Vol 12, No 4 (2020)

CHRONICLE IN DETAIL | CURRENT EVENTS

On the eve of the New Year holidays

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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):6
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THEORY AND HISTORY OF CINEMA | AUDIOVISUAL ARTS

From a Screen Document to a Poetic Image. Making Sense

Prozhiko G.

Abstract

The usually opposed concepts document and image are treated here as parts of an art system which relies on the specific character of documentary image combining an account of events and the implicit metaphorics of the captured reality. Throughout the history of cinema documentary filmmakers have always tended to move beyond the strict adequacy of representation giving their personal interpretation of reality in terms of a poetic text. Documentary film poetry is most notably related to Dziga Vertov who strived to overcome the flatness of sheer chronicle breaking through to a kind of screen versification. Vertov’s recipe was based on distancing, his messages could not be understood just by automatic perception of events, but only in view of polysemic symbolical and metaphorical content of every single shot camera angle accentuations. Editing and rhythmic connotations, exquisite camera angle accentuations, blankverse rhythmic captions turned observation of the ordinary course of life into abstractions, as exemplified by “A Sixth Part of the World”.

The experience of poetic documentaries based on organic combination of literary verses and screen imagery is evidenced by Alain Resnais and Paul Éluard’s “Guernica” and Joris Ivens and Jacques Prévert’s “The Seine Meets Paris”, two films featuring two personal models of documentary poetry perceived as expressive transformation of reality viewed through the lens of Pablo Picasso and Alain Resnais and as lyrical outbursts in the movie by Ivens. Contemporary forms of documentary poetry are exemplified by Godfrey Reggio, Philip Glass, Ron Fricke and their modern followers.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):8-19
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READING-ROOM | BOOK SHELF

The Library VGIK

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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):20
pages 20 views

FILM LANGUAGE AND TIME | IMAGE GENESIS

Initiation by Fear as a Model of Soviet Film Tales of the 1960s

Zernova P.

Abstract

The article deals with the transformation and interpretation of the initiation process with reference to the Soviet fairy-tale film genre, more precisely with the trial by fear of young heroes as an important stage of their getting to be truly Soviet people. The research is based upon the study of the archetype of an ideal hero in the fairy tale genre which has its roots in the socialist realism of the 1930s. In Soviet film tales of the 1960s (like the classic «Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors» by A.Rowe and «The Tale of Time Lost» by A.Ptushko) telling about the modern life of pioneers such ideology-driven symbols of the past came to be some kind of human ideal for young heroes in search of role models. Hence the necessity of initiation and the importance of trial by fear for the preparation of
youngsters for becoming ideal Soviet people.

With the collapse of Soviet mythology the fear in film tales evolved from a metaphysical designation of the process of transition into the anxiety about the current changes in real life which was getting ever less fairy. It became apparent in the transient tales of the post-thaw period like «Adventures of the Yellow Suitcase» by I.Frez who still kept on working with contemporary medium. The study of initiation of young fairy-tale heroes by means of trial by fear in terms of its changing sense brings out that the transformation of the Soviet fairy tale universe followed the general flow of thought in Soviet cinema at that turn of the decade.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):22-31
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The Image of War in the Cinema of the 60s. Knights without Past and Future

Ianushko A.V.

Abstract

On the basis of films about the Great Patriotic War produced during the thaw period, the idea of young characters’ romantic image of a war-time heroic deed is advocated. The article examines the cinematic image of the war as the view of a new generation of directors, removed in time from the events of 1941–1945. The depiction of war in films of the thaw period demonstrates the inevitable clash of the idealistic consciousness of young knights with the destructive forces of war. The problem of romanticizing heroism in war becomes relevant due to the change of perspective on the phenomenon of war, which invades normal existence and takes away the lives of young people who are just beginning their journey.

The scientific novelty lies in determining to what extent the screen image of war is influenced by the temporal distance between generations of directors who made films in wartime, when patriotism was a leading motivating force, and their children, the directors of the thaw.

