KULTURFILM: LECTURE BY OLHA BRYUKHOVETSKA AND SCREENING OF PARAJANOV’S THE FLOWER ON THE STONE
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On Tuesday May 31, at 18:30, the second event within the Kulturfilm. Cinematographic Revision of the Donbas project will take place: a lecture from theorist of cinema and visual arts, Senior Lecturer in the Cultural Studies Department of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Olha Bryukhovetska – Cinematographic Donbas of the Thaw Period: Parajanov’s “Black” Film, or Milk for the Hero and a screening of the film The Flower on the Stone (1962) by Serhiy Parajanov.
The film follows the life of a young mining town, where a religious sect operates along with the traditional proletarian attributes. Playboy foreman Hryhoriy Hryva is trying to build a relationship with Komsomol organizer Lyuda. Komsomol member Arsen falls in love with Khrystyna, a girl from Western Ukraine, and tries to pull her out of the sect. Initially, the film was directed by Anatoliy Slisarenko as No Rest for the Wicked, or No-one Has Ever Loved Like This. However, after actress Inna Burduchenko was killed in 1960 while shooting a scene involving a burning building, Slisarenko was taken off the film and sent to prison. Slisarenko’s coursemate Parajanov was assigned to finish the film, which he completes in 1962, giving it a new title, The Flower on the Stone.
The cinematographic Donbas firmly entrenched itself in the Soviet Imaginary as a key topos of Stalinism, the place where shock workers performed their heroic deeds while treacherous “enemies of the people” hatched conspiracies. The nocturne mood of this “black” film by Parajanov, which has neither any official speeches typical for the Stalinist period nor even parodies on them that were popular during the thaw period, resembles not only and not so much Stalinist mining movies, with their clear division into light and dark characters, as the American film noir, in which ethical ambivalence comes over all characters, regardless of whether they are on this or the other side of the law
(Olha Bryukhovetska. Cinematographic Donbas of the Thaw Period: Parajanov’s “Black” Film, or Milk for the Hero. / Cinematographic Revision of the Donbas. K.: 2015)
Olha Bryukhovetska is a theorist of cinema and visual arts, Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, Senior Lecturer in the Cultural Studies Department of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Got her Bachelor’s degree from the Department of Philosophy at Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University and a Master of Cultural Studies from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, and her Candidate’s dissertation is concerned with psychoanalytical film theory. At the moment she is studying Ukrainian films made by Parajanov in the context of the visual culture of post-Stalinism.
The Kulturfilm. Cinematographic Revision of the Donbas project is supported by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation with the funds of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany.