The first Ukrainian film based on the comic “Maxim Osa” is released on the screens
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On October 13, the Ukrainian film “Maxim the Wasp and the Gold of Pesigolovets” is released on the screens – it was filmed for nine years.
The intriguing premiere of the film “Maxim the Wasp and the Gold of Pesigolovets”, which is based on a comic book about the adventures of a charismatic Cossack detective, will take place in early October. It's a thriller, fantasy, historical detective, film noir and adventure all rolled into one. For 9 years, the project has changed six producers, three directors; changed the lead actor, screenwriter, the concept of the picture was transformed.
Focus shares details about how the fate of the long-suffering project developed.
Who created the comic about Maxim Osu?
Ukrainian artist Igor Baranko is the author of many comics published in the USA, Belgium, and France. Since 2013 lives in Thailand. A comic book about the adventures of the Cossack Maxim Osa was ordered by a publishing house from Belgium. The series was published in French and was translated into Polish and Ukrainian.
The film based on the comic book “Maxim Osa” was created by the Film Studio for Children and Youth Films. A. A. Khanzhonkov with the support of the State Film Agency of Ukraine. In 2013, preparations were underway, and in 2014 they began filming, although it was assumed that the tape was already supposed to be released. At that time, its budget was approximately $4 million.
At first, “Maxim Osu” was supposed to be directed by Alexei Shaparev (“Kruty 1918”) based on a script by writer Iren Rozdobudko. Then the director Alexei Mamedov (“Matchmakers”) took the helm, but it didn't work out either. As a result of shuffling, Ivan Sautkin (“Nesterov's Loop”) ended up in the director's chair. He wrote a new script with playwright Nikolai Kaptan (“The Nine Lives of Nestor Makhno”).
“Maxim Osa” 2014: sex, dwarfs, BDSM, witchcraft and … absurd humor
According to the plot, the Spanish nobility decided to dethrone the Habsburgs and hired Cossacks for this. One of the main mercenaries is Cossack Maxim Osa.
Director Ivan Sautkin once told the correspondent of Focus about the plot of the film “Maxim Osa”: “The time of action is 1636. The Spanish nobility decided to displace the Habsburgs and attracted mercenaries – the Cossack army for gold. The liaison between them must deliver the money to the Cossacks – this is the witch Helena. For everyone, she is the bride of the Polish prince Krichevsky. Helena is already many years old, but she looks beautiful because she regularly drinks the elixir of youth, obtained in a mobile laboratory from the blood of virgins. The witch's retinue is three dwarfs. A delegation of Cossacks, including Maxim Osa, arrives at the wedding of Krichevsky and Helena. They take the gold by signing an agreement… Then the gold disappears.”
One of the contenders for the role of the Cossack Maxim was the popular artist Vitaly Linetsky, who died in an accident in 2014 (“Birthday of the Bourgeois”). Instead, 37-year-old Donetsk theater actor Alexander Pozharsky was approved, who in three months mastered horse riding and fencing, and also mastered aikido techniques.
Filming took place in the Khotyn castle near Kamenetz-Podolsky and in the cemetery. In the castle, according to Ivan Sautkin, they filmed the scene of the wedding of the spy witch Helena (Karolina Mustard) with Prince Krichevsky (Marian Dzendzel). As for the cemetery – and here there was a scope, the episode is not for the faint of heart: a mixture of mysticism and sex.
“Krichevsky's daughter comes to dig out her lover, and then the castle manager, the German Vogel, appears, who flogs her on her bare ass, – Sautkin shared the details – He is a bit of a maniac, a lover of punishing young girls. Maxim Osa cuts off his head. Then Helena appears with dwarfs.”
Ivan Sautkin described Maxim Osa as follows: “He is a dreamer, he loves to lie and takes care of himself first of all. The main question that is decided in the film: is he an idiot or not? His character is close to the image of Schweik.” This means that there should have been a lot of absurdly comic in the film.
The Cossacks, according to Ivan Sautkin, never go on a campaign, but Spanish gold is pocketed: in the finale, all Cossacks in the Sich are given gold teeth.
You can appreciate the feast of Sautkin's fantasy from the 2014 video.
The new “Maxim Osa”: added “Gold of Pesigolovets”
Probably, the next producer could not stand the riot of Sautkin's imagination and left, and soon Ivan himself left the project, which stalled for a long time.
Valery Borovik became the new producer of “Maxima Wasp”, and Miroslav Latik became the director. The leading actor is no longer Pozharsky, but Vasily Kukharsky (“Toloka”). The authors characterize the main character in a completely different way. The new Maxim Osa is “a sharp-tongued, charismatic and brutal Cossack, whose exploits are legendary, whose task is to unravel the snake kublo”.
The release says that there was an attempt to use the old material, but then the film was shot again: apparently, too different stories did not fit together. The events take place all in the same 1636, but the plot of the film “Maxim the Wasp and the Gold of Pesigolovets” is different.
The Polish king sends a salary to the Sich to prevent unrest among the Cossacks. The last time a detachment with gold was seen in the castle of Jozsef Pshelutsky.
A detachment of five Cossacks – Tambourine, Kelep, Bugay, Gray and Tail. The cornet Maxim Osa set out to meet them. The Cossacks were supposed to meet at Nachman's tavern, and then cross the dangerous area together – the Wild Field. But only the Tail arrived at the appointed place – half-dead and without gold. Together with him, Maxim Osa goes in search of his missing brothers and finds their mutilated bodies in the depths of the forest.
The castellan of the castle, Mr. Karl Vogel, suddenly appears at the scene of the crime. Suspected of the murders and theft of Polish gold, Maxim Osa is taken into custody and under torture they try to find out the truth. However, Prince Jozhef stops the torture, remembering the exploits of Maxim, who led the Cossacks out of Turkish captivity. He trusts the Sich officer and instructs him to investigate this crime. Maxim Osya will have to unravel this case and face the sinister Pesigolovets face to face. Twisted famously!
As for the style of the picture, the director noted: “During the framing, we relied not on Igor Baranko's comics, but on the principle of angles adopted in the film adaptation of comics.” That is, they were equal to the film adaptation of Marvel comics. Commendable.
The premiere video is dynamic, the music is energetic, the fights are on the level. Of course, there is no such splendor as in Sautkin's version, everything is without frills: the declared budget is three times less than the previous one – UAH 38.5 million. (if you count 25 UAH for 1 dollar, you get $1.5 million).
In the 2014 version of “Maxim Wasp” there was mysticism and humor of the absurd, and in the new film there is more action. But the final conclusions can be drawn only by watching this “long-playing” project about the sechevik-characteristics.