Natalia SAMUTINA. Early cinema as theory of the present
The article discusses certain parts of cinematic spectacle, a set of attributes that satisfy the need of the modern viewers’ perception and that allow to place the anthropology of vision in the centre of attention. The author includes among them a special temporality of a cinematic event; its «magical», illusionist part, together with the prerequisite simplicity of the trick, its emphasized crudity; variously predefined conditions of the required participation of the person shooting and the person viewing the film. The author attempts to define and describe this audiovisual space with the help of the concept of the «cinema of attractions».
CINEMA MUSEUM (I)
Marian TUTUI. The Manakia brothers—pioneers of the Balkan cinema, claimed by six nations. (Translated by Nina Tsyrkun)
The Manakia brothers are traditionally called the pioneers of the Balkan cinema. While they considered themselves Romanian, their turbulent lives, intertwined with the complicated history of the 20th century Balkans give reason to six countries to have a claim on them. For the first time Russian readers can get ac¬quainted with the detailed account of the lives and work of the Manakia brothers including a frame-by-frame description of their first films as well historical and cultural context of the time.
Anatoliy SHAKHOV. Cinema in Khedive’s Egypt (1896–1914)
The article deals with the period of birth and development of cinema in Egypt, virtually unknown to Russian specialists. Using a number contemporary sources the author traces a particular connection between cinema process and the history of the country in general as well as its ideology and culture.
Maya TUROVSKAYA. The film process: 1917–1985. An introduction
«An introduction» is, sadly, the only thing that remains of the fundamental research project that dealt with formal description of the ways of functioning of the Soviet cinema and of its audience’s tastes. The preface to the lost work has been preserved by Maya Turovskaya who for many years headed the project. It describes the methods used by the group that worked on the project in 1970–1980s and sums up the results that were achieved and that shed some light on lesser-known areas of the history of Soviet cinema.
Natalia RYABCHIKOVA. «Proletkino»: from «Goskino» to «Sovkino»
«Film industry in Russia has never existed and doesn’t exist now…» Documents towards the history of the «Proletkino» studio (1922–1925). (Publication and text preparation by Lyudmila Kiryakevich, commentary by Natalia Ryabchikova)
We continue the publication of documents from the «Proletkino» studio archive that was started in № 92/93. This part of the documents pertains to the first period in the studio’s history, from the moment of its foundation to the end of its distribution activities and the proclaimed concentration on «feature films». N.Ryabchikova’s article places this period of «Proletkino»’s history against the background of numerous contemporary disputes about the unification of distribution and production that marked the turbulent life of the Soviet cinema at the time.
Galina MALYSHEVA. Films of the French cinema syndicate (1915–1917)
The article traces the winding path of an archivist set on eliminating «white spots» from the history of film. It is a list of films produced by the French cinema syndicate (KOFA) and preserved in RGAKFD, complimented by the description of the minutest work of attribution and restoration of these films, all mentions of which had been until only recently absent from archival catalogues.
Russian films in Hungary (1899–1917). Compiled by Anna Gereb
The publication of the Hungarian slavist and film historian is an example of binational filmography. Some important sociocultural parallels emerge through the annotated list of pre-revolutionary Russian films shown in Hungary. Notwithstanding the actual number of people that saw these films they left traces in national culture and film reception.
RUSSIAN EMIGRANTS AND CINEMA
Irina MELNIKOVA. Whose nightingale? The echo of the songs of Russian Harbin in Japanese cinema
The history of the film «My Nightingale» that was made during the Second World War by the best Japanese filmmakers and captured the image of the «Russian musical Harbin». «My Nightingale» is an important document for the history of Japanese cinema, Japanese cultural politics in Manchuria in 1930–1940s and Russian community in Asia. It is a rare visual commentary to the history of Russian Harbin, a chance to see the faces of the artistic elite of the city that prided itself of its musicians and artists. Moreover, the author argues that the film may serve as the key to understanding the fact that in Japanese and Soviet-Japanese films Russian characters were doomed to be presented as violinists, composers and ballet dancers, as well as the fact that Soviet-Japanese cultural contacts were generally confined to tours and joint concerts.
Eric ROHMER (1920–2010)
The time of criticism. An interview by Jean Narboni
Pascal Bonitzer and Serge Daney talk to Eric Rohmer
Two conversations of the recently deceased master of the French cinema and the French cinema thought, one of the pioneers of the French New Wave and a long-time editor of the magazine «Cahiers du cinema» about «his» and «not his» cinema.
