Сontinuing the search for traces of Russian experimental cinema started with the retrospective of Vladimir Kobrin works we publish an article by Petr Pospelov about the first Almanach of parallel cinema, which he complied in 1990. Responding to requests of film clubs across the country due to the growing popularity of this movement, Petr Pospelov selected four most illustrative films and transferred them from 16 mm to 35 mm film; the screening will be held in the framework of MIEFF festival.
After the screening there will be a discussion with Pospelov and Gleb Oleynikov in Stanislavsky theater's foyer.
USSR | 1987 | 12 min Igor Aleynikov, Gleb Aleynikov
One of the most famous films of Soviet parallel cinema in the world, in which the method of conceptualism, elaborated earlier by Moscow underground in poetry and plastic arts, becomes most evident. Aleynikov brothers make an inversion typical for this method, reversing official and everyday language schemes. Tractor is one of the most powerful symbols of Soviet happy life, peaceful labor and rich harvest. Extremely mystified, it acquires the features of fantastic animal, human being and machine. The meaning of the film is no longer the narrative about the tractor but the tone of the story and the hypnotizing effect of the image.
Members of Chapayev Society Speaking
USSR | 1987 | 8 min Che-Payev cinema group
According to Chapayev Society charter it unites all citizens of the world and it has its own agency in the world of art - Che-Payev cinema group. Its objective is to conduct theoretical research in the field of contemporary cinema mythology and to implement practical propaganda of the total Chapayev idea. The major activities of the group have been reflected in its name which combines names of the two greatest figures of the pantheon of the heroes - Ernesto Che Guevara and V. I. Chapayev. This is the most international film of parallel cinema, created in the age of the crisis of imperial logic. The ideal of empire, which attained respectable elderly image, is living out its last days in those shots, covered with the patterns of children's conceptualism.
Men's Brutal Illness
USSR | 1987 | 10 min Igor Aleynikov, Gleb Aleynikov
One of the most gloomy works of Aleynikov brothers, made under the influence of Leningrad school of parallel cinema. A dead man walking around wasteland, a homosexual rapist - those figures owe their origin to necrorealism. The film begins with the images of industrial landscapes followed by chronicles and feature episodes, and ends with a three-minute scene of homosexual rape in a subway car.
Report from the Land of Love
USSR | 1987-88 | 45 min Peter Pospelov
The film is based on the love story of Larisa and Farid. Protagonists' relationship appears as a part of life of the whole country but in the same time social world is shown from the intimate point of view. Report from the land of love is a first parallel cinema attempt to tell a story and use narrative structure but it is realized by documentary cinema methods. The film comprises an internal game and sometimes polemic with culture and concepts of the 60s, for instance, with idea of the unity of sexual and political revolution, and in the language of cinema - with the methods of direct cinema.
Parallel cinema movement in the USSR started to take shape in the early 1980s and in contrast to Western groups of "independent" filmmakers being in stiff opposition to official film industry, it rather came out from the connection with a complicated way of getting into very closed system of Soviet "big cinema". Distinctive feature of the movement was the formation outside of any ideology and refusal to focus on social problems. Parallel cinema directors Igor and Gleb Aleynikovy, Evgeny Yufit, Boris Yukhananov, Che-Paev cinema group and the others aspired to reflect on themselves in the field of pure art without regard to potential viewer, press or fee. With the coming of perestrojka it started to gain popularity and gradually coming out of hiding, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union the movement ceased to exist, having made a significant impact on the development of experimental cinema in Russia.
Films are demonstrated in Russian and without subtitles