Using the films of Mikhail Kalik ‘‘Goodbye, boys!’’, Vladimir Motyl ‘‘Zhenya, Zhenechka and Katyusha’’, Naum Birman ‘‘Chronicle of a Diving Bomber’’ and others, the author reveals the gap between the romantic dream of a heroic deed and reality. The necessity to go to war is more tragic for young heroes in films of the Thaw than in wartime films.

The author argues that the more reverent attitude of thaw cinema to the fate of its characters results from the time distance sufficient for a new understanding of the phenomenon of war in human life, a decrease in the patriotic fervor and a shift of focus from general military actions to the life of a specific person.

Looking at the image of the hero of the thaw period and the artistic space of films of the 1960s, the author calls the sense of a life unlived the result of the youthful craving for a heroic deed and the confrontation of yesterday's schoolchildren with the severity of war reality. The author reveals the problem of young heroes' unpreparedness for the trials of war and shows the meaninglessness of the chivalrous sacrifice in the name of a romantic idea.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):32-43
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ЧИТАЛЬНЫЙ ЗАЛ | КНИЖНАЯ ПОЛКА

The Library VGIK

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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):44
pages 44 views

PERFORMANCE | ART OF PRESENTATION

B.M.Nemensky’s “Berlin Sketches” and the Traditions of Russian Fine Art

Kleymenova O.

Abstract

The work of B.M. Nemensky is inextricably linked to the events of the Great Patriotic War. This theme unites his works of different genres not so much by the choice of a plot associated with specific military actions, but by a special type of heroes – people with whom Boris Mikhailovich traveled along the front roads from Velikiye Luki in 1942 to Berlin 1945.

Nemensky went to the front as an artist of M.B.Grekov’ studio. Using a pencil and a brush, he made dozens of sketches of the battlefields, of soldiers, of people from the cities and villages ravaged by the war, of burnt houses and streets covered with crushed brick.

In Berlin in the spring of 1945, the artist created a series of drawings and sketches, which later became known as “the Berlin sketches”. Their authenticity and expressiveness in conveying the smallest details stem from his work on the battlefield, and the rejection of false theatrics allowed them to reach a high level of understanding of the “calamities of war”.

The article offers an artistic analysis of the paint sheets of “The Berlin Sketches”, it points to the connection between their artistic language and the traditions of Russian art and its technique. Particular attention is given to B.M.Nemensky’s work with light, which defines the atmosphere of the sketches, becoming the main means of transmitting the emotional state. This role of light characterizes the national fine arts all the way from ancient Russian icon painting to the present day. In almost all works of Russian painting, you can discern this approach to light, which is the expression of the spiritual energy of the world.

Adherence to national traditions largely determined the emotional strength and depth of meaning of the “Berlin sketches”, which became one of the most expressive artistic documents of the Great Patriotic War, upholding humanistic values characteristic of the best works of Russian culture. 

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):46-58
pages 46-58 views

Composition of a Series of Artist's Works as an Emergent System

Sveshnikov A.

Abstract

The article examines the problem of holistic imagery resulting from the body of an artist’s works of various years. This perspective provides a deeper insight into his world view and creative method. The artist’s intention is best conveyed in the totality of his work revealing the true semantic load, the ultimate sense of his art. Only then one can be sure to understand the real message of his work. In the present article "a series" of works denotes the entire artistic career, which gives an opportunity to retrace the development of the core message, with all challenges and the final output characteristic of the artist’s personality. That way a series is can reveal the elusive sense of the figurative world perception much more pronounced in the whole oeuvre than in a single
work. In cinematographic terms, paintings of various years make a kind of "montage sequence", echoing or contradicting one another and thus creating a holistic view of the artist's creative spirit. Quite often such a series brings out latent semantic layers untraceable in any single work, which is suggestive of the inmost semantic depth of the unrepresented or of an "extra-sense".

The outlined approach is based on the evaluation of the famous Russian artist Geliy Korzhev. The article deals with three main stages of his work. During the Soviet period he earned all kinds of awards and the reputation of one of the leading painters of the socialist realism. The second period, that of metanoia, was marked by the notorious controversial series figuring grotesque fabled beings — “tiurliks”. At the third stage Korzhev turned to biblical subjects.

