DEREVO e-life

The Usurer’s Diary. Story two

06. 10. 2009, 21:53 | by DEREVO

Hound Dogs

According to the screenplay dogs should run into the funeral scene, rush to the grave, then to me and should fawn on me, sniff, bark…

But to tell the truth, they never got to my part.

7.15 a.m.

Imagine the following: A coffin is placed on two planks above a rather deep grave. The priest throws a handful of earth down… here the dogs enter. Sausages and something else tasty are smeared on the coffin.

“Ready! Standby! Playback!”
“Оn board!”
“Аnd aсtion!”

Eight crazy hounds run in and throw themselves around the corner, barking and growling at some hole in the ground.


Their trainer swearing teaches them to sniff the coffin. The dogs glance back at the hole.

“Take two!”

Dogs run in and head straight to the hole.
Sokurov comes to a decision instantly.

“There’s someone in the hole. Quick, dig another grave. Here!”

Not a problem for twelve prop handlers. All at once, ready!

8.50 a.m.

The new grave is ready. The previous one is filled up. The light is moved and gravestones are brought to the new positions.

“Camera! Aсtion!”

Dogs come running in and halt bewildered - there’s no hole any more.


Short conference follows. In the village below they borrow a cat in a bird’s cage for a lot of money. The dog trainer runs around teasing the dogs with the cage. The dogs are going nuts, the cat is yelling.

Sokurov’s idea is just genius. They put the cat into the coffin and nail the coffin shut.

“Camera! Action!”

Dogs come running in again looking for the cat or the hole.

The cat apparently lies unconscious after being nailed up in the coffin. No sound comes from her.


11.30 a.m.

Sun comes up. Famous director of photography Bruno says “Fuck!!” rather loud. Everyone agrees.

Another conference.

Some meat is put in the grave. Dogs come running in and fawn upon Margareth. She’s screaming and crying and pleading for the poor cat. Big holes are drilled in the coffin to keep the cat from choking. Sokurov asks them not to drill the cat through. The technician: “She shouldn’t be that stupid, she will dodge the drill”. The cat’s owner speaks loudly to the coffin trying to calm her pet.

“Take five!! Camera…!! Action!! Stop!!”

The dogs have discovered the cage with a sheep in it and were too late for the shot. One more conference. The dog trainer gets into the grave holding a whistle. They let the cat out. The cat yells, her mistress holds her up in the air, dogs are jumping around.

Famous camera man Bruno: “Sun!!!”

The sun advances swiftly. Make-up people put powder on Margareth’s face. She’s happy for the cat.

Sokurov: “Margareth, look sternly. It’s your brother in the coffin!” Everyone laughs out hysterically.


Dog trainer blows his whistle! Dogs come running in and fall down into the grave one by one.



Sokurov: “Wonderful. Perfect! Done! It just can’t be… Thank you.”

Text: Anton Adasinsky
English text editor: Jennifer Williams


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NOW - 29.05.2009 - Light Patches

29. 05. 2009, 20:20 | by DEREVO


How is it called in English; the ‘flash’, the ‘rush’? In Russian this is ‘prikhod’…

I sat on the bank and it looked like Alisa was checking the construction for walking on the water’s surface. You know, she’s quite risible…

A small pond. It was very hot. Water threw back the bright patches of light…

I closed my eyes but not very much changed. Alisa’s shape became black-and-white. Somebody said distinctly, “We shouldn’t speak of the light specks’ colour.”

First I realised that Alisa was repeating one and the same comic phrase. And this at regular intervals. I knew it was a preparation.

I was falling asleep somehow. The birds’ chorus grew stronger. Alisa’s laughter became quieter but jerky. Now it was obviously a Morse code, and instantly the light specks glistened behind my closed eyelids.

They pulsated along the rhythm of Alisa’s laughter. It seemed that they were pouring down, all alike in a form, all like tiny smiles. The water was laughing.

Furthermore, I realised clearly that the main function of the water was to bring people to a smile, to make them happy.

Watching the dance of the light patches, I knew that I couldn’t influence their size or their speed, and I couldn’t turn my head away.

Immediately there came a confidence about music and the sound waves.

I could memorize it easily and knew that I would be able to explain it in words later. I learned that ice is the water’s slumber, that Geisha’s religion is a happiness to be in somebody else’s form, and that the speed of the clouds, not the wind, defines the rhythm of a day.

Everything came to me in simple sentences. Apparently with a slight accent.

Something touched my toes. I opened my eyes. A dog. She was looking at me attentively. We were interested in each other. Her master pulled on a leash. She jumped on the pond’s bank and started to bite the waves, her upper lip curled a bit. “She’s laughing”, said Alisa.

The dog was playing with waves. The world’s sounds returned but they were different now.


Alisa in St. Petersburg. Photo - Elena YarovayaMagic water-walker... Photo - Elena YarovayaElena Yarovaya. Photo - Anna BogodistBirthday cake. Photo - Anna Bogodist
Magic dog... Photo - Elena YarovayaBahtroom in museum... Photo - Elena YarovayaThe leaf of magic water lillies... Photo - Elena YarovayaRoman Dubinnikov. Photo - Anna Bogodist
Magic shoes... Photo - Elena YarovayaMagic stick...  Photo - Elena YarovayaAnton Adasinsky. Final bow. Chemiakin's Nutcracker in Mariinsky Theater. St. Petersburg.


Text: Anton Adasinsky
English text editor: Jennifer Williams
Photo: Anna Bogodist, Elena Yarovaya
Photo design: Elena Yarovaya

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