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Alexander Kashperov plans to take part in at least five films

Venerable cinematic legacy

The theatrical season may close but actors don’t go on vacation, having definite plans. While we enjoy fun in the countryside, or watch dragonflies over the lake, our actors head to film shoots. It appears that the film production crisis much talked about in Russia and Hollywood is coming to an end. Or, perhaps, the quality of films being made has overcome the crisis. What matters is that, although some continue to mention lack of funding for films and few worthy ideas, our Belarusian artists are, maybe for the first time, finding that they have a great many choices. Following last year’s slow period, producers and directors (including those who are successful and prominent) are flowing to Belarus again. They view our actors not just as extras, but as strong candidates for lead roles.

In the nearest time, Alexander Kashperov plans to take part in at least five films. In autumn, he’ll play the director of a provincial theatre, an impudent antiquarian, a caring mayor, a cynical bandit and a modern father of a grown-up daughter (in the latter, he acts alongside Tamara Mironova). In the new TV season, encounters with Alexander Kashperov will be frequent and regular.  He may appear in a small role, but it’s always at his own behest; not because he can gain no other work.

Master’s touch

“How could I refuse appearing in a film by Krasnopolsky, with whom I’ve worked on four pictures?” exclaims Kashperov, speaking of his latest film projects. “He warned me that the role was a minor one: so minor that he was ‘embarrassed to offer it’. I’ve never played a traitorous village mayor before, and how could I reject such a director?”

These days, the maitre of Soviet cinematography is finishing a 16-episode series, set in the post-war years, under the working title of Expropriator in Belarus. Despite his crutches and his venerable age, the creator of such outstanding films as Eternal Call, Shadows Disappear at Noon, Two Destinies, and The Yermolovs works without assistance. He can handle the shooting process and controls everything on a shoot, and beyond. “He’s so energetic!” says Alexander Kashperov, having no doubt that Vladimir Krasnopolsky will come up with his next hit shortly after this project.

Yesterday and today

“If old films are televised, I always watch them,” confesses Alexander Kashperov. “Modern cinema is not always a disappointment. For instance, in September, one of the central channels will broadcast the Weeping Willow series; don’t forget that name! I strongly recommend watching it, not because I feature in it, and not only because of its unconventional plot, where the present intermingles with the distant past. Recently, I was in Moscow for dubbing, and saw the edited material; you know, it resembles the old, good films.

Children’s dreams

Like other Belarusian actors, Mr. Kashperov recalls fondly the days when Belarusfilm denoted proof of quality. It was associated not only with war films but with children’s pictures. He hopes that The Incredible Adventures of Arbuzik and Bebeshka (which still tops library ratings for children’s works) will be screened, that financial problems will be settled, the animated part of the film will be finished, and we’ll see Alexander Kashperov acting as an ominous clown, in a film by a Belarusian director, featuring Belarusian actors and Belarusian 3D animation.

By Irina Zavadskaya
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