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Breakfast On The Grass (1987)

Original title: Eine murul

Animation Duration 24:45


Eine murul. Breakfast on the Grass

As a critique of Soviet life, Breakfast on the Grass has a an intense, quiet power. You come away from the film with a sense of the sheer flimsiness of the Estonian quotidian. Buildings, household spaces, street life, and emotions all seem temporary, or subject to immediate and puzzling change or dissolution. Pärn makes this quite clear with images like a statue that melts on its pillar, only to be instantly and automatically replaced by an exact copy. Paintings and faces liquefy or disintegrate without warning. Even the weather is fleeting; rain gives way to sunshine instantly, without purpose or comment. “It is a description of a very concrete society,” he has told Chris Robinson about this film. Oddly, he’s right; it is because everything in Soviet life is merely concrete, with so little possibility for deeper connection of any kind, that it comes to feel so temporary, so flimsy.
Jerry White
White, J.(2005). Eine murul. Breakfast on the Grass. Metro Cinema Publications Number Two, March, lk 16.

You did the film Breakfast in the Grass in the late eighties.
Priit: Story was written in 1983. It was almost the worst time in Soviet Union; before Gorbatchov and perestroika, the economics was falling down, and everything went to deep black hole. They stopped my film Triangle and I felt like O.K., I don’t want to play this game anymore; I’m going to do a graphic art. But I still liked the script. So I passed it to the studio and, of course, in Moscow they said – never. In 1986 there have some changes happen, but we didn’t know how far it went. There was one new important authority of Cinema Committee in Moscow. We tried with our script again. After three – four months of silence there came the answer that they have been waiting for such a good script for a long time. All our friends coming to see us in a studio while working on this film just said – Come on, guys, all of you will end up in Siberia! And we have been ready for scandal. Anyway, scandal is always good. But when Breakfast was done in September 1987, there was no scandal. They sent the film to the festivals and I traveled with it. Before, even if your film has been sent to the festivals, mainly some bureaucrat from Moscow traveled with it.
Isn’t this the politics? You said your films are not political…
Priit: OK, Breakfast, it is. I was in a very tough position when doing it, I was against the system. There are four people; maybe all together they are one artist – there is masculine side, feminine side and bureaucratic side. The story is concretely located; its place is Soviet Union. But in Hotel E I was interested in the person. The one who moves from one room to another. This time I showed that a western world is so beautiful that it makes you sick. And grey stagnating world that is finally ending is in a way more exciting.

Maybe political is not the right expression. But it’s true that you’re touching the actual situation in the world in all of your films.
Priit: My films are connected to real life. Beginning with Triangle I tried to show that animation could be a serious thing. Not in meaning that you don’t laugh – I use humor, irony etc. – but in a sense that animation is not just for children, or is not any game. Animation can touch and can be about things that exist in reality. Of course, you can’t do this directly, than it’s heavy and boring.
Ivana Laučíková
HFJ Priit Pärn - Homo Felix, http://homofelixjournal.com/onlinefulltexts/priit-parn (06.06.2014).

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