UKRAINIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA AT MALEVICH DAYS IN KYIV
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On June 10 and 11, as part of Malevich Days in Kyiv, Dovzhenko Centre will screen the restored masterpieces of Ukrainian avant-garde cinema – The Eleventh Year by Dziga Vertov and In Spring by Mikhail Kaufman. The screenings will be followed by discussions of the films with Ivan Kozlenko, Tetyana Filevska and Stas Menzylevskyi. Venue: the Zhovten Cinema.
The past year, 2015, was declared by UNESCO the Year of Kazimir Malevich. Born in Kiev, he worked and taught here for some time. It was in Ukraine that Malevich developed as an artist. His innovative ideas and thoughts revolutionized the world art. In order to return the famous artist into the mental space of the Ukrainian capital and to let Ukrainians rediscover him, Malevich Days will be held in Kiev on June 9-11. As part of Malevich Days, screenings of two films are scheduled – In Spring and The Eleventh Year, directed by Dziga Vertov, who Malevich admired. These films are powerful demonstrations of an interest to the purity of form and simplicity of objects – the ideas characteristic for the turbulent generation of artistic intelligentsia in the newly born Soviet Union.
The Eleventh Year (1928) is the first of three avant-garde films made by Dziga Vertov and his brother, cameraman Mikhail Kaufman, in Ukraine at the newly opened Kiev film studio VUFKU. Dedicated to the success of the first five-year plan in the Donbass, the film tells the story of accelerated industrial modernization of eastern Ukraine, which resulted in transformation of an agricultural country into an industrial one. The Eleventh Year is Vertov’s first experiment in implementing his program of developing a specific film-language, separate from the language of theater and literature, in which the camera would directly capture the raw matter of life. This program was fully realized by Vertov in his next Ukrainian film, Man With a Movie Camera (1929).
Music for the film was written by Ukrainian composer Anton Baibakov, on commission from the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, within the serial project of musical cinematic performances, Kolo Dzigi.
In Spring is a masterpiece of Ukrainian cinema avant-garde, a non-fiction film made by Mikhail Kaufman, Dziga Vertov’s brother and co-author, along the lines of the avantgardist theory of «cine-eye». The film shows Kyiv in 1929, almost unknown today. Pictures of wakening city, its resurging life resonate with lyrical views of reviving nature. Kaufman’s attentive camera dwells deliberately on smiling faces of children, lyrically depicting a declaration of love to Kyiv. In In Spring, Kaufman used the method of «hidden camera» for the first time.
Soundtrack to the film was composed by Oleksandr Kokhanovsky, who also created music to a series of experimental theatrical productions, movies, art performances and other artistic events.
The films The Eleventh Year and In Spring are part of the KOLO DZIGI series of musical cinematic performances initiated by Dovzhenko Centre and featuring premiere screenings of restored Ukrainian silent films to the accompaniment to contemporary music.