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CINEMA ON THE SQUARE

ADVENTURERS
Director Konstantin Buslov
Russia, 2013,
12+

VIY 3D
Director Oleg Stepchenko
Russia, 2014,
12+

BREAK LOOSE
Director Alexei Uchitel
Russia, 2013,
12+

KISS THEM ALL
Director Zhora Kryzhovnikov
Russia, 2013,
16+

DUBROVSKY
Directors: Kirill Mikhanovsky, Alexander Vartanov
Russia, 2013,
16+

YOLKI 3
Directors: Olga Kharina, Dmitri Kiselev, Levan Gabriadze, Ekaterina Telegina, Alexander Kott, Alexander Karpilovsky
Russia, 2013,
6+

IVAN TSAREVITCH AND THE GREY WOLF 2
Director Vladimir Toropchin
Russia, 2013,
0+

THE KITCHEN IN PARIS
Director Dmitri Diachenko
Russia, 2014,
12+

MOSCOW-RUSSIA EXPRESS
Director Igor Voloshin
Russia, 2014,
12+

SMILIK
Director Tamara Alenikova
Russia, 2014,
16+

STALINGRAD
Director Fedor Bondarchuk
Russia, 2013,
12+

LAND OF GOOD KIDS
Director Olga Kaptur
Russia, 2013,
0+

SHORT METER – CONTEMPORARY ART, CHARITY, ADVERTISING

On the cinematic map of the world the short film occupies new territories and becomes more and more significant and diverse. But how can shorts be part of modern life and find a niche, how can they solve the problem of demand? This year at Kinotavr, within the framework of the non-competition programme, we present three types of auteur short films, from pure experiment of festival cinema to films made on order of advertisers. Between these poles lies the auteur short presented by artists in a single lot at charitable auctions.

The creative work of the art-group PROVMYZA expresses a typical idea for modern avant-garde intellectualism where the text, saturated with contexts, associations and elements of different arts, acquires a new meaning that is more than the sum of all factors. Reflecting on the special and temporal relation of man to the world, nature and technology, the winners of international festivals Galina Myznikova and Sergei Provorov create a special type of new, philosophical cinema. "The polyphonic interlacing of natural, human and technological images creates the principle of 'distancing', the combination of the incongruous, the incommensurability of logic, sensual and chaotic thinking tragically incorporated in a single world", thus the authors explain the concept of the film "Snowdrop" about man's loneliness in the world where "the thin line of a lead, uniting a dog with a man, appears and disappears from view, defining the unsteadiness of attitudes and anticipating the impending separation. The helicopter that is in discord with nature in one moment breaks the link between man and the dog." In the film "Eternity" the monotony of the action provokes associations – cultural, literary, mythological – from the myth of Sisyphus to the "Eternal Returns", both in the Nietzschean sense and in Muratova's interpretation. The authors reckon that they continue the experiments of the Portuguese cinematographers of the "new wave" and at the same time choose an epigraph to their film from the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus: "Eternity is a playing child…"

Auteur cinema in support of charity – that is the concept of the auctions held by “Action!” magazine, which – on the initiative of producer Svetlana Bondarchuk – run already in their third year on the eve of the Christmas holidays. All participants – actors and directors, who present and lead through the evenings – work free of charge. The idea quickly gained popularity, and there are now fights over different lots. This initiative overturns our idea about the lack of profitability of the short film: thanks to the diligence of the organizers, the auctions of “Action!” raise in one evening a great deal of money to support funds such as “Creations”, “Give Life”, “Planet World”, “Step Towards”, and “Children’s Hospice” and the House of Film Veterans.

The selection presented here shows only a bit of the work created over three years in the context of the charitable programme of shorts, each of which deserves viewing, but nevertheless demonstrates the level of engagement of high-profile filmmakers in this good cause and displays the stylistic range of their works. Sometimes this is an auteur comment on an already known and recognized film, made with state-of-the-art technology (“That Summer”, director Alexei Popogrebsky), or a supplementary plot to yet another mini-short-story (“Five Comments. Till Night Do Us Part”, director Boris Khlebnikov). But most frequently we have before us an original, new story. The limitation of the length and the budget in combination with a unique opportunity for shorts directors to invite stars and the best film crews has generated the genre of film-monologues (“The Confessor”, director Ivan Vyrypaev; “Pilau”, director Fedor Bondarchuk; “Five Comments”), of dialogues (“Sasha”, director Fedor Bondarchuk, “About Love”, director Anna Melikyan, “A Sober Driver”, director Rezo Gigienishvili), and often a film-essay or short story with a single hero (“Onega”, director Nikolai Khomeriki, “The Grasshopper”, director Vladimir Khotinenko). Sometimes the aim of the charitable project influences the film’s structure, as in the traditionally filmed story about the cure of a sick boy (“Touch”, director Vladimir Grammatikov) and in the symbolist parable by Renata Livtinova “Inside Me” about the trembling heart of a dead mannequin and the destruction of a toy bunny in a burning city.

