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CONTENTS

THE WAY IT WERE

Alexander TROSHIN. An Affair with Film Studies. (Fragments)
This autobiographic text was written in hospital in the winter of 2007–2008 for the journal «Kinograf» at the request of its permanent editor-in-chief Tat'iana Simacheva, who decided to publish Troshin’s full bibliography. Both the bibliography and «An Affair with Film Studies» appeared in «Kinograf» 20 in 2009, when Sasha was no longer with us.

Maya TUROVSKAYA. Soviet Squared
Reminiscences about the Institute for Cinema, its «strange» origins and status, and about the theory division in which «Kinovedcheskie zapiski» was born.

Konstantin OGNEV. Sasha
The first chief executive of «Kinovedcheskie zapiski» about the journal’s inception and its existence in various periods. And about the man behind the journal.

Alexander TROSHIN. About «Zapiski»
The founder of the journal talks about the way he envisaged it.

Alexander TROSHIN. From the Notebooks. To use in an article or a report about the state of film scholarship (perhaps, at the occasion of the 10th anniversary of The Eisenstein Centre)
Who should support the unmarketable subfields within the humanities? «Not the state. But… the society!»—answers the author of these memoires that deal with the moment of inception of «The Eisenstein Fund for the Research of Film Culture». This non-governmental organization was created in 1994 with the purpose of providing stimuli for the development of Russian film scholarship and the publication of the related literature.

EISENSTEIN READINGS (I)

«Do touch classics!». Naum Kleiman

Sergei EISENSTEIN. Notes for «A General History of Cinema». Publication and commentary by Naum Kleiman
The majority of these notes is connected to the envisaged collective volume «History of Soviet Cinema» that was to be written by the members of the Section of Film History of the Institute for the History of the Arts. Eisenstein, who headed the Section, simultaneously began to imagine «A General History of Cinema», which demanded an exploration of the centuries-long development of world culture (including art, science and technology), as well as taking into account the laws of human perception.

Antonio SOMAINI. The Possibilities of Cinema: History as Montage in Eisenstein’s notes for «A General History of Cinema». Translated by Natalia Ryabchikova
In his notes for «A General History of Cinema» Eisenstein proclaims his goal—finding cinema’s place in the history of arts. In order to do that he presents cinema as an «heir» to all the rest of the arts and media, and creates a vast genealogy of cinema’s defining features. The researcher’s gaze is turned backwards in order to present cinema’s detailed genealogy. Eisenstein’s project was directed towards the creation of some sort of totality, and this history was, by necessity, «general».

THEORY

David BORDWELL. Poetics of Cinema. Translated by Larisa Mezenova
The main methodological question of poetics, according to David Bordwell, can be described in the following way: how are films constructed in order to influence the viewer in a particular way?
The first part of this formulation, which deals with the film’s construction, presupposes research in two directions. Analytical poetics studies materials and forms of a film in order to discover their organizing principles. This includes questions of theme, story, general structures (such as plot), and audio-visual style.
The second part is historical poetics that studies the principles of a film’s creation in particular historical circumstances. In order to do that it is necessary not only to analyze the film itself, but also to explore the way professional norms and practices influence the process of its creation. This type of poetics studies the way filmmakers work in conditions of free choice and limitations imposed by circumstances. The last part of the formulation, dealing with the way cinema influences the viewer, allows suggesting that the viewer also plays some part in it. Bordwell calls it the poetics of effect.
The author, therefore, suggests a conception with which it is possible to successfully formulate questions, and to answer them convincingly.

EXPERIENCE (I)

Alexander TROSHIN. A History of Hungarian Cinema. Chapters from a monograph
We have chosen the first chapters from the monograph/dissertation for publication not only because Troshin published a lot on the post-war history of Hungarian cinema, on its glorious 1960s and 1970s, on its new and the most recent cinema, but also because early periods of Hungarian film history are the least known in our country.

PROCESS: PROBLEMS AND REFLECTIONS

Olga RAKHAEVA. Russian Motifs in Polish Cinema
Russia has been an important and always urgent topic for Poland throughout history. These two cultures are different in many ways, including the difference between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and the partially connected to it Poland’s identification with the West, and Russia’s identification with the East from Poland’s point of view.
The article deals with the Russian theme on the Polish screen, starting from the time of the first World War.

Denis VIREN. Un(seen) Presence. On Avant-Garde Tendencies in Polish Cinema
Along with the slow renewal of cinema that has been under way in the former socialist countries at the turn of the century, a renewed interest to its own history has also appeared. It is not surprising that scholars have begun to pay attention to phenomena, which before that were little-known even to specialists. For example, directors, film, and movements that did not conform to the limits set by censorship has attracted a lot of attention. This led to realization that almost every socialist country had its own cinema avant-garde.
The article deals with various avant-garde phenomena in Polish cinema.

