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As lived and played by Alexei Batalov: locksmith gosh or hero-intellectual

…He Gogh, he’s Gosha, Alexei Batalov, who on Thursday did not. Take any role: the first minute admiring Batalov silent, his slightly bowed in thought, his head is not just the ability to keep a pause — but it is absolutely a natural beauty, and this you can watch endlessly; and when you receive the signature, velvet veiled, it is Batalov convinces completely, and no matter where he played. Because it is not just the fate of the hero or the fate of the actor; Batalov fell by lot to enter into my acting nature code of the Russian intelligentsia, to associate with the Silver age XXI, and he carried this role over prepared, worthy and instructive.


photo: Gennady Cherkasov

Care Batalov — a personal tragedy for everyone who knew him. It’s hard to imagine how a person of such warehouse, such intellectual exposure actually came into the acting profession. And I want to say that he’s too good for acting. Despite the fact that the screen was in demand quite different types . But no such severe and extensive was his inner nature that in this field, this dependent, where you have to be flexible, need to adapt, he Batalov, to adapt did not and could not — he offered a unique image of the Russian intelligentsia, an unusually solid and spiritualized. Others — not having a natural nobility intellectuals played. Batalov was the same going from movie to movie (not so much), and his characters breathe a loftiness and freedom…

No wonder two films with his participation — “the cranes are Flying” and “Moscow does not believe in tears” — had a triumph abroad: one gets the Grand prize of the Cannes film festival, the other takes the “Oscar”. Because the problems of the Batalova heroes always human, simple perception, and natural, without a lot of games and caricature.

Starting around 2002, Alexey V. time a year came to “MK” because he was the President of the festival of Russian cinema “Moscow premiere”, where the newspaper was one of the organizers. And that’s what made him different. We all know the usual in such cases, the post wedding generals. Well, called, say, another famous person… No, no figurehead, despite his age, not always in a good mood, Batalov was not. He wrote all his opening speech, his opinion for the catalog, is very keenly interested in the process, has watched the movies. Not something that “came and went”. When the festival needed the support from Moscow, he personally turned — God rest her soul — to Lyudmila Shvetsova, helped than could. And it is like a tuning fork, as the guarantor of quality — focused newspaper, making up his “magnificent seven” of new movies…

…Of course, Aleksey for a number of years was President of the award “Nika”; its founder Yuli Gusman speaks to us words of bitterness:

Is grief not only for family and friends, not only for moviegoers who love Batalov, not only for his students from the University, but, to quote someone from the great, is a loss for all mankind. Batalov was a man for all seasons. He combined the incongruous quality of the true artist, the intellectual Russian, amazing friend, amazing, kind and honest man, in our time — a rarity. All his life he had a huge problem, not getting it easily — either at home or at work, anywhere. But he bravely endured all the troubles, never complained… We lost a kind-hearted, dear and close to us, warm creature. It is his essence. And if you believe in God, should understand that he will be in Paradise.


“9 days of one year”. 1962.

Batalov-actor: each role of his has become a symbol

…The role of Gogi, goshi, technician of the research Institute in “Moscow to tears does not believe” is still a favorite. About it you can talk for hours, but I wish that the reason to call the Director Vladimir Menshov so sad.

— Meeting with Batalov is among the happiest inspirations that come to the Director while working on the film, says the Menshov — I had concerns about the role of a different kind, but when we already reached the limit and had no understanding of who will play that role (and shooting was to begin in two days!), at this time the TV was showing a picture of “my Dear man”. (“My dear man” — the famous film of the Khrushchev thaw. Alexei Batalov, who played there one of the main roles, was then 30 years old. — approx. ed.)

That was amazing! Continues Menchov. — At this time we were talking, discussing, who you can still try for a response, and suddenly… Eye squinting at the TV, and I remember we were both with the second Director frantically at each other looked: “And why not physically.” we said in one voice. That was a happy moment for me, for the film “Moscow does not believe in tears”, for the partners and the Batalova, as it turned out. But when I came to my favorite patrons, famous writers Julia Dong and Valerie Freda, and told them that Batalov want to take, they even somehow frowned: “come on, Volodya, this is the material used”. But we got over it.

Batalov was then about 50, and he really is out of the cage came out. I gave him a call. “Well, let’s send scenario” — quite indifferently he said. We sent. Then it stopped ringing, “you Know, the script is not bad, but I’m busy, ill…”, in General, a polite form of rejection. I, haywire, hung up, but realized that, maybe, gosh must be sought among generation Batalov. And we wish he was at least 10 years younger, this 40-year-old man, 35-year-old even. Then I began to think about other candidates, but, oddly enough, virtually overnight, at 12 o’clock, the phone rang: “Hello, this Batalov. You know, I thought, Yes, they burn with a blue flame, all of these are my things, let me show you.” That was a fateful decision Batalova and fateful for the ring.