The idea for the union of cinema and advertising – apparently the discovery of the day – actually has deep historical roots. In Russian cinema it goes back at least to the times of the New Economic Policy (NEP, 1921-28): what is Yakov Protazanov’s “The Tailor from Torzhok” or Boris Barnet’s “Girl with a Hatbox” if not advertising for the state loan? Fictional advertising films were also made by Dziga Vertov, stepping back from the documentary genre without renouncing the cinematic truth, or “kinopravda”. Yet the aspiration of the producer Artem Vasiliev to use in cinema “the legend of a brand, its philosophy and ideology. That is the image. And the emotion with which the brand wants to be associated” is especially fresh and does not contradict the auteur style in cinema. Woody Allen faced the same task, for example, when telling about Barcelona, Paris and Rome. So the impudent announcement “The whole world is advertising” from Ivan Vyrypaev’s film is no longer simply a shocking provocation.

In Artem Vasiliev’s programme, the advertising message is modestly presented: the stewardess’s trolley that crosses the frame contains, among other drinks, a bottle of Chivas whiskey (“From Tokyo”, director Alexei German Jr); a stereo-player from which a disk is ejected with a recording of the British musical group “5ive” in the trailer to the films by Alexei Popogrebsky (“Bloodrop”), Igor Voloshin (“Atlantica”), Andrei Zviagintsev (“Secret”); a glass with the orange juice Rich on the table before a girl in a cafe (“What are Our Actions?”, director Mikhail Segal and “As Advertising”, director Ivan Vyrypaev). Advertising sets a general theme, which is followed by the author’s treatment. Even the only too familiar theme of the Motor Licensing and Inspection Department is shown differently in advertising films: as a coherently told story about the awakening consciousness of a reckless road police inspector (Sergei Puskepalis) in the film “End of the Watch” (directors Alexander Lungin, Sergei Osipyan); as the monologue of a pregnant lady (Alisa Khazanova) hastening to her doctor, who uses her car as a table, a home, and a public telephone booth (“Quiet, Mums”, director Fedor Bondarchuk), and even as a parody on silent cinema, or rather its traditional image, the “legend of the brand” that sits in our consciousness, with the beautiful countess straight from Osip Mandelshtam (Ksenia Rappoport), with the “accident-pursuit-rescue” triad straight from D.W. Griffiths, and with the reduction, parody and transposition of this myth into the comic (“Rescue Tunnel”, director Boris Khlebnikov).

The three-part programme presented here is not as eclectic as might seem at first sight. Because in all three cases, it is a question of auteur shorts, a phenomenon of contemporary art. This achievement should enter its life and find its spectator.

Natalia Nusinova
Programme Curator

CONTEMPORARY ART

SNOWDROP
Directors: Galina Myznikova, Sergei Provorov, 12+

ETERNITY
Directors: Galina Myznikova, Sergei Provorov, 12+

ART-GROUP PROVMYZA
Programme curator

CHARITY

ACTION!


2011

SASHA
Director Fedor Bondarchuk, 16+

THE CONFESSOR
Director Ivan Vyrypaev, 16+

ABOUT LOVE
Director Anna Melikian, 16+

THE GRASSHOPPER
Director Vladimir Khotinenko, 16+

2012

PILAU
Director Fedor Bondarchuk, 16+

FIVE COMMENTS (TILL NIGHT PARTS US…)
Director Boris Khlebnikov, 16+

GQ
Director Andrei Merzlikin, 16+

2013

ONEGA
Director Nikolai Khomeriki, 16+

THAT SUMMER
Director Alexei Popogrebsky, 16+

ON THE LEASH
Workshop of Djannik Faiziev, 16+

INSIDE ME
Director Renata Litvinova, 16+

A SOBER DRIVER
Director Rezo Gigineishvili, 16+

THE TOUCH
Director Vladimir Grammatikov, 16+

SVETLANA BONDARCHUK
Programme Curator

ADVERTISING

BLOODROP
Director Alexei Popogrebsky, 16+

ATLANTICA
Director Igor Voloshin, 16+

FROM TOKYO
Director Alexei A. German, 16+

WHAT ARE OUR ACTIONS
Director Mikhail Segal, 16+

END OF THE WATCH
Directors: Sergei Osipyan, Alexander Lungin, 16+

AS ADVERTISING
Director Ivan Vyrypaev, 16+

NUMBER
Director Vitaly Shepelev, 16+

QUIET, MUMS
Director Fedor Bondarchuk, 16+

THE RESCUE TUNNEL
Director Boris Khlebnikov, 16+

SECRET
Director Andrei Zvyagintsev, 16+

ARTEM VASILYEV
The programme curator

THE GREAT LOOP

Several years ago the Moscow Film Festival proposed a program of great, epic films about World War II. Vladimir Dmitriev, the archivist of the Gosfilmofond collection, suggested a remarkable title for the retrospective: “Great Cinema about the Great War”. However, this phrase was rejected – only to appear in a modified version and transformed into a slogan, when it was unsuccessfully used in the advertising campaign for a well-known Russian film. The term “Great War” is, in the West, linked strictly to the First World War. And if the extremely knowledgeable Dmitriev, who told me this story, confessed that he had completely forgotten about the traditional meaning of the term, then how can we lament the lack of knowledge among the broad masses of the fights that took place between 1914 and 1918!
In Soviet schools and colleges we were taught to remember Lenin’s call for the “transformation of the imperialist into a civil war”. In dozens of Soviet films the First World War appeared only as backdrop against which the Bolshevik-Revolutionary struggle unfolded. While Jean Renoir released his “La Grande Illusion”, Howard Hawks made “The Dawn Patrol”, and Georg Wilhelm Pabst completed “Westfront 1918”, the Soviet “historical-Revolutionary” films showed soldiers and sailors killing their commanders and proudly raising scarlet banners above their heads: “fire with blood”.

