To the 110th anniversary of S.Eisenstein’s birth
Sergey EISENSTEIN. The hard nut of film science. (Republication and introduction by N.Kleiman)
«The hard nut of film science» is the first version of the first academic teaching course in film direction and it is an important source of exploration of Eisenstein’s aesthetic idea. Republication of this article owes its origin to the two anniversaries: the 75th anniversary of its first publication and the 110th anniversary of the author’s birth. Since then the text has never been republished. Moreover this teaching course was revised by its author—either under the influence of critics or in respect with his own work in VGIK—and the new version was published in Iskusstvo kino magazine (№ 4 (1936); republished in the second volume of Selected works in six volumes (1964). The second version took the shine out of the original. Still the earlier version marked the era when the most important principles of teaching of VGIK’s film direction faculty and in particular Ei- senstein’s were established. And this is a burning question nowadays due to the fact that there’s an evident crisis of teaching methods even in the film institutes—especially in those where the upbringing of creative abilities has been replaced by the production of functional skills.
Natalya RYABCHIKOVA. Sergey Eisenstein and Edmund Wilson: The story of a dialogue
In 1931, when Eisenstein was in Mexico, Soviet politicians were about to declare him de facto refugee. At this time Edmund Wilson published an article in the monthly magazine New Republic saying that the director had more creative freedom abroad than in Russia. Eisenstein sent him an answer (his letter to Wilson was published in the same edition). However Eisenstein’s’ text was addressed not only to Wilson but to those who were trying to detect any anti-Soviet cues in his words. The author of this article considers Eisenstein’s answer to be a protest against any pressure either financial or ideological.
«Daddy! Do gain strength, come and flank». Leonid Obolenskiy’s letters to Sergey Eisenstein. 1928–1930s Three letters by Leonid Obolenskiy, actor, sound editor and director, who was Eisenstein’s student in 1928. They were corresponding while Eisenstein was abroad. Obolenskiy brought him the facts about the sound exploration, some events from the cinematographic life, the release of the film Earth and so forth. «To Mr. Eisenstein whom I find sympathetic…» About the autographs on the books from S.Eisenstein’s library. A talk with Naum Kleiman A brief excursion along the bookshelves of Sergey Eisenstein’s memorial library. Naum Kleiman comments on the bookplates and describes how the books found their way into the director’s library and how they served their purpose in Eisenstein’s conceptions and ideas.
Vladimir ZABRODIN. «Cupid’s pranks», or «The first I slept with». A.Kasatkina’s portrayal in documents and letters
Agniya Kasatkina was one of the director’s friends of youth. Rumor has it that private lives of Eisenstein and Vertov had a share in their aesthetic controversies—they were both acquainted with Kasatkina. Neverthe- less Eisenstein almost never recalled their relationship with Kasatkina. The story of this relationship from the woman’s point of view—in the article by Vladimir Zabrodin.
Irina RUBANOVA. Ingmar Bergman. The first ten years
Though there are a lot of books dedicated to Bergman’s work, the beginning of his film career is still not well- known to wide audience. The famous art critic follows the evolution of Bergman’s poetics as exemplified by his stage works, analyses his first films where one can notice Rosselini and Hitchcock influence and which served the basis for his later creative work.
Michelangelo ANTONIONI. I’m starting to understand. Diary pages
A few autobiographical essays by Antonioni that were written in 1951–1959s while shooting.
TOWARDS THE INTERPRETATION OF A FILM
Inna ORKINA. «Little man» in big history. The experience of the existential interpretation of the Commissar’s theme
Alexander Askoldov’s Commissar was shot in 1967, but it was released theatrically only during the perestroika. There were several reasons why it happened—the film itself was a screen adapation of the émigré writer’s book, it had Jewish theme and it was very different from the canons of the Soviet mass production. Not only the author compares it with the Soviet cinema of the 1960s but incorporates the film into the history of art in general.
Pyotr BAGROV. Vera Kuznetsova (1933–2007)
Vera KUZNETSOVA. American stars in the Bolshevik country. (Publication by P.Bagrov) The last article by Vera Kuznetsova, film expert from St.Petersburg. The author observes the foreign cinema of the 1920s—American genre films and film stars as perceived by the audience and critics, and traces the American cinema influence on the aesthetics of the Soviet films.
Lev OSTROUMOV. My friendship with the Silent Era. (Publication by A.Batalina)
Lev Ostroumov (1892–1955), poet, writer, interpreter. In 1916 he graduated from the Faculty of history and phi- lology of the Moscow State University, where he later became a professor. He has been publishing his poetry since 1913. He worked in cinema from 1915 to 1918. In 1950 his memoirs were to be included in the volume under the editorship by Vladimir Vishnevskiy but that book had never been edited due to ideologic reasons.
CINEMA: LIFE AND ADVENTURE
Iosif POSELSKIY. Iran. Diary of a director and documentarian An extract from the essay about the shooting of the film Iran (1942), that expressed the official Soviet state opinion of the culture of its ally. The diary captures Poselskiy’s vivid impressions of the life in Iran of his day.
Naum ARDASHNIKOV. A trip to Italy. Debut as a director
Sequel to the memoirs of the famous director of photography. (see KZ 82). The first part of the story about working with Yuly Raizman and about his own directorial debut.
Lydia KANASHOVA. The author between the play and the document. Festival films and their «neighbors» in the cultural environment
AnastasiaVLADIMIROVA. Smoothness and pathos. Italian cinema within the Russian festivals.
Denis VIREN. Eastern Europe in search of the landmarks
The review of the last Moscow Film Festival.
Elena VINOGRADOVA. Yuri Grymov: from design to media object
Grymov is a modern and successful Russian pop art artist. He began in advertisement then started to shoot films. His works are traced in this article.
Alexander DANILIN. The self-fulfilled prophecies. Freight 200: the reflections of a psychiatrist
The practicing psychiatrist analyzes one of the most controversial and pathologic Russian films for some time past—Alexei Balabanov’s Freight 200. Basing on his medical practice the author explores how the plot influences the spectator’s mind in the modern mass culture.
Nikolay KHRENOV. About The New Laocoon by Valeriy Mildon
The author reviews the book by Valeriy Mildon, a literary theorist. In the article he begins a dialogue with Mil- don by offering his own aesthetic concept where Postmodern art represents the extension of Modern style.