Die Geige / A Violin made by Yuri Kazakov in Poland (winter 2005)
A memorial movie made by Sasha Glyadelov, Tanya Hodakovskaya, Olga Komissar, Konstantin Petrov, Andrey Toloshny, Anya Sorokolet, Alisa Zdorovetskaya and many many more. Edited by: Andrey Toloshnyy and Tanya Hodakovskaya
Gothenburg’s International Filmfestival will soon begin, from 29th of january to 9th of February. I will however not be in town since I will visit Kyiv instead to collect material and ideas for new articles for viewpoint-east and hopefully other journals/newspapers.
The annual filmfestival in Gothenburg is however one of the few events I really appreciate, so it could sound strange that I have decided to leave the city right during those days. But it is a matter of priorities and Kyiv won my mind battle this time. (I will however not focus that much on the Presidential election, but rather to take this as an opportunity to highlight other issues.)
Firstly, there are not even ONE Ukrainian movie this year in the programme, which is is a great disappointment. I thought we would at least find one, or to be more precise (and please DO correct me of I am wrong) that Las Meninas would be in the programme. It has never been shown in Sweden or at the festival. That is a movie that at least I would like to see.
And last and not the least, I am very sad I miss all four movies from Armenia, and then especially Border, which seems to be a very interesting documentary with a new approach. I do hope I will have the possibility to watch it in a not too distant future.
The movie “The Eve of Ivan Kupala” is perhaps one of the most intrigues movies I have ever seen. The movie is based on Nikolai Gogol’s short story “The Eve of Ivan Kupala” (or “S:t John’s Eve” in translation). I did read the short story by Gogol a couple of years ago, but can’t say my imagination was able to create anything like this movie. The director, Yuri Ilyenko, has made a very independent interpretation of Petro’s pact with the devil, or what is thought to be the devil.
Petro’s meeting with the devil at Bear’s Ravine
The story is, as I told above, based on a short story by Gogol. Gogol has in his turn interpreted and collected Ukrainian folk tales. The story circles about the poor peasant Petro that falls in love with Pidorka. She is much richer than Petro, and her father disagree to their love. Finially her father forbid him to ever see her again, and Petro tries to make everything in his power to see her. He gets so desperate that he makes a pact with a stranger in town, that possibly could be seen as the devil. To make a long story very short, Petro agrees to blood shred in order to get the gold so he can get his Pidorka back. After protests he agrees to kill the child, in order to get the gold. Petro wakes up after two days Petro, unable to reember how he got the money.
Yuri Ilyenko has created a nonlinear masterpiece, with very little dialogue. He has left a lot of space for your own imagination and interpretation. But the fact that it isn’t easy to follow only makes the narration more complex and intrigues.
The movie was made in 1968 but wasn’t released until 1989. I believe it could be because the spoken language is Ukrainian, which was rather controversial to use in Soviet days. If anyone can fill me in why this movie was “forgotten” about for so long, I would be more than thankful. I can’t find much info about the movie, even though I have been looking almost everywhere.
Yesterday I wrote about Boris Mikhailov. During my most absent minded and distracted period in life, my mind have confused him with the director Nikita Mikhalkov. There is nothing resembling between them at all, (apart from the mustachio and the surname I guess). Notable is that I haven’t confused their work, of course, but their names. Which have lett me into a handfull confused dialogues. I won’t reproduce them here, you can possible imagine. Instead I will highlight the fact that Nikita Mikhalkov is making a new movie.
Perhaps this is no news for you, but I have to admit I was slightly surpised when I read it. During the past 10 years I have completely lost faith in his ability to make a movie that is not soaked in sticky nationalism and imperialism. And I actually belonged to those that enjoyed his “Burnt by the sun”.
When I now learned to know that he is working with a “Burnt by the sun 2” I can’t feel other than pure fear flavoured with a slice of scepticism’s. On the other hand, the movie possibly opens for an other dimension… like pure comedy? But I doubt the actual theme allow it. The Great Purge is nothing to joke about.
I am really looking forward to next issue of Kinokultura, that will be on Ukrainian cinema. I do hope they will write something about Molodist Film Festival in Kyiv. And I am also looking forward to read Olga Bryukhovetska (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Visual Culture Research Center) essay on Japanese nuclear cinema.