We talk about Russian films and the hierarchical world of Russia’s intelligentsia with Tobin Auber, an honorary Russian.
In the first half, we talk about his experience with Michael Biehn (famous for The Terminator and Aliens) during the shooting of Aleksei Balabanov’s The American. The film was never completed because Biehn almost drank himself to death on location in Siberia, prompting everyone to sue everyone else in Los Angeles. In the second half, we talk about Evgeny Prigozhin and the war lord’s little-known film production side hustle: making propaganda films about his mercenaries in action.
Tobin Auber has long worked as a translator in the Russian film industry. He’s originally from London but lived in Saint Petersburg for the last 29 years, until Russia’s war in Ukraine. He is currently writing a memoir in Russian and publishing it in audio format. Here is a bit about him and his book in English, and here are the Russian audio/text versions of his ongoing memoir.