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 Konstantin Lopushansky

Born:   12 June 1974

Film Director


Andrey Tarkovsky’s disciple, consistently realizing his master’s spiritual and aesthetic principles in his own creations, Konstantin Lopushansky is one of the few Russian film directors whose works can be referred to the notion of “author’s cinematography”. He challenges most complicated artistic tasks in his films, each of them being the evidence of painstaking intellectual work and deep personal emotional experience.

Konstatnin Sergeyevich Lopushansky was born on June 12, 1974 in the city of Dnepropetrovsk. In 1970 he graduated from Kazan conservatoire as a violinist, and in 1973 he completed a postgraduate course in Leningrad conservatoire with a Ph.D. thesis in art criticism. Then Konstantin Lopushansky taught at the Kazan and Leningrad conservatories for several years, before taking the Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors. Upon graduating the courses in 1979 he assisted Andrey Tarkovsky in directing the legendary film Stalker. Since 1980 Lopushansky has worked as a production director at the Lenfilm cinema studio.


Konstantin Lopushansky He produced his first independent film Slyozy v vetrenuyu pogodu (Tears During a Windy Day) as early as 1978. His graduation work Solo (1980) has been recognized by many as the best film about the blockade of Leningrad. The film stars Nikolai Grin’ko, one of the most favourite actors of Tarkovsky.

Konstantin Lopushansky’s first full-length film Pisma myortvogo cheloveka (Dead Man's Letters) (1986) became a remarkable event on the all-Union and even world-wide scale. The morbid sophisticated anti-utopia about aftermath of a nuclear war was a smashing success verified by the box-office receipts of 9,1 million rubles — a striking result for the prophetic parable aimed at hard reflection rather than entertainment. However, the film was in accord with the time and the state of public opinion: the Letters was released a year after the Chernobyl tragedy and when the “cold war” was coming to an end.

In the thick of perestroika, when the domestic cinematography indulged into picturing burning plots, Lopushansky was trying to perceive the nature of metaphysical evil. His attempts resulted in his second full-length feature Posetitel muzeya (Visitor of a Museum) (1989), a religious parable about the quest of truth and sense, about sacrifice and fanaticism, and the eternal opposition of good and evil. In this film Lopushansky approves himself not only as a thoughtful and honest author, going through thick and thin, but also as a highly professional director able to cope with a hard production and moral task (over a thousand really insane people took part in crowd scenes).

Konstantin Lopushansky Russkaya simfoniya (Russian Symphony) (1994) marked a new stage in creativity of the film director. Retaining the invariable apocalyptic keynote, the “witness for prosecution” of Russian intelligentsia “Konstantin Lopushanky for the first time let life into his cinema – chaotic and burning life, which is sometimes much more fantastic, than any constructions of a film director might be” (from “The Newest History of National Cinema”). The critics discerned in the “messianism inclined director” a doubting and reflecting artist, “capable of unexpected evolution”.

The film director was getting ready for his next project Konets veka (The Turn of the Century) (2002) for several years. The script written in 1996, during the period of the all-Russian film shortage, was rejected by the State Cinema Committee, which found it too expensive. At the same time the interest in Lopushansky in the West was unfading.

In this non-typical, almost chamber film, composed as a story of mother and daughter relations, the film director reflects upon love, revolution, history, and memory. Unlike his previous metaphorical films, The Turn of the Century is a true story, in which, in spite of plentiful allusions, viewers “should read only what is happening on screen”, as the film director puts it.

Ugly Swans. On Stage. In May 2006 Konstantin Lopushansky completed his screen version of Gadkie lebedi (Ugly Swans), the Strugatskys’ fantastic-philosophical novel that used to be banned in the 1960s.

Apart from his cinema activity Lopushansky is the author of “Essays on History of Russian Music Critical Thought. 1825-1960” and a number of opera librettos.




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