BETWEEN FOLKLORE AND AVANT-GARDE: COMPOSER VOLODYMYR HUBA
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The first program initiated by Dovzhenko Centre in the new year will be the series of screenings titled Seven Brief Meetings: the Cinematic Unconscious of the 60-s, which will run as part of the Ukrainian Art of the Sixties. Potentiality of a Museum exhibition at the National Art Museum of Ukraine.
In line with the intention of the exhibition, the Seven Brief Meetings program will represent the trends and moods of the cinematic art of the 60-s. Each of the seven meetings within the series will focus on different, mostly unconventional, genres and styles of the art of the 1960-s. Among the topics that the program of screenings Seven Brief Meetings: the Cinematic Unconscious of the 60-s will be dealing with over seven Fridays in January and February are music and animation, urbanism and moral conflicts of the artists of the 60-s, and, naturally, the specifics of the period.
The first of the meetings from the series, Between Folklore and Avant-garde: Composer Volodymyr Huba, will take place on Friday, January8, at 18:00, at 6 Hrushevskoho St. in Kyiv. The program includes screenings of two films by Leonid Osyka: She, Who Enters the Sea (1965) and He Who Comes Back, Will Love (1967). There will also be a meeting with the composer who wrote music for both films, Volodymyr Huba.
SHE, WHO ENTERS THE SEA
1965, UkrSSR, Oleksandr Dovzhenko Film Studio, 15 min.
A short poetic parable about the start of a human life. A little girl is playing by the sea, which lies in front of her like a free poetic element of life. Next to her, on the beach, is adult life, routine and prosaic.
She Who Enters the Sea was Leonid Osyka’s graduation work at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography. The work was not accepted, though, the film never made it to the screens, and the director was publicly accused of ‘existentialism’, ‘decadence’ and ‘borrowings from the “New Wave”’. However, according to the film’s composer Volodymyr Huba, Serhii Paradzhanov was so impressed by the film that he, jokingly, suggested renaming the Kyiv Film Studio after Leonid Osyka.
HE WHO COMES BACK, WILL LOVE
1966, UkrSSR, Oleksandr Dovzhenko Film Studio, 67 min.
Poet-soldier Volodymyr roams the thorny paths of the beginning of World War II. Before his eyes his commander gets killed by a German fighter plane, a group of Roma is murdered by German occupants, impoverished and exhausted people sell what is left of their previous life – samovars, icons and even lingerie – to survive. Eventually, the poet joins a group of partisans, who are trying to blow up an enemy train.
We never learn if Volodymyr makes it back from the war to love, but what thousands and millions of such poets get instead of love is other people’s memory in the form of memorial stones and eternal flames.
Despite the fact that Osyka, alongside Paradzhanov and Illienko, is mentioned at the forefront of Ukrainian ‘poetic cinema’, his debut feature film He Who Comes Back, Will Love often remains outside all historic research on the cinema of the Thaw.
Probably, one of the reasons this film, together with Osyka himself, was excluded from the official canon, is the unexpected mixture of its stylistics of the ‘poetic cinema’ with the most conventional and sacral topic for the Socialist art of the era – the war. This mixture resulted in one of the most hybrid and free films of the Ukrainian 1960s, in which the visual poetry is rhymed with the poetry of dead poets of the war generation, while the subject of the war, probably for the first time in Soviet cinema, is not introduced at the heroic angle of the politics of memory.
VOLODYMYR HUBA is a Ukrainian composer, People’s Artist of Ukraine. Wrote music for over sixty Ukrainian feature, animation and documentary films, including most of Leonid Osyka’s films. Started his career in cinema in the 1960-s with the film She, Who Enters the Sea (1965). The best-known works of the composer are the soundtracks to the films Stone Cross (1968), I’m Coming to You (1971), Zakhar Berkut (1971), The Turbulent Month of September (1976).
The program Seven Brief Meetings: the Cinematic Unconscious of the 60-s will not be the first collaboration between Dovzhenko Centre and the National Art Museum. Let us remind you that last year, during the exhibition Heroes: An Attempt of an Inventory, the Centre, in cooperation with the Museum, organized the progam of screenings Heroic Make-Up, which focused on the key characters of Soviet heroic mythology.