Alexander TROSHIN (1942–2008)
«Kinovedcheskie Zapiski» lost its creator. Art lost its faithful knight. Eisenstein lost his publisher. Hungarian cinema lost its passionate proponent. Students lost their teacher. We all lost our friend…
EISENSTEIN READINGS (I)
Sergei EISENSTEIN. Spain. (Publication, text preparation and introduction by Naum Kleiman)
Eisenstein first talked about a projected film about the Civil War in Spain in the spring of 1937, soon after the catastrophe of «Bezhin Meadow». N. Kleiman publishes remaining screenplay sketches, offers his version of the project and tries to establish its genealogy. It is not accidental that the theme of civil war in different aspects permeates through Eisenstein’s work.
A call for unity that Eisenstein repeatedly stated as his main theme was born out of his rejection of all national, social and class conflict. This call was a warning against the strife’s disastrous influence on mankind.
Eisenstein—Wilson: A dialogue on the margins. (Publication, introduction and commentary by Natalia Ryabchikova)
Eisenstein’s marginalia were preserved in a book by an American literary critic Edmund Wilson, «Axel’s Castle». The author argues that Eisenstein’s polemics with Wilson’s ideas in the early 1930s became one of the main sources of the director’s thoughts on Joyce, Proust, Zola and the form of a work of art. Based on the facts cited by Wilson Eisenstein begins opposing Joyce to Proust, proving the value of the former‘s methods.
Mikhail YAMPOLSKIY. Meaning enters the world. Notes on Dziga Vertov’s semantics
The article is a fragment of an extended treatise that deals with strategies of imparting meaning to reality. The author begins with a statement that a man experiences crisis of meaning during a period of revolution when all reliable criteria and structures of the world collapse. The function of art is to put chaos in order, to organize shapeless material of life into meaningful sequences. In the USSR this thesis can be applied to revolutionary films of Vertov and Eisenstein who think not in categories of film aesthetics but rather in categories of originally interpreted semantics of life. The published fragment contains analysis of this semantics in Dziga Vertov’s work.
IN THE REALM OF CULTURE
Galina VISHNEVSKAYA: «It was his lifelong pain — “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District”» (Interviewed by Vera Tueva)
A conversation with Galina Vishnevskaya who played the main part in Mikhail Shapiro’s «Katerina Ismaylova» about the only realized film-opera of Dmitriy Shostakovich.
Olga DOMBROVSKAYA. An unknown filmwork by Dmitriy Shostakovich
At the festival of archive film «Belye Stolby» in February 2006 the public saw a fragment of the unfinished film by Leo Arnshtam «Warmongers» that included «The German March» by D.D. Shostakovich. The author poses a question: why at the earliest stage of the work the recovered fragment already contains music? The existing film practice of the time required music to be recorded only during post-production. The author comes to the conclusion that in the episode in question Arnshtam used the music as the starting point. He wanted to shoot the scene accompanied by the music.
«A pleasant young man Seryozha» and others. Materials from the archive of Experimental Film-Collective of Sergei Yutkevich (EKKYu). (Publication and commentary by Artyom Sopin)
Humorous and business letters of the workshop’s participants, stenographic records of conversations with applicants, notes and instructions of the workshop’s head. «Collected in business manner» and provided with commentary they present a multifaceted view on the life of Yutkevich’s workshop in 1928, between «Lace» and «The Black Sail».
Thomas TODE. Dziga Vertov and La Sarraz
The story of Dziga Vertov’s trip to the International Congress of Independent Film in La Sarraz in Switzerland in 1929 that never materialized.
Andrey BUROV. Plato and the perfect image
On one hand, cinema is Plato’s worst nightmare. It is a chimerical, imaginary beam of light (in a darkened cavern) that projects images, duplicates that have been copied from reality and broken up into phases (that is, they are similar to themselves). On the other hand, cinema itself, though illegally, has copied artistic methods of antiquity. But these similarities only emphasize the abyss that divides imitating depiction and cinematographic (photographic) duplication.