Taken as a whole, the work of Geliy Korzhev is a striking example of commitment to the truth of life and creativity which required utmost spiritual effort. Its evaluation makes clear that considering a series of works offers quite a different understanding of the whole artist's oeuvre and of his every work as well.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):59-71
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The Expressive Function of Color in Modern Non-Fiction Films

Shtandke A.

Abstract

The article examines four contemporary Russian documentaries shot in 2018–2020, two of them monochromatic and the other two polychromic and achromatic. Based on non-fiction films, the study analyzes the use of color as means of translating the documentary maker’s artistic vision. It sees into the process of live video filming for a documentary that may confront the videographer with the challenge of the color treatment, so that his skill depends on his ability to readily assess the color harmony regardless of hampered shooting conditions. The ongoing development of photography and cinema equipment and the improvement of color rendering in video images help the film directors to develop a deeper understanding of cinematography, to master the technique of digital video processing. However, technology is no more than an aid to the creative thought of documentary filmmakers who are responsible for the aesthetic vision and representation of reality. To what extent the author manages to render his artistic vision in a screen document depends on the level of his excellence. Documentary filmmaking gives directors freedom of reproducing their world views, so color as film medium is used by authors more focused on the picturesque aspects of color. Therefore the article points out the chromatic and achromatic properties of color as components of the film imagery affecting the perception of the documentary film maker’s artistic conception.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):72-81
pages 72-81 views

ЧИTAЛЬHЫЙ ЗАЛ | КНИЖНАЯ ПОЛКА

The Library VGIK

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Abstract

Information about new printed editions of VGIK
Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):82
pages 82 views

SCREEN CULTURE | CULTURAL STUDIES. PHILOSOPHY

A Character in the Space of Leisure. An Essay on Dramatic Composition of Film

Marievskaya N.

Abstract

Relationship dynamics of a character and his action space is essential to the plot. Consider the case when a character becomes part of high society that is a space of everlasting holiday, of subtle delight, witty talks and fancy entertainments. Most likely this character will face death. Film makers developing that kind of plot seem to anticipate the final collision by charging the film space with various omens. Why? What conflicts is the dazzling world of wealth and leisure fraught with? The study answers that, introducing the concept of “the space of leisure” meaning by leisure an ostentatious waste of time. This definition largely corresponds to Thorstein Veblen’s theory of the leisure class. The ostentation of time wasting gives their existence in the space of leisure the tone of a never ending show blurring the line between the true-life and the semblant. This contradiction is resolved by strict necessity to follow the rules of the game.

The study proves that the space of leisure is a confined playing area with inviolate rules of the game. Introducing in it a spielbrecher (Huizinga), that is a character willing to violate the fixed rules, contributes to unleashing the forces of social disorder loosely-bonded by these rules. Death in the space of leisure results from the spielbrecher’s collision with the elite’s collective interest which makes this death a side effect of the threat of breaking up relations between those in power and the underlings.

So the present day cinema not only draws forth the culture’s ludic aspect but also brings into sharp focus the playing areas’ boundaries and reveals the conflicts of the modern society.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):84-106
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WORLD CINEMA | ANALYSIS

The Concept of Latent Dramaturgy in Contemporary Iranian Cinema

Chirkina M.

Abstract

Referring to the nature of the hidden in art one may rephrase the German philosopher Jean Paul: art brings out the hidden, or the obvious absence of it.The hidden as a concept in film dramaturgy can manifest itself at all levels of the story’s content. This article represents the mechanism of the hidden by the so called ‘‘latent’’ dramaturgy which is relevant to a serene, dormant style in pictorial art. So, many canvases created in the 17th-century during the Golden Age of Dutch painting, were termed ‘‘stilleven’’ insofar as they presented a kind of frozen, silent life of things. Terming this style as ‘‘latent’’ is most suitable for many films whose authors are not so much concerned with the dramatic twists and turns of the plot as with the impact of external conflicts on the inner world of the characters and their ways of dealing with life challenges.

The style of latent dramaturgy is most obvious in contemporary Iranian films characterized by a matter-of fact tonality and deliberately muted emotions. The imagery and the entire meaning of the film are revealed in understatement.

