Cinema • 01 March, 2018

Splash of commercial films in Kazakhstan

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Last year, the number of feature films which filmed reached thirty-six in Kazakhstan. We should say that it is an unprecedented figure in the history of Kazakh cinema in the last quarter century.

Of these thirty-six, only two films "Oralman" (directed by S. Kurmanbekov) and "Kazakh Khandygy. Almas Kylysh" (directed by R. Abdrash) was created at the film studio "Kazakhfilm". Another thirty-four was made at the private studios.

 It is clear that today's film industry in the country is mostly filled with private studio products.  Should we be happy with such a sharp increase in the number of films compared to previous years? Alternatively, should we pay more attention to the quality of films, not quantity?

The last year can enter to the history of Kazakh film industry not only with an impressive amount of films but also depending on the commercial film products. There are 90-95% of these 36 films are commercial projects. Among them some films were financially successful, such as "Business like a Kazakh", "Brother or marriage", "Sister-in-law is also a person". Perhaps, the question is pertinent here: from which position we should consider the films: from financial sides or quality of Kazakh films? Of course, it is difficult to expect that a money-oriented creation can able to create an art masterpiece. Even though…

The main goal of commercial cinema is making money; the appearance of many films in this direction shows that nowadays Kazakh film industry is becoming an ordinary business than an art. Interestingly, Kazakhstan’s commercial films of last year explained that experience and education are not important features to make films. That is why it is very difficult to identify "favourites" among these commercial products. In this case, we just can reassure yourself that making art accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Of course, compared to the neighbouring Uzbek country, the splash of commercial films began much later. There are several advantages of these kinds of commercial films. Firstly, viewers still watch domestic films. Secondly, we fund domestic films, not foreign. We certainly hope for it that over time, the quantity can go into quality.

Well, for now, as you know, commercial films are limited to such topics as "love is blind," "it is all the fault of men," "the last bride," "five reasons not to fall in love with Kazakh men," etc.

Meanwhile, commercial films can also raise social problems. For example, it can be seen the commercial films of America in the 1970s. At the time, such directors as Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas were widely recognized for the world cinema. Despite their commercial orientation, they reveal the social problems of society at that time. That is why we believe that the splash of Kazakh commercial films will lead to the emergence of its own ‘Scorsese’, ‘Coppola’, ‘Spielberg’, and ‘Lukas’.

In this regard, it is recalled that the commercial direction was dominant in the cinema of France in the late 1930s, in England in the late 50s - early 60s, in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s. However, compared our commercial films, this trend of European cinema has given the world a lot of popular characters and films. For example, English commercial cinema of the late 1950s - early 1960s introduced a famous character, James Bond. In addition, such characters as Poirot and Miss Marple from films screened by the books of Agatha Christie became popular.

It will be great if our domestic commercial films introduce famous films and characters in the future. Unfortunately, nowadays, we are a limited circle of "famous characters", such as "sister-in-law Sabina" and "people who made a business like a Kazakh"…


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