In Spring is a masterpiece of Ukrainian cinema avant-garde, a non-fiction film made by Mikhail Kaufman, Dziga Vertov's brother and co-author, along the lines of the avant-gardist theory of ...
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In Spring is a masterpiece of Ukrainian cinema avant-garde, a non-fiction film made by Mikhail Kaufman, Dziga Vertov's brother and co-author, along the lines of the avant-gardist theory of «cine-eye». The film shows Kyiv in 1929, almost unknown today. Pictures of wakening city, its resurging life resonate with lyrical views of reviving nature. Kaufman's attentive camera dwells deliberately on smiling faces of children, lyrically depicting a declaration of love to Kyiv. In In Spring, Kaufman used the method of «hidden camera» for the first time.Written by
Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Film Centre
The original Ukrainian intertitles were lost when they were cut and replaced with Russian intertitles in the mid-1930s. See more »
In honor of the ninetieth anniversary of the founding of VUFKU (The All-Ukrainian Photo-Cinema Administration), the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Film Centre implemented a 2K restoration of "In Spring" (Ukrainian title: "Navesni"). It was released on DVD in 2011, as part of the collection "Ukrainian Re-Vision" ("Ukrainske Nime"), and as a standalone DVD in the Kolo Dzigi Collection series. This restored version runs at 60 minutes and features a score by Oleksandr Kokhanovsky (2011). See more »
Splendid Film Techniques
Sometimes, even in cinema history, when an artist is very popular and has a remarkable career their relatives are eclipsed by their prominence (nothing of this happens with this German aristocrat and his rich and fat heiresses ) even if they have some astounding film. This happens with Herr Mikhail Kaufman, brother of Boris Kaufman and Dziga Vertov.
Obviously the importance and influences of Herr Vertov on his brother Mikhail's films is evident. But the last one didn't limit himself to copying his relatives prior experimental and acclaimed films. On the contrary, Herr Kaufman contributed with important innovations (as the "dawn-to-dusk" format, a later standard technique of the so-called "City Symphonies" film genre). That's not to mention that their oeuvre has elements of poetry and sensibility, intensified and inserted among vigorous film editing and slight propaganda.
Those remarkable characteristics of Herr Mikhail Kaufman film can be seen in "Vesnoi" (Spring), a kind of film-essay shot in Ukraine during the spring of 1929. "Vesnoi" pictures the struggle of people against the cold and harsh winter. And as this German Count said before, the film is full of those avant-garde and memorable film techniques that made the Russian film industry known for its own revolutionary business.
In the film there is a beautiful and ingenious parallel to the arrival of spring. Herr Kaufman inserts images of nature, flower blossoms with happy children at ease playing, and at last in the city streets are people in love and flirting around. (It is almost unbelievable but Russians falls in love too and fortunately with each others. He also parallels the merits of the success of the communist revolution, that is to say, fighting nature on behalf Bolshevist productivity, the awakening of proletarian masses against nature's forces in the form the winter. A time in where the harshness, and the suffering of the people in such terrible weather is splendidly filmed with obscure and oppressing shots makes a fine comparison with the spring's shining shots.
Besides the splendid film techniques (incredible camera angles, slow motion, syncopated editing) and the humanistic qualities of the film, there is also time for propaganda, natürlich! So we can see the powerful Bolshevist industry and energetic and merry workers that even had time for national sports as football, cycling, or the most important of all, crowded demonstrations.
Summing up, "Vesnoi" is a splendid film that deserves to be better known among the longhaired youngsters and likewise their director, Herr Mikhail Kaufman for his own merits and not merely as being "the brother of".
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must avoid their relatives in the next Teutonic soirée.
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