Then began shooting, and each time the presence Batalov on the court raised the whole level of cinema. Is Batalov came Batalov, started playing Batalov — everything froze. More than he, the authority on the court was not, Muravyov, no Alentova or patulin was not a star at this level. And he was a star high-flying, so to speak. But I was faced with the fact that Alexey Vladimirovich strongly no stardom was not. Remember one of the first days of shooting. We were filming something on location in Moscow. He drove his “Volga”. I sat in his car, and we started talking. Not about movies, not about the gosh — on the Mat. He’s machovec as I do, but not simple, and sprouted roots in this great theater. He graduated from the School-Studio of MKHAT. His father Vladimir Batalov also worked in the Moscow art Theater, was a close assistant of Stanislavsky. His uncle, Nikolai Batalov, a wonderful actor, who in “the road to life” was playing. Nikolai Batalov was married to the great Androvskaya, Alexey Vladimirovich called her his aunt. And his close relatives was Victor ya stanitsyn, one of the main actors of the Moscow art Theater of the second generation. All these people who were for us the legend has proved to be Batalov either relatives or people who patted his hair, stroking, and said, “How you doing, Alex?” He grew up in the courtyard of the Moscow art theatre, spent his childhood, until I moved with my mother to the Ordynka. In General, we have something to talk about.

So, the next time we sat in his car and told him I complained: “I’m in trouble, the girl-the actress who should play Alexander (and this is Natasha Vavilov, who had already starred in “the Drawing”), refuses. Rather, her parents banned”. Yes, they wanted Natasha became a diplomat, not an actress. Suddenly Batalov with boyish enthusiasm says, “come on, you have an address?” We went to his “Volga” in between filming, the doorbell rang. Open mom. She immediately stunned: he Batalov came to it! Is in suit, jacket, cap, like in the movie: “Hello, my name is Alexey, can you pass?” — “Please”. — “You have a daughter, we want to play, and she…” And Natasha Vavilov was in the next room like a frightened mouse. Left dad, we all talked together… Well, how could they deny himself Batalov? And Natasha began to appear.


With Vera Alentova in “Moscow does not believe in tears”, 1979

Batalov-Director: a gentle man, but…

…Often forget that Batalov acted in directing as putting three films, and quite popular — it’s “the Overcoat” by Rolan Bykov, “Three fat men” Olesha (where he himself played), and “Players”. Movies released in the period from 1959 to 1972. With the debut of “the Overcoat,” as we told the widow Rolana Bykova Elena Sanaeva, were initially conceived as a feature-length film.

— Batalov has not graduated from the directing faculty, “she says,” I decided to try myself. And due to the fact that the site they are very friendly Roland began to work, many began to think of painting and became a full-fledged film, in the beginning it was supposed to be much shorter. What can I say Batalov, is a long standing leader of our movie, too bad his daughter Masha, which was left without a serious support.

Here a synthesis plan gives film critic Kirill Razlogov:

— It is clear that Alexey is perceived as directed only in the third place, after himself-actor himself-teacher. He was a man very mild, communicative, respectful to others, and all this for a Director and a plus and a minus. Because his directorial work is classical and academic in the best sense of the word, they were given the opportunity to develop acting talents. If we talk about the historical significance — Yes, they sometimes do not have enough intensity, polemic, what usually pay attention. But as to the culture of directing as a profession, the physically flawless.

Film critic sure Batalov has shaped the era of the thaw, this was reflected in the Director’s work, because they didn’t bear the fingerprints of the crisis state of society in the subsequent period.

— Batalov took place at a time when once again risen in price the human dimension, reasoning about human qualities, as opposed to a symbolic or hard paint, which contrasted with Soviet cinema classic, the post-revolutionary period. There overlap the two components, and the tradition of Russian literature from Tolstoy to Dostoevsky and the atmosphere of a General rise of the thaw. It is no coincidence that the best picture with its participation “the cranes are Flying”, which became famous both in Russia and in the world, carried the signs of the human drama. Well, his second major role from the popular film “Moscow does not believe in tears” also brings this life-affirming beginning, which contrasts with the crisis of the world. That is, each role has become symbolic, even though he played characters from different social strata, while remaining yourself…

Batalov-teacher: one vote is worth something!

In the morning and before delivery of the text, we broke off the phones of the employees and the Institute of Cinematography where the Director, for many years he was the artistic Director of the acting Department. To our surprise, almost all refused to speak about it, referring to employment: “Understand, now exams are all watching a play. Maybe the acting Dean of the faculty Helen E. Magar to say something? Wait, please. (It takes a minute. — “MK”.) No, she now is a discussion of the play. Sorry, I’m busy!” We sorry, but Batalov is unlikely.

