On February 12, at the National Art Museum of Ukraine, Dovzhenko Center continues screenings from the Seven Brief Meetings: the Cinematic Unconscious of the 60-s series. The theme of this, sixths, event will be representation of Kyiv in films made in the 1960s.
The guest of the evening is Viktor Hres – director and screenwriter, author of feature films Who Will Die Today? (1967), Blind Rain (1969), Blue and Green (1970), The Black Hen, or The Underground Residents (1980), The New Adventures of a Yankee at King Arthur's Court (1988).
The 1960-s for Kyiv were characterized by significant changes to the architectural fabric of the city. 1960 was the year when the Kyiv Subway opened and the Palace of Sports was built. Along with strategic projects realized under the auspices of the First Secretary of the Communist Party Petro Shelest: the National Museum of Ukrainian Architecture and Culture in Pyrohovo (1969) and the Ukraina Palace of Arts (1970), neomodernist architectural structures appeared in Kyiv: the Young Pioneers Palace (1968), the “Flying Saucer” at Lybidska subway station (1971), and a decade-long construction works on the Memory Park began (1968).
However, most of Kyiv neomodernist projects were never implemented in their original design. For instance, the Wall of Remembrance – the key element of the Memory Park by architects Ada Rybachuk, Volodymyr Melnychenko and Abraham Miletsky – was buried in concrete in 1982. Israel Goldstein’s film The Wall (1988) gives an account of this major act of official vandalism by the Soviet government.
The fate of sculptor Vasyl Borodai’s works is another example of the Soviet tradition of prohibitions. His monument to the Great October Revolution on Kyiv’s Maidan (Independence Square)became one of the first monuments demolished in Ukraine after the country became independent. His other works: a monument to the Cheka and Mother Motherland, still remain a subject of controversy concerning monuments of the Soviet past. Film-portrait Sculptor Vasyl Borodai (1976) tells of the early years of the sculptor’s life and work.
The other films on the program present a more optimistic and impressionistic view on the urban aspects of Kyiv of the 1960-s. Hryhoriy Kokhan’s film Stone Paintings (1967) tells of a long tradition of mosaic art in the architectural design of cities.
Student story film by Viktor Hres Blind Rain (1969) depicts everyday Kyiv of the sixties – a city of brand-new facilities: new playgrounds and recently opened hairstudios; a city of first love.
In contrast to this spring film, the documentary sketch by Eduard Tymlin The Kyiv Study (1969) is about the city in the fall. The captured colors of Kyiv accentuated by jazz accompaniment by composer Volodymyr Huba make this film one of the most accurate illustrations of the mood of the city in the 1960s.
The palette of the moods of the evening is well complemented by a short comedy film about the capital of Ukraine in the 1960-s, Kyiv Smiles (1967), featuring the incomparable duo Shtepsel and Tarapunka.
Time of the event: Friday, February12, 18:00.
Place: Kyiv, 6 Hrushevskoho St., National Art Museum of Ukraine.
1988, UkrSSR, Ukrainian News and Documentary Film Studio, 20 min.
Director: Israel Goldstein
This film by Israel Goldstein became the first public testimony of the demolition of the Wall of Remembrance – a series of original monumental bas-reliefs spanning over 2,000 square meters on Bajkova Hill in Kyiv. Yet the campaign to restore the Wall of Remembrance still has produced no results.
SCULPTOR VASYL BORODAI
1976, UkrSSR, Kyiv Studio of Popular Science Films, 20 min.
Director: Lyudmila Borysova
Screenplay: Zinoviy Fogel
This film-portrait is about the works of sculptor Vasyl Borodai – the National Artist of Ukraine, who entered an art institute after the war and later became author of some of Kyiv’s landmarks: monuments to Shchors, Lesya Ukrainka, the Cheka members, as well as the monument to Taras Shevchenko in New York.
1967, UkrSSR, Kyiv Studio of Popular Science Films, 11 min.
Director: Hryhoriy Kokhan
Screenplay: Hryhoriy Mjestechkin
Music: Boris Bujevskyi
Mosaic art (stone paining) in Ukraine has deep roots. In this film, Hryhoriy Kokhanprojects the tradition of religious mosaic and applied arts onto the monumental urban images of today. Apart from dozens of modern city mosaics, the film features breathtaking panoramic views of Kyiv of the 1960-s.
1969, UkrSSR, Oleksandr Dovzhenko Film Studio, 29 min.
Director: Viktor Hres Starring: Elvira Osipova, Lev Perfilov, Stanislav Borodokin, Sasha Kolosnitsyn, Natasha Polunina A poetic story of the first love of the main character, Sasha, to his neighbor Olena, both young citizens of Kyiv. He is care-free and totally open to the world. Neither the age difference with the girl, nor the mockery of his peers can ruin this special feeling that, for the first time, has filled the heart of the young Kyivite.
THE KYIV STUDY
1966, UkrSSR, Ukrainian News and Documentary Film Studio, 9 min.
Director and Cameraman: Eduard Tymlin
Music: Volodymyr Huba
A documentary sketch showing the fabric of Kiev in a sunny fall of the 1960-s. What makes the film interesting is not the usual landmarks of the city on the Dnieper, such as the Lavra, Khreshchatik, Shevchenko Park and Boulevard, but the faces of regular passers-by, shop windows and old street-cars, and evening meetings in a café to a jazz accompaniment. This is one of the first and most interesting works of Volodymyr Huba in cinematography.
“What is the most distinctive feature on the face of today’s Kyiv?” asks Eduard Tymlin in the screenplay to his film. “It is the artistic similarity between the old and the new.”
1967, UkrSSR, Ukrainian News and Documentary Film Studio, 16 min.
Director: Rafayil Nakhmanovich
Once upon a time, the favorite Ukrainian duo Tarapunka and Shtepsel (aka the National Artists of the UkrSSR Yuriy Tymoshenko and Yufim Berezin) decided to shoot Kyiv with a hidden camera. The comedy chronicle Kyiv Smiles is the result of this experiment.