How did you precisely apply the method?
We organized a casting and about one and a half thousand people came to it. They were proposed to film their lives without self control and to be as open as possible. Only very complicated and very seldom people are capable to do it. After the casting we had a list of about 10-15 people who were brave enough, who had inner freedom to show and film their life. And we asked them to film their life just as a diary. It was a long period when they were filling their diaries on the video camera. Several months after that we analyzed all the material we had and started to gather it in the story. And some episodes were done in the final period – were directed and acted. For example, the one in the beginning of the film when the “thieves” steal the camera from the car. At first, the idea was to create a complete documentary, but we thought some episodes are needed for the story, so we asked our protagonists to act some of it.
What were the criterions of choosing the specific shots from all the material protagonists brought you?
The main criterions were our tastes or intuition. We just picked the moments which were showing our heroes from the interesting side, describing their opinion and their relations.
Why do you think people are so open that they can demonstrate some really intimate parts of their lives in front of the camera?
I depict this as inner freedom. There are really seldom people around the world who have it and are not afraid what the others think. That is not so easy to find these people. That is why we had 1500 people who wanted to participate, but only about 10 were able to walk in this experiment. To us, they are really good protagonists, because they can let us come very close to their lives.
How did you find out that the protagonists seen in the film are the ones you need?
Their brought the material they had filmed and we talked with them also. If I would talk with anyone and ask really intimate questions either I will find the border really soon or people will be more and more open.
And when did you formulate that the main leitmotif in the film should be love?
After getting the material. In the beginning we had no idea what they will bring for us.
How did the audiences in Russia re-acted to “I Love You”?
Officially, the film is forbidden. It has not got the permission to be shown it either in cinemas or on TV. But we did some screenings in the independent film clubs and they were very successful, but also pretty controversial – some people did really liked it, they have considered the film to be original and true, but others said that we specially did this film such provocative and ugly to show how bad our life in Russia is.
What was the motive of forbidding the movie?
It might be connected to our system and restricted Soviet thinking. The official answer was that it is done due to the ugly language with many swear words. Naturally, we could not control how our heroes speak.
In the festival we have several Russian films and they all are about the dark side of Russian society in a way – criminality, drugs, officers taking bribes…
The criminal aspect is really relevant in Russia nowadays. Russian producers make plenty light and kind films which are very entertaining, but they are absolutely moved away from reality.