Contacted the teacher of the acting Department of VGIK Vladimir Grammatikov: “We are constantly asking ourselves who is intelligent? This is exactly Alexey Vladimirovich! He was a deeply intelligent man by nature. It fits the highest culture and integrity. These qualities were evident in his pedagogy. He has developed sensitive methods in dealing with students. Every Alexey treated kindly. In General benevolence enveloped everything it touched. One voice is worth something! Velvet. When he heard, came to trust the speaker. Batalov was a fantastically open person. It is sad that such highly moral people are leaving us”.


photo: Alexander Chernushenko
Alexei Batalov is the film festival in “MK”.

Batalov-diarist: “My childhood is permeated with the smell of kerosene”

Batalov is a brilliant, very fine memoirist that is felt by phrases from his books “Destiny and craft” (1984) and “the Chest of the actor” (2016):

“Before the war, due to the fact that my stepfather was Victor Efimovich Ardov, I was in the house, except where already familiar to me from my mother’s friends from the Theater, there were constantly actors, singers, artists and writers necessarily. How could adults, replacing each other, entertained us with all sorts of readings, games and stories. So in the role of Arina Rodionovna was the most unexpected people.”

“The war overturned life when we were kids… Probably older we the time and were boys and girls. But my childhood, or rather, all that was by way of peaceful life, broke as bitches and we were on the ground, in a circle of adults these troubles, tragedies, Affairs and concerns. That’s why my calendar childhood so abruptly splits in two. One filled with light, the concerns of grandparents, of joyful anticipation of summer in the village or the snow in Moscow; and the second is riddled with constant anxiety, moving from place to place, the smell of kerosene, and most importantly, the cold, irresistibly penetrating through the frozen window through the light cracks through clothes and torn shoes. Agonizing wait in the heat so exhausting that when finally summer came and evacuated, he should be happy it had neither the desire nor the energy”.

“If once the picture or the role does not interest me, further deepening the examination of the details only got more intense, as if evil spirit pushing me to find all the things that strengthens my dislike and confirms initial opinion. On the contrary, if the first General impression love everything like it is converging to him and every detail finds its place. Then in the work I am most afraid for particulars to lose that first impression. And if you somehow lose it or forced him to change, I feel absolutely helpless.”

“When Iosif Yefimovich Kheifits dared to try me in the role of Gurov for Chekhov’s “the Lady with the dog”, on the sidelines of the Studio immediately shot up a hurricane of misunderstandings, disagreements and disappointments… I really wanted to work on this role because of the Czechs, and because of my close connection with the Art theatre, and finally, because Gurov as the material gave the opportunity to move to another role, in the circle quite different human experiences. That’s why I wanted to overcome all that separated me from the role and was something you could do to embarrass Heifits. First of all, I grew a beard and became more slouch, in order to convince opponents of my age in fitness years. For samples I chose shoes of a larger size, so that the feet and gait seemed more solid, heavier… On the ring finger was a ring, designed as though to cultivate accustomed to my dirty hand tools”.

“I don’t know how, then, would have been my Kinostudiya, if not a stunning offer Mark Semenovich Donskoi be auditioning for the role of Pavel Vlasov. Stunning because in the theatre, before in the Studio and in the movie I did nothing of the sort and was not even going to do. Our words, Paul is quite different roles. Anyway, need a hero and I have no such features are not noticed and such roles are never prepared. However, these contraindications were the most enviable bait, as it gave them the opportunity not to repeat Zhurbin. I couldn’t let don understood that my personal experiment may cost him too much, and refused. But the don was again called me and, despite my “confession”, I decided to take the risk.”

“I think just in the work of the spiritual world, the human content, the convictions appear much more precise and deeper than everyday existence. Just as in battle, when all around and life itself compressed into a single instant, a single impulse, as in the true performance of the concentrated all the most important, most vivid, what is hidden in man.”

A scandal with a neighbor: artist framed

We recall that all the fuss started over a piece of land in the elite suburban village of Peredelkino. One acres of land, by the way, here is worth about two million rubles! Neighbor jeweler Batalov Vadim Elhardt took him a few acres of land and built a bath. Taking advantage of the trust of the people’s artist, Vadim asked him for an autograph, but as it turned out, the elderly Batalov signed the deed of gift in which part of the earth departs Elgardo.

Land plot Peredelkino is the Director, has long been copied by his younger daughter Mary, who from childhood because of doctors is confined to a wheelchair. The trial lasted several years and much spoiled the health of the artist. After a wave raised by reporters, got interested in the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, and Batalov found a free lawyer.

After six years of litigation Batalov won the case, it happened four days ago.

See photo essay on the topic:

Died Alexei Batalov: remember the best actor

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