Yuri Bykov gained popularity and reputation as a talented, honest director with his films "Fool" and "Major". In addition, on account of his famous television series "Method".
Yuri Bykov became famous as a director, screenwriter and producer. In addition, he has appeared in several films as an actor. His paintings reliably show the unsightly side of Russian life. For their honesty and soulfulness, Bykov's films have received several prestigious awards and audience recognition. In October 2017, after the public negatively accepted the TV series Sleepers, considering it propaganda, he announced his retirement from the film business.
Childhood and the first steps in the cinema
Yuri Bykov was born in 1981 in the provincial town of Novomichurinsk. His parents were not rich and could not provide a dignified existence. When Yuri was still a child, his father left the family, and his mother married again.
From an early age, Bykov saw the difficult existence of ordinary Russian people who are forced to spend all their time and energy on survival. There are no thoughts of spirituality in such circumstances. The director claims that even now the situation in small towns of the Russian Federation has not changed.
According to Bykov, organized criminal groups flourished in his native places, participation in which was not considered something shameful or unusual. And the future cinematographer himself carried out petty assignments of the bandits.
The young man immersed himself in literature, became an author in a city newspaper. In addition, he studied music, played in groups. Studies suffered from this, but the first impetus to the creative beginning was given.
The first time after school, Yuri Bykov worked as a loader, stage machinist. At the same time, he began to participate in the performances of the local theater group. This is how his career in art began. Soon the young man realized that it was in this area - his recognition and decided to enter the theater school.
Fate gave him such a chance: in Novomichurinsk there was a GITIS teacher, the famous director Boris Nevzorov, who appreciated Bykov's talent and offered to enroll in his course. Six months later, Yuri transferred to VGIK, which he graduated in 2005.
He began his acting career in the famous Moscow theaters: the Moscow Art Theater, "Et Cetera", the Theater of the Russian Army. He starred in films and TV shows in episodic roles. He earned his living as an animator in children's clubs. In recognition of the star and the hope of Russian cinema, he sincerely loved this work and remembers it with nostalgia.
This period accounts for the majority of Bykov's acting work, most of which are insignificant. He made his debut in the film "Love as Love" in 2006. The young actor was on the screen for no more than a minute. He also had a small role in the series "Everything was confused in the house." In total, Bykov played in 20-plus films and TV series, including Ranetki, S. S. D., Keys to Happiness, Tanks are not afraid of dirt, Always say always -5. He appeared in cameo roles in his own films "Major", "Method", "Sleepers".
The recognized masterpieces of cinema, which Bykov watched at this time, had a great influence on his work. Among the most significant, the director names:
- The Godfather and The Godfather 2;
- “There is no ford in the fire”;
- "All the President's Men";
- "Checking on the roads";
- "Andrey Rublev".
He took his first steps in directing in 2005, when he shot several commercials. Then, for 4 years, he created short films, which he himself called unsuccessful.
Filmed in 2009, the short film "Chief", filmed with the director's own money, won the main prize of the prestigious all-Russian competition "Kinotavr".
The first full-length film was shot in 2010. The independent motion picture "To Live" was recognized by critics. Although the film was not released to the public, it gained fans.
The firm principles of creating real art were already evident in the early period of directorial work. The director refused to shoot the series "Stanitsa" because of a disagreement with the producer. For leaving, he paid the film company more than 2 million rubles.
In 2011, the crime series "Collectors" was released. The film stars Daniil Strakhov, Elena Lyadova. It was released on Russian screens only in 2016.
Great success came to Yuri Bykov with the film "Major". The crime drama, filmed with a subtle psychology and knowledge of social realities, brought the director several awards, including the Shanghai International Film Festival. Foreign film companies are interested in the film, an American remake of the film is planned.
The film "The Fool", released in 2014, consolidated Bykov's position as one of the main Russian directors of our time. He has received awards from numerous film festivals for his script and direction. The audience appreciated the film's uncompromising honesty and sincerity. The American newspaper "The New York Times" gave him the fourth place in the list of the best films of 2015.
Widespread recognition and popularity came with the television series Method, which was released in 2014. He received the TEFI award for the best TV series of the year. Bykov, on the recommendations of producer Alexander Tsekalo, was inspired by the projects of the American HBO channel and shot Method in the spirit of a light entertaining movie with elements of an action movie. Bykov refused to shoot the second season, considering his experience with this product exhausted. In addition, the director wanted to engage in serious auteur cinema.
Solid creative principles prevented him from completing the film "Time of the First", which was dedicated to the first Russian cosmonauts. Bykov had a disagreement with the producer, Timur Bekmambetov, who preferred a simplified "Hollywood" presentation. The film was completely re-shot, only one of the scenes created by Yuri was left.
Yuri is the author of four feature films and one short film. He himself created the scripts for his films "Live" and "Major".
Despite the large number of interviews and eager communication with journalists, Bykov is reluctant to talk about his personal life. According to rumors, the director recently got married.
Bykov himself wrote music for three of his films:
Bykov's colleagues, eminent directors, enthusiastically speak of his work. Emir Kusturica called him “very talented”, and Andrei Zvyagintsev called him “a strong director”.
In just a few years of his directing career, Yuri Bykov managed to receive a huge number of awards.
- For the short film "Chief" - the main prize of the "Kinotavr. Short Film "and a special prize of the international Berlin festival" Interfest ".
- For the film "To Live" - a prize for an outstanding debut in a feature film of the International Festival "Stalker", a special prize of the Taipei Film Festival.
- For the film "Major" - prizes for the best film, best director and outstanding artistic contribution of the international festival in Shanghai, participation in the "week of criticism" of the Cannes Film Festival, a nomination for the Kinotavr and prizes of several other prestigious film festivals.
- For the film "The Fool" - the prize for the best script, the diploma of the Guild of Historians of Cinema and Film Critics, the Audience Award "Kinotavr", the prize of the youth jury in Locarno, the award for the best script in Dublin and the Nika film awards.
- For the series "Method" - the TEFI award for the best TV series of the year, the New York Film Festival award, the Golden Eagle nomination.
Leaving the cinema
In 2016, Bykov completed the filming of the television series "Sleepers" based on the script by Sergey Minaev. This product was not like the films previously created by the director. Yuri himself explained this by the fact that instead of the originally promised author's project, the series became an ordinary commercial product. Bykov's role was limited.
The series caused rejection of the audience, especially the longtime fans of the director. Under the pressure of negative reviews, Bykov posted a statement on his social network in which he repented of the betrayal of his views and the "modern progressive generation." Having apologized to the audience, Yuri announced his retirement from the cinema after the completion of current projects.
Outlook on life
Bykov considers himself a progressive person, socialist and non-conformist. In her work, she focuses on ordinary people from the provinces, seeking to express their views and life on the screen.
Yuri admits that he is prone to depression, and after filming the film "Fool" he was so spiritually exhausted that he thought about suicide. There are no happy endings in his films, because, according to the director, they are impossible in life. Bykov is sure that the path to enlightenment lies through suffering.