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Olympic Game Were Tomorrow

Olympic Game Were Tomorrow
Vladimir Grechaninov 20.07.2010

Moscow Cinema Festival was one of the most favorite entertainments in 60-70s years. It took place once in two years, it was rare and welcome event, almost everyone was film fan, people got vacations and spent two hot July weeks not in Sochi, but in dark cinema halls. If you are lucky with season ticket - in "Russia", "Cosmos" or "Octyabr", if no - in "Erevan" or "Baykonur" which actually also was great luck.

If you failed to get season ticket, it was a deficit the same way as wall unit, it was possible to buy separate tickets in cinemas somewhere in suburbs - one rouble fifty kopecks for two films and I also was great luck after which people were hunting all round Moscow. Though metro then was clean and cool, it was possible to meet bomzhs only in French films where they were beautifully called clochards.

It's difficult to imagine to today's lazy viewer that to get into cinema festival by that time seemed fortune comparable to travelling abroad and simple people didn't go then abroad. There were no mikhalkovs on the festivals, it was real cinema and I remember many films which took and didn't take part in festival. Wide screen was a kind of window into big world - sometimes dangerous but inhabited by beautiful women and men who lived real interesting life while we were busy with launching of rockets and fulfilled five-year plans for three years. It seemed do to us.

There was also hope in all that cinema sublimation that one day this would come to us.

Olympic Games also were similar foreign festivals, sport window in the world. My friend used to work in the Olympic committee in Kostyansky pereulok (then that building was transferred to Literaturnaya Gazeta) and made accrediting card with magic words "Electronic press. All Olympic objects". It was called "to work on Olympic Games", though, to tell you the truth, there were no work at all, there was fiesta, two-week long holiday which remembers for the whole life.

The work consisted in that big number of attracted journalists were walking here and there, watched what they wanted, drank everpresent Fanta and other drinks. It was almost communism. Surely, quiet, incredibly clean and almost empty Moscow remembered, there was never and there never would be such city, it's a pity. Sausages and cigarettes "Appolon - Soyuz" with taste of Virginian tobacco which was possible to buy in every shop also stuck into the memory. It would become norm then but there will be no such joy from it.

Huge number of people in form were present on the streets, therefore foreigners called Olympic Games "Holiday of Soviet Militia". Actually it was not vigilance, they simply took militia from all Soviet Union to Moscow, for some reason they didn't get civil cloths with them and walked in free time as they were - in the form. However, that question was settled quickly and radically. No, they were not given civil cloths, they were simply forbidden to go out to the street and they had to stay in stuffy hostels in the evenings.

They say that they spent 3 billion dollars on Olympic Games. It's possible. Tens monitors and huge projection screens were place in Concert studio in Ostankino and it started reminding space operation centres. If there was no desire to go out to the hot street, it was possible to watch and comment all competitions from there. Press-centers of all Olympic objects were equipped with some incredible for that time panels. Though there were not much comments, many Western journalists didn't come and technical miracles stood idle.

Though there were a lot of photographers who amazed us, owners of domestic "Zenits", with huge "Nikons" and miracles of rapid shooting. Having caved in jut once, few second and 36 shots are ready, yellow cassette go to bottomless bag and other one appear from there. Fantastic!

Also that taste of Fanta! It was everywhere. Students with balloons on the back walked on the rowboat channel in Krylatsloe and other open space objects and poured that yellow chemical drink into you under compulsion. What could they do - they had plan of bottling which didn't take into account cases of boycott.

Certainly, Olympic Games staid in memory not only due to all mentioned, not due to goals, scores and gold medals which were countless. They remembered by beautiful sport, nobleness, especially by nobleness of failures, by atmosphere of victories and, if you like, of coming changes, though it was the time of stagnation and cold war. They were remembered by that many western sportsmen gave a damn about boycott and came. They acted correctly, it was not Brezhnev, Salnikov and Dityatin started Afghan war.

There were a lot of disputes before Olympic Games - whether it's necessary or no. Whether it's necessary to waste so much money for rowboat channels or cycle tracks from fine wood. I don't know. I know that it was holiday in some other life and in other country which as if had money and for sure - hope for better future. Now we don't have it. There will be Olympic Games, while there hardly will be such holiday.

By the way, last day stuck into memory of a lot of people by flying sugary bear. While I remember that there was a nasty turn of the weather that very day, frosts started and people had to take on sweaters. In the whole everything came to the end and, as Vonnegut would say, celestial curtain dropped. Probably, it really was so.

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