Of course, some exciting battle episodes from a hundred years ago occasionally appeared in Soviet films: in 1931, in “And Quiet Flows the Don” by Olga Preobrazhenskaya and Ivan Pravov; two years later in Boris Barnet’s great “Outskirts”; in some Thaw films; in Marlen Khutsiev’s “Infinity”. In Andrei Kravchuk’s “Admiral”; in Vladimir Motyl’s last film, “The Crimson Colour of the Snowfall”… But if a thousand Soviet and Russian films have been made about the Second World War – among them genuine masterpieces that delighted spectators from Canada to New Zealand, Argentina to Japan – then films devoted exclusively to the Great War, to the courage and bravery of Russian soldiers and officers, have still not appeared.

It would be nice to think that the screening of great films from abroad and those few Soviet and Russian films where the First World War is mentioned will prompt contemporary filmmakers to correct that situation. Even after a hundred years.

SERGEI LAVRENTIEV
Curator of the program, film historian and critic

AND QUIET FLOWS THE DON
Directors: Olga Preobrazhenskaya, Ivan Pravov
USSR, 1930, 16+

OUTSKIRTS
Director Boris Barnet
USSR, 1933, 16+

WE, THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE
Director Vera Stroeva
USSR, 1965, 16+

MOONZUND
Director Alexander Muratov
USSR, 1987, 16+

ADMIRAL
Director Andrei Kravchuk
Russia, 2008, 16+

RED COLOR SNOW
Director Vladimir Motyl
Russia, 2009, 16+

WAR HORSE
Director Steven Spielberg
USA, 2011, 12+

ONCE THERE LIVED AN OLD WOMAN
Director Andrei Smirnov
Russia, 2011, 16+

BOTH IN WINTER AND IN SUMMER: EXPECT UNPRECEDENTED MIRACLES

Unlike the theme of the First World War, which was so strikingly absent in our cinema of the last hundred years, the theme of sport was one of the main ones for Soviet cinema. Decades went by: the Thaw was replaced by a bitter cold, reprisals gave way to democracy and even openness – but films about sport were always made.

During the era of “effective management” the entire country enthusiastically sang “The Sportsman’s March” from one of the most popular sport films:


Hey you, goalie, prepare for battle!
You’re a watchman by the gate.
Just imagine, that behind you
The borderline must be kept safe.


The propaganda of physical culture (i.e. sport) was placed on the top level in the 1930s. Strong and mighty athletes were needed for the great struggle for peace, at the end of which the last remaining Socialist Republic should become part of the great and mighty Soviet Union.

The Thaw was characterised, among other things, by a new twist in the representation of the sports theme. The directors of “Hockey Players” and “Royal Regatta” had begun to reflect on the price of victories and new records, about the interaction of the leader and the team… on the whole there was something of a “Czech revisionism” which would soon be over.

In the 1970s and 1980s sports in cinema turned to something obligatory, compulsory –despite of everything. Soviet cinema left its mark on almost every kind of sport: winter sport, summer sport, no matter! Skis for “The Course of the White Queen”; skates for “The Price of Fast Seconds”; basketball in “Pivot from the Skies”; gymnastics in “The Miracle with Pigtails”; figure skating in “Blue Ice”; and football in “Eleven Hopefuls”…

Some films were good, others not so good; some were watched actively, others rather passively. For the 1980 Olympics there was an official film: “Oh, Sport, you’re the World!” For the 2014 Olympics there were “The Champions” and “There are only Girls in Sports”…

There is probably only one outstanding film among them all: “Sport, Sport, Sport” by Elem Klimov. But all the same, sometimes it would be nice to hear again, as in “Pivot”, the young Alla Pugacheva singing from behind the frame “Good-bye, summer, good-bye”… You want to see again the fine figure-skater Yuri Ovchinnikov in “Fantasy on the Theme of Love”…

Nostalgia: what can you do about it!..

SERGEI LAVRENTIEV
Curator of the program, film historian and critic

THE GOALIE
Director Semen Timoshenko
USSR, 1936, 12+

SPORT HONOUR
Director Vladimir Petrov
USSR, 1951, 12+

HOCKEY PLAYERS
Director Rafail Goldin
USSR, 1964, 12+

ROYAL REGATA
Director Yuri Chuliukin
USSR, 1966, 12+

SPORT, SPORT, SPORT
Director Elem Klimov
USSR, 1970, 12+

PIVOT FROM THE SKIES
Director Isaak Magiton
USSR, 1975, 12+

FANTASY ON THE THEME OF LOVE
Director Aida Manasarova
USSR, 1980, 12+

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