Anna VARGA. The Success of Vulgarity (The Crisis of Popular Genres in Hungarian Cinema)
The author of the article suggests that Hungarian cinema has once again to acquire professionalism that was destructed first by politics, and then by snobbism. Cinema once again can become attractive to private capital that has felt the possibility of gaining world-wide profit.
The article includes official data on distribution of recent Hungarian films.

FILM MUSEUM

Bernard EISENSCHITZ. Godard’s Response. Translated by Vera Rumyantseva
Some experimental filmmakers have long begun to make films for art galleries. In recent years the number of exhibitions dedicated to filmmakers has grown, while filmmakers have been turning into artists that exhibit one or several art objects, a film or its «derivatives» on the walls of museums or galleries.
Bernard Eisenschitz takes the readers on the tour of Jean-Luc Godard’s exhibition at Centre Pompidou and talks about cinema as cultural memory, and about different conceptions of museum presentation of cinema (experimental, in the first place).

LETTERS FROM THE PAST
«Please forgive me for living in Moscow». Letters from Neya Zorkaya to Galina Kopaneva (1966–1971). Publication and introduction by Maria Zorkaya

Galina KOPANEVA. P.S. Written down by Tomas Gala

EISENSTEIN READINGS (II)

Arun KHOPKAR. Prati-dhvani. Translated by Nina Tsyrkun
Eisenstein’s acquaintance with non-European civilizations not only contributed to his own thinking; his observations, in turn, brought to light unexpected aspects of these cultures.
Indian culture is very complex due to its longevity and the coexistence of several stages of civilization within it at the same time. Many of the things, which interested Eisenstein and which became the basis of his theoretical and practical concepts, exist in India, not in its history, but in its modern everyday life. According to the author, it is a perfect laboratory that allows a researcher to test the importance of some of Eisenstein’s ideas.

Gérard CONIO. Mlb, or the Fundamental Problem in Eisenstein’s Aesthetics: From «The Valkyrie» to «Ivan the Terrible». Translated by Anastasiya Vladimirova under supervision of Vera Rumyantseva
Behind the plot, cleverly disguised as historic turmoils of the past, there is always the constancy of myth, the basis of any work of art. Eisenstein presents this universality of human destinies, from childhood until death, through his own «surmounted» biography. It could be surprising that he removed the prologue from «Ivan the Terrible» and moved the scenes of Ivan’s childhood to the second part. This «return» to the childhood trauma, the secret workings of ghosts of the past would not surprise either Bergson or Freud, both of whom Eisenstein often cited. This trauma holds the key to future actions, the original mark. In the last scene, when Efrosinya sings her lullaby about the beaver, holding her son on her knees, this point of return is the repetition of the image of Mlb, the moment when birth meets death.

TOWARDS INTERPRETATION OF A FILM

Mikhail IAMPOLSKI. Affective History
This article continues the discussion begun by M.Iampolski’s article «At the Frontline and Behind it (About Alexei German’s “Twenty Days Without War”)» published in «Kinovedcheskie zapiski» 96 (2010). Like the previous text, this is a fragment of a longer work in the films of Alexei German.
Analyzing «Twenty Days Without War», the author comes to the conclusion that individual affective memory becomes the main bearer of micro-history, which German juxtaposes to the narrative macro-history. In «My Friend Ivan Lapshin» this private affective history changes its configuration. The interlocking of the past and the present appears not as a product of conscious cognition, but as a revelation, a sudden flash, a shock of the aura. The accidental allows the alternative history of memory and aura to develop outside the sphere of representation.

READING ROOM

The Optimists’ Road to Calvary. Tat’yana Voronkina

Ervin SINKÓ. A Novel About a Novel: Moscow Diaries, 1935–1937. Fragments. Translation and commentary by Tat'yana Voronkina
The text is comprised of diary fragments and notes of the Hungarian writer Ervin Sinkó who spent two years in the Soviet Union, desperately trying to publish his novel «The Optimists», an epic about 133 days of the Soviet republic of Hungary. The novel wasn’t published during the writer’s lifetime. However, being in the habit of writing his thoughts and observations in his diary, Sinkó created another text, «A Novel About a Novel» based on his candid and acute notes about the Moscow of 1935–37. For this publication we have chosen the fragments that deal with the capital’s cultural life (including literature, cinema and theater).

