Max Polyakov has always dreamt about living in Italy – the country that friendly and magnificent, romantic and adventurous, sublime and easy-going simultaneously. His dreams came true and even more – he became well-known in certain circles director-amateur. His works are real masterpieces – people say they reflect the life both from factorial and emotional sides. Мах has never been afraid of obstacles, social stigma or critics’ blaming.
In his films, the life is often gorgeous and voluptuous, insidious and cruel sometimes, but always beloved and exciting. When somebody complains about his life, Max Polyakov always tells the following joke:
“The man is crying to God:
– Oh, my life is so miserable: my salary is low, my wife is ugly, my health is fragile…
God listen to him without a word and then said:
– Should we extend the tariff?”
Everybody wants to “extend the tariff”. Such an appetite for life is seen in gambling houses the most clearly. That’s why Max Polyakov decided to shoot the film amid one of the best Monaco casinos. Besides, he used to play Casino Vulcan and felt the power of excitement the hard way.
Certainly, you cannot get the whole spectrum of impressions in the casinos like Vulkan. In the real gambling establishments, as now fancy to say, one’s atmosphere. It acts to each person variously, particularly in the combination with the alcohol, long absence of dream and bad manners. Inadequate behavior is ordinary in casinos, but it does not look less amusing. Max Polyakov happened to visit many gambling establishments in different countries that allowed him to become the witness of plenty of interesting cases.
Using his own experience in Vulcan and the gamblers’ feedbacks he shot some short tracks. Max Polyakov is sure that in our mad world daily staying on the threshold of the next apocalypse, it is necessary to use each opportunity to have fun.
Through his camera, he saw that most of the gamblers were susceptible to believe more in the folk superstitions and signs and magic, than in clearly verified mathematical laws. However far more interesting the other moment – casino managers are no less superstitious. Max Polyakov saw one curious scene that he recreated in his film later – the woman-manager arranged garlic in various places of the casino because she was afraid of players-vampires. The lady was very strange – pale leather, black hair, and tempting sight. Certainly, the top-manager did not manage to reconcile with such business-model – “Baffi” was to resist the invasion of bloodsuckers somewhere else.
Max Polyakov is a quite observant director, that’s why he has always managing to snatch out the most interesting scenes in the casinos for further reproducing them in his movies. Once he became the witness of a funny episode in the casino.
There was a deep night and there were many people at the slots and the game tables. A spoilt by the life lady was sitting at the blackjack table opposite the place where croupier stands. Max Polyakov heard the amusing discussion between the croupier and the skittish woman. The croupier dealt the cards, and the lady lost. That disturbed her and offended. Dialogue began:
– Lady: Eeh, mister, you that, you do not a bit like women?
– Croupier: I will be necessarily good.
– Lady: Joker, yes? Make jokes with your wife. Though with an attitude like that, I doubt that you have her.
– Croupier: I divorced.
– Lady: Well, why?
– Croupier: She did not use to give me tips.
Here so, the lady lost money that evening but did not lose the spirit vivacity. However, as Max Polyakov told, she left no tips for the croupier. Maybe she believed that giving tips after the loss is a bad sign. In the world of gambling games, you can go without signs nowhere.
Why Max Polyakov chose the casino in Monaco? Its gambling houses are the peculiar sight and bite for tourists. Magnificent villas with the fancy halls are the places of black-tie dinner nights, large social and private events for a long time already. Their interiors reminded him the design of his favorite Casino Vulcan. Why did Max Polyakov decide to make his movie in the casino itself? This was triggered by the certain circumstances.
In March 2003, twenty-five years’ engineer arrived in Monaco, in order to be a fan of a favorite basketball command but not for the sake of entertainment. A few hours remained before the match, and he decided to pass away them in the famous casino. Anyway, the young man started playing the slot. Throwing counters one by one, he spent all in all $100, when all of a sudden on the screen inscription “jackpot” lighted up and music played up. Advantage accounted for the phenomenal amount $39 713 982, 25 that comparable with the average profit of the casino for month. The winner wished to preserve his name as fiduciary and so forever and remained in the establishment habitués’ memory as “a young engineer”. Besides, he asked the casino not to give it all advantage at once, but to transfer $1,5 million to his account every year.
31 May, 2018
Max Polyakov chanced to see not the only luxury of the casinos, but also their dark side. Playing in the casino Vulcan, he was in safety and comfort in his own house. In real gambling houses criminal case happened as well. Sometimes he saw the security guards and the police officers removed from the hall the armed people.
