Film-criticism and responses printed in Russian media
“…The film company “TATA STUDIO” makes movies. The stylistic, subjects and technique can be different and unpredictable. The main thing is that films caused emotions and feelings.
Films are not 10 Rubel banknotes that all should like and be relatives on spirit and mood, but we are grateful to everyone who has spent the precious time for watching our films. Because the time is except of love certainly the most dear thing which we have.
“This nove isl not about the man and the woman, but about obsession of the man for the woman”, - so the main hero of film explains the product.
When I was writting the script, I found by the way a book where was described a surprising dish «shield of Minerve”, which was very much pleasant to Emperor Nero. To prepare it, it was necessary to bring components from all around the world; only the unique combination of their tastes gave the dish the necessary effects. My film is about it too. Around of my hero there are people who are united only by his gather. He is a writer and he observes them. The company turns out rather strange.
The main hero pretends to be an invalid, you see only so he can keep his wife, wanting to leave for the another man. And at the same time he writes the novel in which the female hero is to written from his wife. He has mixed a reality with the world of the novels really a little. He has become depended on this novel as if the other dudes become depended on the drugs.
To keep it short, it is a history of the lost love and desperate attempt of ist returning, a history of obsession with love…”
Sergey Tkachev, from the www.drugoe-kino.ru
“…It is necessary to count significant, that Sergey Tkachev has shown (as against lines of the Russian directors, continuing to simper or are exaggerated to revel in human defects) creditable propensity to " a normal cinema ", mature on ideas, convincing on characters, which exact and without falseness played by actors…”
Sergey Kudrjavtsev, The newspaper Screen and Stage
“…This film is like good jazz improvisation, where each hero has the soloist party. Or to use a terminilogy of the main hero – everyone has his own chapter in the book…”
Maria Dubova, „Magic of Cinema“, TV channel „Kultura“
“…Those words, which would characterize «The Shield of Minerva» better are already said: without a hysterics and with original intonation, at times quietly and confidentially, as if it is a heart-to-heart talk between brother and sister…”
Sergey Kudrjavtsev, www.kinozal.ru
“…It is the cinema it is deprives illusions. All of us live in illusions and Sergey Tkachev broke these masks and as though showed how all is actually...“
said Ekaterina Guseva, Actress
“…“The Shield of Minerva” is a film of that kind. The plot seems to be refreshing and never stops to intrigue you throughout the film. Perhaps, it’s because the director Sergey Tkachev succeeded in creating the atmosphere and suspense that make you anxiously peer into the action’s details and anticipate the denouement. The actors are very good (particularly Dmitri Shevchenko as the lead character, Vlad), very skillfully conveying the sadomasochist nature of the situation. With all that, the authors of the film never transgress the limits of good taste, which we find all too often in plots of such kind. The recreation of the atmosphere is sparing, yet quite expressive (nurses, medical treatments). Interesting are the supporting characters portrayed by well-known actors and actresses… A picture of a complicated transitional time emerges, where relationships and emotions become unstable and the search for love and happiness is aggravated by the whole instability of life, even if at first glance it looks quite comfortable and devoid of problems. In this sense, the film’s name, “The Shield of Minerva”, is misleading. As it transpires, it is the name of a dish prepared from exotic, expensive products and invented at the time of Nero. Some may think that the film is about the satiated and for the satiated. However, it’s another misleading ploy, this time on the part of a director, not a character. No, these are not the whims of rich idlers, these are the neuroses of our contemporaries, of our friends, and our own…”
Andrei Plakhov, FIPRESCI
“…Surprisingly, a debuting director, making a film about the life of the capital’s bohemia, succeeded in not yielding to the temptation of empty and pretentious self-expression. Tkachev dared to make films against the widely accepted belief that today no one needs films which have no sex and violence in them. And unbeknown to anyone, only by way of the intonation (which is almost Efros-like) of seemingly trivial conversations and unobligatory movements, there appears a feeling of naturalness and truthfulness of the screen action, which our cinema has all but lost in recent years. I hope to God that this unpublicized film may harbinger some new stage of self-assertion of our cinema, with bandits disappearing from the screen and truthfulness, naturalness and spirituality once again becoming the principal values…”
Andrei Malov. “New Siberia Gazette”.
“… When it is said that Russian cinematograph is dead, it is not true. Our cinema is alive. Although it is not easy to see even new works of our compatriots at movie houses. As a rule, running there are, at best, the films of European directors. And ours have to find whatever ways out they can. Some manage to have special screenings in small theatres like that of “Film Museum”, or at night clubs, others prefer to show their films only at foreign festivals. At “Carmen Video”, they’ve chosen quite a different way. Sergey Tkachev’s new film was first released in a video version, so there is no problem to see it (if only for its young star studded cast)…”
Oleg Rassokhin. “Business Moscow Today” Newspaper.
“…To be short, it’s a story of love lost and a desperate attempt to recover it, a story of being possessed by love…”
from Sergey Tkachev’s interview to NTV+ TV Channel
“…This very attractive film by Sergey Tkachev demonstrates an interesting innovative approach to the film art in our country. It is gratifying to see our national directors gradually beginning to join in arthouse, and doing it quite professionally. It would be nice if the young and talented continued, as confidently and without hysteria, to offer us the miraculous fruit of their work, which we would savor to our genuine enjoyment…”
“…‘The Shield of Minerva’ is not a black comedy, though it has all there’s to it, neither it is a thriller to which the prose writer’s inventions could easily turn it, but a psychological drama done in a dead serious manner, with feeling, sensibility and without haste. No contract killings, no drugs, which in our new cinema have become as hackneyed as good lathe operator guys had been in our old one. A bold and well-made… film in its own right…”
“…The film is a web of conscious (or not) contradictions between the brilliant acting performances and the story line proper… The film is done in a really super-minimalistic manner – the dialogues in one room follow one another, the appearance of new characters is illustrated by such titles as “Margo, sister”… Perhaps, the specific softness of video picture adds to the effect of “home video”, so that one can unhurriedly observe those people so close to each other, scrutinizing every one of them – how naturally they move and speak, with the camera having just happened to be at hand…”
“…The film’s strong points: the lovers of psychological charades will get a lot of food for thought. A film of melancholy moods and sad reminiscences offers, without any lacquering, the portrait of a generation devoid of illusions and ideals…”
Vitaly Trofimov. “Vechernyaya Moskva” Newspaper
“…There are many riddles in that film that the viewers would be able to solve only as they get near the ending…”