On January 22 we are holding the third screening within the Seven Brief Meetings: the Cinematic Unconscious of the 60-s project. The event’s program features a meeting with animator Yevhen Syvokin and screenings of the most remarkable animation films of the 60-s.
Although the first Ukrainian animation films were made as far back as 1920s-1930s by Vyacheslav Levandovskyi and Ipolit Lazarchuk, this genre became widely mastered in the 60s. And it was by Lazarchuk’s efforts that in 1959 Kyivnaukfilm opened an animation department, which brought together talented young artists.
The department’s first work was the cartoon The Adventures of Pepper (1961), which was made over a span of two years and was based on stories from a well-known comic magazine. It was the time when, apart from Lazarchuk himself, other enthusiastic innovators came to join the studio, among them Yevhen Syvokin, Iryna Hurvych, Yefrem Pruzhanskyi, Volodymyr Dakhno, Volodymyr Honcharov, Davyd Cherkaskyi. They formed the style and the plastic language of Ukrainian animation, significantly influenced by Eastern European caricature and Western animation of the time, as well as by Ukrainian folklore.
In addition, Ukrainian animation of the 60-s became stomping grounds for avant-garde composers. Vitalii Hodziatskyi and Myroslav Skoryk wrote music for the minimalist collection of debuts The Stone on the Road (1968), and Leonid Hrabovskyi – for the screen adaptation of H. G. Wells’ science fiction story The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1969). Directors tried to go beyond the entertainment aspect of animation, experimenting with forms and creating parables and philosophical sketches from life, something that Yevhen Syvokin truly mastered.
Yevhen Syvokin taught an entire galaxy of animators, including the best-known contemporary Ukrainian animator Stepan Koval, who won a Silver Bear in Berlin in 2003 for his film Tram No. 9. Yevhen Syvokin started teaching as far back as 1970-s with a training course for animation artists run at Kyivnaukfilm studio. Among his first students were Oleksandr Tatarskyi and Ihor Kovaliov, who worked together on films Plasticine Crow and Private Investigators Kolobki. Since 1993, the director has been teaching at Kiev National Karpenko-Karyi University. Animation films made by Syvokin’s students often compete at festivals with the works of their teacher. Among the director’s most recent important awards were those for the film Snow Will Cover Roads (2004): Best Animated Film at the International Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand (France) and First Prize at the International Film Festival in Dervio (Italy).
“At the time, we were revolutionary minded and believed that Disney was archaic and had to be pushed off the steamboat of history (yet, at the same time, we carefully studied its technology and skills). We were drawn to Western European animation, which was on the rise at that time and was experiencing a real boom. Distant echoes of that boom reached us, too, and inspired us for revolutionary experiments with the form.” Yevhen Syvokin (Kino-Teatr, №4, 2003)
Program of screenings:
The Adventures of Pepper (Iryna Hurvych, Ipolit Lazarchuk, 1961, 20 min.)
Myshko + Mashka (Ipolit Lazarchuk, 1964, 9 min.)
Cossacks Make Kulish «Як козаки куліш варили» (Volodymyr Dakhno, 1967, 10 min.)
The Stone on the Road (Volodymyr Honcharov, 1968, 3 min.)
Demagogue (Dialog) (Volodymyr Honcharov, 1968)
The Man Who Could Fly (Yevhen Syvokin, 1968, 10 min.)
The Man Who Could Work Miracles (Yefrem Pruzhanskyi, 1969, 10 min.)
The Tale of the Good Rhino (Yevhen Syvokin, 1970, 7 min.)