Twilight Portrait

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    Twilight Portrait

    Portret v sumerkakh

    Directed by

    Russia

    2011

    105 min

    • Russian

    Drama

    Venice DaysEFA Nominee for European Discovery

    A social worker, a child psycholigist in the middlelife crisis, Marina, gets injured by policemen. She seeks revenge. When she finally meets the initiator of the dramatic event, she decides to use her professional skills instead of common weapons.

    Awards

    Show All Awards Show Less Awards
    • Golden Puffin Award, Reykjavik IFF
    • Best Film, Cottbus FF
    • Golden Alexander, Thessaloniki IFF
    • The Greek Film Critics Association Award, Thessaloniki IFF
    • Best Actor, Stockholm FF
    • Best Film Award, Lisbon & Estoril FF
    • Crystal Arrow, Les Arcs
    • White Elephant for Best Debut Feature, Russian Guild of Film Critics

    Credits

    Cast
    Olga Dihovichnaya
    Sergei Borisov
    Vsevolod Voronov
    Sergei Golyudov
    Roman Merinov
    Screenplay
    Olga Dihovichnaya
    Angelina Nikonova
    Cinematography
    Eben Bull
    Editing
    Elena Afanasyeva

    Director's Statement

    When I read the first draft of the script written by Olga Dihovichnaya, the main heroine was much older, in her forties. Andrey’s part was written for a young bully in his early twenties. Overall the story was much harsher and darker. It was a true punch in the audience’s groin. I like well-written and performed dramas, but even I felt that the story had to be lightened up a bit. It needed some air, some ambiguity. I participated in writing of the script mainly as a friend, since Olga was going to direct the film. When Olga changed her mind and offered me to direct it, I immediately realized that she was the perfect lead. And this is how Twilight Portrait started to get a new layer of passion between very different but equally strong, Man and a Woman.
    I decided I wanted to shoot the film in Rostov-on-Don. Most of the Southerners speak with a very specific accent and I realized I needed it. The Woman and the Man should sound different as well. I almost casted the young lead for Andrey’s part when I came across a real militiaman, Sergey Borisov… That’s when all the puzzle parts fit fell into place. I finally had the “perfect couple”.
    Olga managed to nail in her story the true nature of the most disturbing phenomenon in contemporary society – indifference. I was amazed at the honesty of the story’s atmosphere. That is why I chose certain technique in making of the film. It was important for me to accentuate the authenticity of it all. I involved mostly non-actors. We used photo cameras Cannon Mark II to shoot the story. I chose to use two cameras that always worked simultaneously from different spots. Therefore most of the dialogues bear natural reactions of the actors. I challenged the DOP and the cameraman not to use lights at all – only natural lighting. It was hardest to work that way during the night scenes that take place inside the car, but we managed. I challenged Olga not to use any make up on the set. And she was brave enough to reject hair and make-up artists’ help. We sometimes re-wrote dialogues on set if I felt the words were alien to an actor – we found another way of saying the line – it was important for me that the lines fit perfectly into their mouths

    Production
    BARABAN FILMS

    Press

    Outstanding... [...] ... a chilling, highly impressive feature debut...

    Variety

    Infuriating, divisive, challenging

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Angelina Nikonova

    Angelina Nikonova

    Russia

    Angelina Nikonova was born and raised in Rostov-on-Don, in the south of Russia. In 2001 she was graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York, Film and Video major. TWILIGHT PORTRAIT was co-written with Olga Dihovichnaya. Angelina and Olga decided to produce the film together, with Angelina directing it and Olga playing the lead role. The experience of working in quite a few film positions helped Angelina to execute the production within the “close-to-nothing” budget.