Kyiv: ARP, 1929. 160
pp.: ill., 4 ills. 22x16 cm. In original wrappers with letterpress design.
No spine, segments of block and covers detached from each other,
fragments of oversized wrappers lost, small hole in p.19/20 (some text
detached), otherwise good and clean internally.
One of 3000 copies. Very rare. In Russian.
First of two issues produced. This early periodical of socialist
writers and journalists includes an article “The Origin of Ukrainian
Film Culture” by Ukrainian screenwriter and film critic Mykola Liadov
(1900-1937). A former imaginist poet, Liadov embarked on creation of
screenplays and soon was employed in the All-Ukrainian Photo Cinema
In the article, he writes about national cultural elements
oppressed for centuries and calls the 1920s “unrestrained renaissance”.
Liadov considered 1927 a turning point in the history of Ukrainian
cinema when the film culture emerged. In this year, two movies of VUFKU
were released and caused a warm reaction from critics: ‘Zvenigora’ by
Dovzhenko and ‘Two Days’ by Stabov. According to Liadov, ‘Zvenigora’
was received as “a dizzying-daring takeoff over a graveyard of stillborn
films”. This picture was both nationalist and proletarian. A still from
its sequel, ‘Arsenal’ (1929) was printed on a separate leaf. Dovzhenko’s
movies combined “epos of old Ukraine with pathos of new one” and
Liadov warned young directors not to make it mainstream. As a failure,
he mentioned ‘Rainfall’ by Kavaleridze. A still from this picture is also
Liadov criticizes a film “Behind the Wall” starring Amvrosy
Buchma but then commends his role in ‘Jimmie Higgins’. He declares
that Dovzhenko and Buchma had become great acquisitions of
Ukrainian cinematography. Then Liadov compliments experimental
approach of documentaries by Dziga Vertov, including ‘The Eleventh
Year’, ‘the Sixth Part of the World’ and ‘Man with a Movie Camera’. The
author calls him “a great master of new proletarian formation”. By 1929,
Vertov and cameraman Mikhail Kaufman had already been working for
VUFKU for two years. Liadov regarded their ‘Man with a Movie Camera’
as an experiment from abstract “absolute movie”. It broke with cinematic traditions and dictated its own tendencies. A still from ‘The Eleventh
Year’ is printed on an insert.
Later Liadov became a deputy director of the Mezhrabpomfilm
studio and likely criticized Dziga Vertov. The latter wrote in the
1930s: “The people who, after the triumph of “Three Songs about
Lenin” [released in 1934], decided by all means to prevent my work
on a film about a woman (“Lullaby”), have been exposed. The director
of Mezhrabpomfilm, Liadov, turned out to be an enemy of film truth
but also of truth in any expressions. “Lullaby” was released but wasn’t
shown to a wide audience”.
The second issue of the almanac was published in 1930.
Mykola Liadov was executed during the Great Purge.
Not found in the