The concept of the hidden in Iranian films exemplified by latent dramaturgy is determined by the realities of Iranian society, by its bans, its censorship, Islamic ideology and many taboo subjects which lays the groundwork for resorting to undertones and parables. Additionally Iranian filmmakers draw inspiration from the rich heritage of the ancient Persian culture.

Using the mechanism of the hidden, latent Iranian dramaturgy touches upon crucial aspects and mysteries of human existence. Without emotional expression and profound effects, just by dramaturgic means, Iranian films manage to arouse empathy.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):108-122
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Sound Space of M.Garrone’s Films: from Fiction to Reality

Sorokina J.

Abstract

Modern cinema has a huge number of expressive means that allows to represent a diegetic space in a certain kind of artistic convention. One of such means is the attempt to create audiovisual relations that ensure the reliability of the filmic action. Italian film director Matteo Garrone in his works explores the possibilities of the soundtrack to form an audiovisual space that would be organic to the chosen type of the artistic convention. Working with different genres of conditionality, M.Garrone nevertheless remains an adept of realistic style. It is particularly interesting to note that Garrone’s realism is manifested in his films by the means of using plausible sound, regardless of whether the documented outskirts of dirty Naples or the embodied images of an ancient fairy tales are shown on the screen. We can define such an attitude to sound treatment as audiovisual plausibility – a strong correlation between imagetrack and soundtrack in every nuance of their alterations.

The soundscape of M.Garrone’s films plays a fundamental role in the formation of his  ealistic director style. In this article, the soundtracks of three films by the Italian director (“Gomorra”, “Reality” and “Pinocchio”) are examined from the point of view of the choice of audio-visual artistic means, which allow him to physically materialize diegetic space. Sound gives «corporeality» to both pseudo-documentary and fantastic type of narration.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):123-136
pages 123-136 views

TELEVISION | DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT

TV Speech: the Polycode Nature of Verbal Inclusions

Kemarskaya I.

Abstract

The article examines TV speech as a subtype of media speech. The audible verbal component of the TV product includes two types of speech: a) sounding “voice-over” of the invisible narrator; b) “on camera” interviews sounding in sync with the facial movements of the talking person.

The shift from the semantic (substantive) approach to the TV media speech analysis (which has been predominant for many years) to a communicationmodel discourse provides the tools for studying sounding texts in conjunction with dynamics of the screen image.

The intersection of verbal and visual spheres of the TV product opens up the possibilities for an integrative approach.

Synchronous and off-screen types of media speech perform different functions. The off-screen text is intentionally monologic, its main semantic message is transmitted by verbal statements, structured according to a specific syntax in order to ensure a logical communication with TV viewer.

The synchronous “on camera” speech carries emotional and illustrative features, adding a touch of dynamics and entertainment to the TV show.

The “spontaneity” of the “on camera” speech is illusory, it can be considered as quasi-direct speech, performing the functions of a screen attraction.

On the Internet TV texts lose some of their properties, primarily the synchroneity of online viewing.

The possibility of replaying and pausing the video, of listening carefully to verbal texts influences the structure of the audiovisual product in accordance with new habits and social practices of media consumption.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):138-148
pages 138-148 views

КНИЖНАЯ ПОЛКА | ЧИТАЛЬНЫЙ ЗАЛ

The Library VGIK

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Abstract

Monographs of the faculty of VGIK
Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):149
pages 149 views

SUMMARY | PRESENTATION OF AUTHORS

Summary

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Abstract

Краткое представление авторов и содержания статей номера

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):152-157
pages 152-157 views

RECOMMENDATIONS AUTHORS

Recommendations for the authors

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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):158-160
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ХРОНИКА В ДЕТАЛЯХ | ПРАКТИКУМ ДЛЯ СТУДЕНТОВ

Exhibition of coursework of 3rd year students of the Faculty of Art, VGIK

Editorial office a.

Abstract

We present to your attention an exhibition of coursework by 3rd year students of the art faculty of VGIK. Workshop of animation film directors. Master - Tatiana Ilyina. 2020 year

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2020;12(4):150-151
pages 150-151 views

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