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Activities - 13/10/2011


27 Times Cinema - The Portraits - Cinema Riga - Riga - Latvia


Could you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do?

I am a third year student of the University of Derby (UK) and I am working towards a degree in Film and Television studies with Broadcast Media. In June-July 2011 I participated in The Cosmonaut film project . As the shooting mainly took place in Latvia, I managed to gain valuable work experience in the sphere of film production, working on a voluntary basis as a runner. I was able to play a number of roles in and out of the shooting area: preparing locations and making sure common areas look presentable, preparing set and props, getting approval of props from the director and keeping track of them, and I even had a chance to have a go at being a casting manager during the last days of the shooting. 

How long have you been going to the cinema?

I don’t remember the first time I went to cinema. But one of the first movies I have seen in the cinema theatre was Nosferatu: The First Vampire (1998) by Wayne Keeley. I went with my mother, was actually very reluctant to go and did not enjoy it at all.

Why do you like cinema? Why do you prefer cinema to other media or to books, for example?

I consider cinema to be a flawless form of art. It is a manifestation of every existing art form but still it manages to remain authentic.

Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer? What are your favourite films?

I am into different kind of rarities and marginal films. The less popular a film is, the more chances are that I will like it. However, it does not mean I isolate myself from mainstream cinema; I suppose that one should perceive cinema as an integral living organism, and not draw any distinct lines within it.  I have five favourites:
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman,1975)
El Topo (Alejandro Jodorowsky,1970)
Eraserhead (David Lynch,1977)
Cabaret (Bob Fosse,1972)
The Dreamers (Bernardo Bertolucci, 2003)

Do you make films yourself? Do you put them on the Internet?

For one of the university assignments I directed a short film, called Derby’s Ghost Trade, which you can find on YouTube ( ). It is a short documentary about the phenomenon that has developped in the UK – business that flourishes on peoples beliefs in the supernatural.

What do you think of European cinema? What does European cinema represent for you?

It is very common to associate European cinema with high-brow culture and art films. But it is very miscellaneous and has many faces – just think of Italian giallo films, or Spasojevic’s Srpski film (2010), or ‘New French Extremity’. I consider European cinema to be the most peculiar subject of study.

Do you feel European? Have you ever lived abroad?

I consider myself to be a ‘citizen of the world’: I was born in Latvia, but my first language is Russian, I study in the UK, am planning to study in Italy, and love to travel ;)

What are your habits as a film-goer?

I do not have any particular habits as a film-goer. I just prefer watching films alone and I do not eat or drink anything during the film (because it is disrespectful). Watching film in a cinema theatre is usually a better experience, but sometimes if you want to go deeper and study the film you have to watch it at home with a possibility of stopping and rewinding.


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