09.05.2017

Ukrainian Avant Garde in Film: Unknown Kyiv of 1929. Screening and talk. June 7, 6:30pm


The event will present an almost lost documentary film by Mikhail Kaufman, a brother, cameraman and a co-author of Dziga Vertov. Shoot in Kyiv and produced by All-Ukrainian Photo-Cinema Directorate in 1929, this avant garde film is a cinematic poem to arrival of spring in nature as well as a new life in a society. With the first use of hidden camera  it also offers a rare glimpse on everyday life in Soviet Ukraine during NEP and “indigenization” policy, a short-lived policies of the Soviet State.

The screening will be followed by a talk by Stanisnav Menzelevsky, a Programme Director from Olexander Dovzhenko National Centre, Ukraine's largest cinemateque.

This event is part of the events series "The Century ofthe Ukrainian Revolutions", organised by the Ukrainian Institute in London.

DATE: Wednesday, 7 June 2017

TIME: 6:30pm

VENUE: Bertha Doc House, Curzon Bloomsbury, The Brunswick Centre, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1AW

Note this is a ticketed event. The ticket needs to be purchased on Dertha DocHouse website.

About the film:

In Spring/Navesni

VUFKU, 1929

Duration: 00:54:18

Directed by Mikhail Kaufman

Written by Mikhail Kaufman

Cinematography by Mikhail Kaufman

Music by Oleksandr Kokhanovskyi

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 Kokhanovskyi, who also created music to a series of experimental theatrical productions, movies, art performances and other artistic events.

Georges Sadoul, a French cinema writer Mikhail Kaufman’s In Spring (1929) is more of a cinematic poem than a documentary. In 1930 in Ukraine, this film as well as Earth made a profound impression on us. With In Spring, we have discovered a totally new form of documentary cinema, a cine-poem, where the lyric theme of thaw and swelling buds accompanied the advancement of USSR towards socialism without concealing still existing survivals of the past. I saw this film thirty-seven years ago but still keep unforgettable memories of it.




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