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I am 2000 Years Old

I am 2000 Years Old

(Original genre: mime-doc-fiction: pantomime/documentary/fiction)

"I was never tired to admire this funny little man. Always persecuted, getting kicks and boxes on the ear endlessly. Charlie, anyway, always conquered. Chaplin is the god of my childish soul. This attitude to him I will keep until the last day of my life. And if I stop to trust in this god, I will stop to trust in art. Marcel Marceau." (November 15, 1973)

The first time I saw Marceau in 1966, on the screen of our black and white TV set. I remember the words of my father who said, “He is the god of pantomime.” Since then the words Marceau and pantomime became synonyms for me. The first time in my life I met Marceau the 17th of June, 2005. The same year, 4th of August I had my first shooting day with him. “Are we friends now?” – asked Marceau in the end of the day. “Can you imagine what it means for me, Monsieur Marceau?” – I asked on my turn. Marceau repeated his question: “Are we friends now?” I answered: “Yes, we are“. “Then you can shoot whatever you want. But there are three scenes with Bip which were never shot. Am I right, are you shooting on 35mm?” I nod my agreement. “12 years ago I have prohibited shootings of any of my performances. But now I would like you to shoot these scenes. Fix them on film, the way you think it is right to do that. And after, as I said, shoot whatever you want.” “Let’s do that, – I said, – And then, can we perform a new pantomime with you? No, two ones to be shot: “Marceau’s Life“, and “Marceau, Creation of the World“. With all that, perhaps, once we make a film about the crazy 20th century.” Then our conversation was like ping-pong. He was saying something, then me, then again him. We were laughing, we were thinking, we were happy. We were already working on the future film. Then we’ve decided that it should be a new genre: mimedocfiction.

There are some things in our life which are better just to be fixed, without touching anything, just framing and filming. There are things, some scenes, which you should direct at first, then fix them. And there are some things which do not need words: the words destroy their meaning, the words lie. In this case you need pantomime. Thinking about all that, sharing these thoughts with Marceau, I doubt: “But, anyway, it is then a feature film”... “No! It is a MIME-DOC-FICTION!” – and Marceau’s “no” was absolutely as in Mel Brooks’ “Silent Movie” where the only word pronounced during the whole film was the mime’s “No!”. The genre of our film was decided.

We didn’t have a chance to shoot any of these scenes. Marceau passed leaving us his last blow kiss in our material: 35 mm one, as he wanted. But I am going to realize our idea. I am going to perform and shoot the pantomime “Marceau’s Life“. Three of Marceau’s students of different ages and Marceau himself acting the new born and the elderly man, the opening and the ending parts: in case of Marceau the excerpts from his “Masks” and “Life of Man” will be used. And… the film will start with the series of Marceau’s drawings and paintings. One scene will be very surprising for Marceau experts, as it is a very well-known episode of his life. Could be they will exclaim: “We didn’t know, that this was shot. Incredible!” This will be done with an actor not only absolutely looking like Marceau, but also with his artistic energy, relatively close to him. The name of this actor is my secret. This “falsification” will be uncovered in the end of the scene, by the actor himself: “I am not Marcel Marceau. I adore him. Even I am not a pantomime actor, I learned so much from him. He was… he is a master of making the visible invisible, and the invisible – visible. But this is about art in general. This is what Marceau used to say and teach us. Now you’ll enjoy Marceau himself, only once I will appear again, and I do not know, if you will recognize me. I will be happy if not. But could I..? And now: Monsieur Marcel Marceau!!!” Marcel Marceau appears on stage: Marceau as Bip, his creation, his lovely personage; Marceau as… a God, or a professor from another planet acting in Roger Vadim’s “Barbarella”; Marceau… absolutely unexpected – as a master of word with his unknown parodies he did in Japan. You’ll see Marceau as… YOU’LL SEE MARCEL MARCEAU! And you will fell in love. And maybe you’ll cry after his last personally to you turned blow kiss. This I can’t guaranty, but I hope…