Nikolai EFIMOV. Evgeniy Chervyakov. Conclusion. (Publication by Pyotr Bagrov)
The last part of the author’s monograph about E. Chervyakov details his work on «The Golden Beak», «Cities and Years» as well as the sound period of the director and actor’s career. The publication was started in № 84.
Yakov BUTOVSKIY. About the cinematographer Svyatoslav Belyaev
The hero of the richly documented essay is Leningrad’s cinematographer Svyatoslav Alexandrovich Belyaev who was a close friend and collaborator of E.V. Chervyakov. The material includes Belyaev’s filmography.
Rosa SVERDLOVA: «Chervyakov, Slavushka Belyaev and Meinkin are the collective». (Interviewed by Yakov Butovskiy)
The interview with a film actress Rosa Mironovna Sverdlova dates from 1975. Sverdlova became famous after her debut film «Girl From the Distant River» (1928). She talks about the collaboration of director Evgeniy Chervyakov, cinematographer Svyatoslav Belyaev and art director Semyon Meinkin.
«Lyricism… is a loose and vague term». A stenographic record of the discussion of «The Baltic Men». 1937. (Publication and commentary by Yakov Butovskiy)
During the discussion of Svyatoslav Belyaev’s work in A.M. Fainzimmer’s «The Baltic Men» (1938), considered his best work outside the partnership with Chervyakov, Leningrad’s cinematographers also talk about early films of Chervyakov and Belyaev that do not exist anymore.
BELYE STOLBY — 2008
Bibliography of materials published by Gosfilmofond of Russian Federation. 1960–2008. Compiled by Svetlana Bochkova
Natalia YAKOVLEVA. «Films beget films»
The author talks about montage film, its beginnings and proponents, about the multitude of modern variants of montage film.
«It is important to love somebody else’s material». Answers from film directors Igor Grigoriev, Ivan Dykhovichniy, Oleg Kovalov, Ivan Tverdovskiy. (Interviewed by Tamara Sergeeva)
Directors who have experience in making montage films and working with archival material share their thoughts on the subject.
EISENSTEIN READINGS (II)
«American diaphragm opens up». Etudes by Sergei Eisenstein. (Publication and commentary by Natalia Ryabchikova)
The published material dates from the first half of 1923 — the time of Eisenstein’s studying «the elements of the director’s art» at Lev Kuleshov’s. At that time Eisenstein, Kuleshov and his pupils were all fascinated by technical devices, including American diaphragm, fade-ins, panoramas etc.
Vladimir ZABRODIN. Towards the history of «Bezhin Meadow» production. A montage of documents
The author of this detailed research concludes that the story of production of the director’s variant of «Bezhin Meadow» is a story of «the outstanding director in outstanding circumstances».
CINEMA: LIFE AND ADVENTURE
Naum ARDASHNIKOV. Time flies fast…
Continued publication of the memoirs of the director and cinematographer Naum Ardashnikov. Its subjects are the author’s work with Yuly Raisman on «The Strange Woman», with Daniil Khrabrovitsky on «The Poem About Wings», and the author’s own work on «The Old New Year» together with Oleg Efremov.
Filmography of foreign films in Russia, 1907–1913. Compiled by M.N. Iordansky. 1909–1910. (Publication by Svetlana Ishevskaya)
Continued publication of the filmography of films in Russian distribution before World War I. The filmography was compiled by Mikhail Iordansky in the late 1930s, based on pre-revolutionary press publications.
Victoria LEVITOVA. Dialogue with Kira. (Z. Abdullaeva. Kira Muratova: Cinema Art. Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 2008)
The book is a sample of the contemporary critical society’s reflection on Kira Muratova. For this society Muratova is a «thing onto itself», impenetrable and inscrutable, yet at the same time open to polemics and encouraging dialogue.