museum activities. Here you can still see items related to the filming of films, photographs, and parts of the scenery. The plans are to open a large museum and place there more than 300 exhibits from the Eldar funds, most of which have not been exhibited before.
The entire interior of Eldar was designed by Ryazanov together with his friend, production designer Alexander Borisov, with whom he worked on Garage, Office Novel, Irony of Fate and other paintings. The director called Borisov his tuning fork and said that it was he who came up with a wonderful idea: Zhenya Lukashin and Nadya Sheveleva should be new settlers.
Together they decided that the Eldar foyer would carry visitors to the square of a small European town with a fountain, columns covered with antique posters and a parked car. The latter plays the role of not only a decoration, but also a museum exhibit: in 2003 he was filmed in Ryazanov’s film “The Key to the Bedroom”.
What is the area without a monument? Guests in the lobby are greeted by three sculptures by Zurab Tsereteli, depicting directors Leonid Gaidai, Georgy Danelia and Ryazanov himself. Three legends of Soviet cinema, they worked at the same time, without competing and maintaining excellent human relations. Three more mannequin figures are looking down from a small balcony: actors Andrei Mironov and Yuri Nikulin, who starred with Ryazanov and Gaidai, and Charlie Chaplin, whom Eldar Alexandrovich loved very much.
The chair that stood next to Detochkin
We go around the car – and now we are in the room dedicated to the film “Andersen. Life without love “(2006). The mini-museum contains props that were preserved after filming: costumes made by artist Natalya Ivanova, laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation, as well as elements of scenery, models, props, on which artist Lyudmila Kusakova worked. The work of Ivanova and Kusakova was awarded the Nika Prize. Andersen was Ryazanov’s last feature film, although the director conceived a picture of his favorite Danish storyteller back in 1963.
The movie “Cruel Romance” (1984) is reminiscent of the restaurant of the same name. The prototype of its interior was “Swallow” – the ship of the rich man Sergei Paratov, on board of which the most dramatic events unfold in the play by Alexander Ostrovsky “The Dowry”, which is the basis of the script. Ryazanov did not strive to exactly repeat the interiors of the steamer from the film – it was more important to convey the atmosphere of a river walk.
The Cruel Romance restaurant, as well as the Beware of the Car cafe located in the lower lobby, are temporarily closed to visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is still impossible to drink tea or have a bite there, but these premises are interesting in and of themselves.
All the chairs in the cafe are personalized – the names of almost all the directors and actors with whom Ryazanov worked are indicated on the backs. Between the stairs and the bar, an inverted car is suspended directly on the ceiling, reminiscent of the name of the film to anyone who happens to be under it. This is not the legendary Moskvich that Yuri Detochkin is hijacking – he is kept in the Mosfilm film studio. But one of the objects that were filmed in “Beware of the Car” is here – this is an armchair from an amateur theater. Do you remember how the heroes of Innokenty Smoktunovsky and Oleg Efremov, under the direction of the director (Evgeny Evstigneev), “swing at William our Shakespeare” – play in “Hamlet”? The chair that stands in the cafe today depicts the royal throne in this scene. Nearby you can see a poster with the words “Yuri Detochkin in the title role” inviting you to the premiere in the film.
The large premises of the cafe are occupied by four mini-museums dedicated to the work of Ryazanov himself and his colleagues. One of the walls is set aside for the mini-museum of the People’s Artist of Russia directed by Alla Surikova. Alla Ilyinichna transferred most of the photographs from the filming of her films to Eldar herself, being a close friend of Ryazanov.
Another mini-museum is dedicated to George Danelia. The gift of the photographer Yuri Rost, who was friends with him, is carefully kept here – a small model of a pepelats, a fantastic aircraft from the film “Kin-dza-dza!” It was used in combined filming.
The main exhibit of the mini-museum dedicated to Leonid Gaidai is a collage made from frames of his comedies. By the way, an attentive admirer of Soviet cinema can easily find an exhibit related to Gaidai’s work in the museum of the film “Andersen”. This is one of 12 chairs from the director’s comedy of the same name. It was presented to Ryazanov by the wife of Leonid Iovich, Nina Grebeshkova.
In the mini-museum of Eldar Alexandrovich himself, one can see Rembrandt’s “Portrait of a Young Man with a Lace Collar”, or rather a copy of it, created specifically for the film “Old Robbers” – the original of the painting is kept in the State Hermitage Museum. Looking back, we will see greetings from yet another film of the master – a model of a train filmed in “Promised Heaven”. Here are the crackers with the names and release dates of all Ryazanov’s films.
Friends in the life of “Eldar” are a special topic. On the second floor there is a corridor dedicated to concerts and creative evenings that took place here. The walls are hung with posters with autographs of the speakers – this is a special pride and a good tradition. Ryazanov himself was very fond of skits, where he invited his favorite actors, musicians, singers. Today, as far as possible, they are also trying to arrange them.
Nikolai Tsiskaridze, Alisa Freindlich, Sergei Soloviev, Anastasia Vertinskaya, Evgeny Mironov, Alexander Filippenko, Evgeny Yevtushenko, Bella Akhmadullina, Vasily Lanovoy and many others – you cannot name everyone who has ever stepped on this stage. You can look at the posters and read the kind words and wishes left by them for a very long time.
This corridor covered with posters leads to Ryazanov’s former office. Now it is occupied by the current artistic director – People’s Artist of Russia Oleg Mityaev. One of the founder’s friends, Mityaev often performed here during his lifetime and now holds the high bar set by Eldar Ryazanov. Even in the office everything remained as it was under the previous owner: the same table and chair, portraits of friends on the walls, awards that the director received.
There are also posters of the most important films – from “Spring Voices”, the first feature film in the director’s career, to the main New Year comedy “Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!”. A poster with hieroglyphs decorated in red and yellow tones immediately attracts attention – it invited residents of one of the Chinese cities to the show of the musical comedy “Carnival Night”. The Chinese viewers, by the way, were delighted with this naughty comedy and were ready to carry in their arms the director and the leading performers who came with him, Lyudmila Gurchenko and Igor Ilyinsky. The film made a splash at home as well, becoming the leader of the Soviet box office in 1956.
Above his chair, Eldar Aleksandrovich hung a poster “A Man from Nowhere” (1961). One of the director’s favorite films, it was banned from showing after being at the box office for only one or two days. The picture was called unscientific fantasy, which should not have a place on the Soviet screen. The ban was lifted only in 1988.
In addition, there are posters of such films as “Station for two”, “Beware of the car”, “Hello, fools!” other. Many of them exist in a single copy, and you can see them only here.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.