It pushed him to the idea that he should perform not only the game itself, interiors and people in his movie about the life of the casino but also the fact that money and weapon always travel in pairs. Max Polyakov's film plot is based on the case in one the Monaco casinos, that one his familiar gambler and the frequent flyer in the Casino Vulcan had told him.
The person purchased ten tags, stuck them among themselves at home in order to get the column. Then he perforated them, inserted the video camera and made a small hole for the camera lens. The croupier distributes cards standing up, and if to look from the level of the table, it is seen, what are the cards and where they leave. The camera broadcasted the signal to the car outside. His partner in this gave commands to the gambler: “Throw off, take, still take”, - etc. The guy won near 150-180 thousand dollars until the guardians noticed that he behaved somehow strangely with these tags: he didn’t touch and move them. In the long run, he was made.
However, the guy turned out inadequate. Instead of leaving the gambling establishment quietly, he raised the scandal. His even more inadequate sidekick outside rushed into the hall with the gun and began to threaten visitors. People dashed on the floor, somebody began to run, some ladies decided to faint. The shooting began, and the chaos was coming. One of the security guards decided to play a hero and flung to the armed psychopath who reacted immediately and began to shot. The security and the police officers managed to seize of the intruders, and the administration did all the impossible to settle all the matters with the visitors. This time it did without victims.
Max Polyakov interpreted this history in his film. He added dramatic nature and concentrated not only on the event but also on the characters. He showed the pre-history of criminals and the reasons that led them to the casino and forced them to go by the dishonest way. He showed, how dangerous the person could be when he stretched to the limit of his emotional voltage.
To make his film more dynamic and light Max Polyakov added a bit of comedy to the whole story. He got his ideas from the endless stories of the gamblers. There was one couple from China whose characters were shown in the film too.
In one of the casino in Monaco, the guest from China settled: 32-year-old Chzhou Chzhao and his companion 28-year-old Syao Dong Lu. They went to the gambling house almost every day and played poker, blackjack, and roulette. At first, the pair acted rather carefully, and then they were keen on too much. Their luck drew the attention of the casino employees. The security guardians started to monitor the Chinese through their surveillance cameras and found out that one of the dealers “accompanied” them and permitted to do rates after the ball had fallen to a pocket with the number. The dishonest employee of the casino took a half of the advantage for “service”. Therefore, it was possible to receive up to 5 thousand dollars for one evening, and all the players “earned” 52 thousand dollars in such a way.
All three of them were brought to justice. The maiden got rid by easy fright and compensation to 4 thousand dollars. She convinced judges that she was just a naive toy in the hands of experienced swindlers. The dealer spent nine months in the prison and paid 25 thousand to the establishment. Naturally, he wouldn’t be able to work in the casino. Chzhou Chzhao spent under the arrest six months and compensated the casino 12 thousand dollars.
One episode in the film deals with the bishop’s plight. It was based on the real story. Michael Stemfield from Chicago suffered from insuperable bent for gambling games from the times of his missionary activity in South Africa in youth. Working in USA, he managed to overcome a pernicious passion, but in 2011 suddenly “was broken”.
Possibly he would manage to hide his “fall”, but for advantage to 10 thousand dollars which drew attention press. The scandal burst after the information had appeared in the newspapers and the Internet. Most of all the leaders of the religious community were shocked by that the priest had penetrated to the casino on forged documents, as he had already been the persona non grata. While gambling in the casino poker, blackjack, and slots he followed the gambling house’s rules, so he got the money legally, but it did not help it. The priest had to leave parishioners, to change residence and to search for work with the less strict moral code. By the way, Stemfield was quite decent and increased the number of parishioners for the period of his service.
Max Polyakov managed to shoot the creative and the extraordinary film, a very original compilation of drama, action, and comedy. He got plenty of compliments from his friends, family, and fans. The comments were more than positive. Of course, the film was not uncritical but Max it too dedicated and independent to feel bad about it. On the contrary, he accepts the critical comments as a strong motivation.
Now he is going to move forward and to make more films about various sides of people’s living. Maybe next time we’ll have a chance to watch his movie about gambling in the space of virtual Casino Vulcan. One thing we know for sure – whether Max shoots films about the nightlife or about housewives’ being, his work will never disappoint us.
As the director-amateur, he’s shot some films already and uploaded them on his website. The film about the shooting in one of the casinos in Monaco became his masterpiece. This is the beginning of the way to Hollywood and a great movie. Who knows, maybe in some years we’ll watch Max Polyakov as the triumphant on the red carpet that leads him straight to Oscar.