BÉLA BALÁZC. SELECTED WORKS

Hans-Joachim SCHLEGEL. Wandering Blue Light, or The Strange Meeting of Béla Balázc and Leni Riefenstahl. Translated by Polina Orekhova

Béla BALÁZC. The New Objectivity and Socialism. The Case of Dr. Fank. Two Letters to Sergei Eisenstein (1929–1930). Publication by H.-J.Schlegel. Translated by Anna Kukes
The publication of two articles and letters to Sergei Eisenstein written by Béla Balázc during the Berlin period of his life and prefaced by the article by Hans-Joachim Schlegel about Balázc’s aesthetic views in the second half of the 1920s. At the time Balázc was leaning towards rejection and mythologizing of the material reality, hence his interest in «mountain films» and his collaboration with Riefenstahl.

INTERLOCUTOR

«Fridka Loved Me Very Much». N.I.Nusinova talks with A.N.Kol'tsatyi (22 February 1994, Los Angeles, USA)
The famous cameraman Arkadii Nikolaevich Kol'tsatyi, who emigrated to America in 1981, remembers post-revolutionary Odessa, Leningrad of the 1920s, and the people with whom his life and work brought him together: the Traubergs, Tynianov, Piotrovskiy, Ermler… Different eras of a long life.

EISENSTEIN READINGS (III)

Alexander KOZINTSEV. Evolutionary Escape: S.M.Eisenstein and the Aesthetics of the Comic
«The lack, or, rather, the absence of scholarly interest to Eisenstein’s theory of the comic is rather surprising», attests the author and goes on to propose his own theory of the comic in the works of the director and theoretician. One of the conclusions that he reaches is that by being «anti-pathos», the comic is equally antagonistic to any pathos, be it totalitarian or anti-totalitarian. It is by its very nature a parody, and is therefore bound to forever remain «a pure form» that rejects any content. Or, as Eisenstein put it, «What else can the definition of today’s comic be, if not the rejection of the basis of everything that exists, in today’s understanding of it!»

Viktor LISTOV. «You Don’t Have to Live in the Kremlin…». Notes on the Historicism of Eisenstein’s «Ivan the Terrible»
The author analizes Eisenstein’s approach to history in his film «Ivan the Terrible», and comes to the conclusion that it is possible, and, in fact, necessary to study all of the Russian past through Eisenstein’s films—all except the actual material on which a particular work is based.

Yuriy NORSHTEIN. «Ivan the Terrible» as Animation. The Lecture Given in Tokio in 2002
The DVD that «Kinovedcheskie zapiski» publishes as a supplement to this volume contains Norshtein’s lecture on «Ivan the Terrible» given in 2002 in Japan.
The lecture was accompanied by a number or Norshtein’s own explanatory drawings. The director drew the film’s characters, the development of the action, as well as the ways gesture is connected to music in the film.

IN THE REALM OF CULTURE

Ákos SZILÁGYI. Paradzhanov and Tarkovsky. Parallel Death-ographies. Translated by Irina Osipova
«The life and death of Sergei Paradzhanov and his contemporary Andrei Tarkovsky can at first glance appear strikingly similar. They are both Soviet directors who belong to the same lost generation; both of them experienced world-wide fame after the first film; both became the classical directors of world cinema as well as founders of their own schools of directing, all the while remaining the directors of unrealized films. Both of them were poets of the visual who reformed the film language. Both of them were persecuted, and their fame was accompanied by personal suffering and political scandals, even though they were both rather apolitical and did not consider themselves dissidents. Finally, both of them were gone before their time, dying from the same merciless disease, one in emigration, missing his homeland; the other after several years in camps. Despite these commonalities, they can be considered total opposites. It is especially obvious if we look at the dissimilarities in the connection between their images and their lives».
An essay by the Hungarian scholar of aesthetics, art, and culture; poet, and prose writer.

FROM THE HISTORY OF FILM THOUGHT

The Čapek Brothers on Cinema: Karel ČAPEK, Josef ČAPEK. Cinematograph.— Karel ČAPEK. The Style of Cinema.— Josef ČAPEK. Cinema. Commentary by Petr Szczepanik. Introduction and translated by Victoria Levitova
Few early articles on cinematography from the theoretical heritage of brothers Čapek.

Miklós MÉSZÖLY. Warhol’s Camera: A Lesson in Recording Reality. Translated by Oksana Yakimenko
One of the essays on cinema written by the famous 20th century Hungarian writer, poet, and playwright. Mészöly not only used film techniques in his works, but also wrote a lot about film language, discussing the possibilities of using new film aesthetics in prose writing.