Natalia MILOSERDOVA. The return of Margarita Barskaya
«…and the ground was “on fire under my feet”». From the archive of Margarita Barskaya
Margarita CHARDYNINA-BARSKAYA. Script of the short film «Cinema Poison»
This section contains materials from the recently discovered archive of the actress, director and children cinema pioneer Margarita Barskaya. They include autobiographical notes, prose fragments, documents concerning the production and discussion of the film «Who’s More Important—What’s More Necessary» as well as the script that caricatures directors striving for «tipazh» (type).
«It will be difficult to survive»: the role of director in modern Russian cinema. From the records of the conference in Film Research Institute (NIIK), May 25, 2009. The discussion includes Aleksey German-jr., Pavel Bardin, Marina Lyubakova, Svetlana Stasenko. Moderated by Irina Shilova
Film critics and young film directors talk about the main problems of Russian cinema.
Among the questions raised is the way a director’s work is influenced by the quality of the commission, to producers’ demand of commercial success, to the quality of the script, to the professional level of the crew, to the financial aid and its regularity. The talk also concerns the fact that the industry has got into the hands of non-professional leaders that have created their own type of censorship; the fact that the state first withdrew its preferences and then tried to put the rein back on «the slacking cinema»; the imposing of patriotic upbringing that has become a matter of state importance and that forms notions about the once again corrected history; the almost completely forbidden (with the help of economic methods) experimental, personal artistic work; the infantile nature of modern cinema as the result of the exclusive orientation onteenage viewer.447
IN THE REALM OF CULTURE
Yakov BUTOVSKIY. Prose monologues
The author defines the nature of this article as «free notes». It is an attempt to follow the relationship between Anna Akhmatova and Grigoriy Kozintsev and to understand what had caused the director to ask to translate Hamlet’s monologue in prose and why he chose Akhmatova to do it.
Andrey KHRZHANOVSKIY. The poet and the film. (Interviewed by Valentina Polukhina)
The author of the film «Room and a Half» based on the life and work of Joseph Brodsky talks about cinema poetics, about the ways in which poetry and cinema interact and influence each other.
Birgit BEUMERS. Aleksandr Shiryaev: a correction of the history of animation. (Translated by Nina Tsyrkun)
The article of the British specialist in the history of Russian theater and cinema continues the study of Viktor Bocharov’s discovery. The films of the Mariinsky Theater ballet dancer Aleksandr Shiryaev that Bocharov found have overturned traditional notions about the beginnings of Russian cinema.
Anna KOVALOVA. Pre-revolutionary cinema and… children
These notes towards a history of «children cinema» in pre-revolutionary Russia are based on contemporary St. Petersburg newspapers and magazines and include information about special film theaters and film screenings for children and about the specifics of children’s treatment as cinema-goers.
DOCUMENTS AND COMMENTARY
Scandal at the Odessa-based studio. Documents from the history of VUFKU in the second half of the 1920s. (Publication, introduction by Roman Roslyak, commentary by Roman Roslyak with participation of Petr Bagrov)
We publish three previously classified documents from the State archive of Odessa region concerning the history of the Odessa-based VUFKU studio. In the second half of the 1920s there was a rift in the relation¬ships between studio workers there because of the «national question», which immediately became a matter of special attention of GPU.
Hans-Joachim SCHLEGEL. «Ukraine-Filmgesellschaft mbH»: the Nazi propaganda in occupied Ukraine
The author follows the history of the «Ukraina-Film» («Ukraine-Filmgesellschaft mbH»), the film organization that was created by the Nazis for making propaganda films and for distribution of their own films on the oc¬cupied territory of Ukraine. While making use of the historical background he not only broadens our percep¬tion of the methods of the Nazi propaganda but also adds details to the sociopolitical picture of the time.
CINEMA: LIFE AND ADVENTURES
Naum ARDASHNIKOV. I recall…
This chapter of the memoirs of the famous cinematographer and director tells about the early period of his career, including the meeting with a war-time cinematographer Yuliy Kun who was the driving force behind Ardashnikov’s choice of profession, about his student years at VGIK, about his teachers and friends. Then, skipping the years that have been covered by the previously published chapters, the author writes about his work with Yuliy Raizman on the film «A Courtesy Call» and with Igor Talankin on the film «The Choice of the Aim». He also talks about his directorial work on Alla Pugachova’s film «I Come and Speak».