EXPERIENCE (II)

Valeriy TURITSYN. The Turning Point of Fritz Lang’s life
The article talks about the first films that Fritz Lang made after he escaped Nazi Germany: «Liliom» (1934), in France, and «Fury» (1936), in USA.
When Lang rewatched in his only French film after thirty years, his attitude was for the most part positive, not only because of its sentimentality and some formal innovaitions, but also because the director remained faithful to his main themes: guilt, justice, and accountability.These motives were interpreted in a different way in his great film about the crowd turning into a bloodthirsty mob, and about the dangerous and soul-destructive fury that it creates in return.

Oksana YAKIMENKO. Pál Fejös in Hungary
The first American period of the career of Fejös, an outstanding director and human being, a prominent experimenter, has been described in detail in a number of works. The Hungarian part of his biography, however, remains largely unknown. For the past several decades Hungarian film historians have been collecting materials about the director’s activity and about his films. The fate of almost all of his silent films is still unknown. Even if they were released, it was not for a long time; many were shelved and, most probably, destroyed. Nevertheless, the existing sources allow us to compile a filmography of the two Hungarian periods of the career of the director and the scriptwriter. The article prefaces our publication of Fejös’s meditations on cinema and the profession of filmmaking.

Pál FEJÖS. The Ten Commandments of a Film Director. Psychological Aspects of American Cinema. Pál FEJÖS—Endre NAGY. On American Cinema. The Conference of the Journal «Nyugat» (An Excerpt). Translated by Oksana Yakimenko

Sergei TRIMBACH. Diaries of Alexander Dovzhenko, or The Catalogue of Prophetic Dreams
The full, unedited version of Alexander Dovzhenko’s «Diaries. 1939–1956» has been published at last (Khar'kov: Folio, 2012). This is a collective effort of the Russian and Ukrainian film historians and archival workers. «Kinovedcheskie zapiski» asked one of them, the Ukrainian film scholar and critic Sergei Trimbach, to comment on the specifics of the new edition.

The Perfect Sense of Proportion. Leonid Kozlov and Vitaliy Troianovskiy talk about Georgiy Rerberg
The talk, recorded for Vitaliy Troianovskiy’s documentary TV-series «Islands», deals with the «Rerberg period», with the unique style of the great cameraman Georgiy Rerberg, who was an artist in the classical mould, a romantic, and a dreamer, striving for the absolute in everything that he did.

PROCESS

Evgeniy MARGOLIT. The Empire’s Stepsons
The author connects the specifics of the Soviet avant-garde to the youth of its founders, as well as to their belonging to the empire’s periphery, both geographical and social. They understood the Revolution as a swift expansion of the possibilities for self-realization and for overcoming their complex of an outcast. Periphery is striving to become the center. «The young educated people» (G.Kozintsev) are building the new, ideal culture from the fragments of the collapsed empire.

THEME FOR RESEARH

Irina SHILOVA. A Letter to Sasha
The last article by Irina Shilova was a meditation on the disappearance of the national folkloric tradition from our art, the tradition that was both prophetic and cautionary…

THE ART OF CRITICISM

Jean-Michel FRODON. Film Criticism. Chapters from a book. Translated by Anastasiya Vladimirova under supervision of Vera Rumyantseva
Two chapters from a book by the editor of the legendary «Cahiers du cinéma» in the 2000s present a multifaceted view on the profession of film criticism, on its goals, its definitive features and its essence, as well as an excursion into the history of the French film criticism.
The publication is supplemented by excerpts from the classic works of French film criticism.

EXPLORATION

Artyom SOPIN. A List of Versions of Soviet and Russian Films
The publication presents a list of different versions of feature and animation films. Any scholar working with a particular film has to be aware of the existing versions of the film text. The information about their existence and length is designed to help with this. The data allows one to see the main points in the history of a film, and in most cases, to understand which version the scholar is dealing with.

CINEMA: LIFE AND ADVENTURES

Anna KOVALOVA. About V.F.Gel'gar and his Film Company «Vita»
The young scholar continues her research into the history of the early St.Petersburg film industry. This time Anna Kovalova meticulously collects facts from periodicals of the early 20th century in order to describe a short history of the production company «Vita», connected to some famous names, and to tell the almost detective story of its owner.
Alexander TROSHIN. «The Legendary Life and Death of Franciska Gaal». (A film synopsis)

Anna GERÉB. Franciska Gaal: Fragments of a Destiny
A fragment from a book by the Hungarian film scholar, archivist, and director depicts a short period Francesca Gaal spent in the Soviet Union. It was a momentary stop in her flight towards the heavenly shores of America, where the last tragic episodes of the actress’s life took part.
The text is based on documents from published sources and letters of contemporaries, partially published and partially kept in private archives.

MARGINALIA

Nina TSYRKUN. This is Welles
Review of the book: Welles, Orson, Bogdanovich, Peter. This is Orson Welles (Moscow.: Rosebud, 2011)

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