[SOVIET CINEMATOGRAPHY] Kryl’ia kholopa [i.e. The Wings of a Serf]
Moscow: Kinopechat’, . 8
pp.: ill. 17,5x26,5 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Mint.
Very rare. The film’s sets and most likely this remarkable
pamphlet were designed by artist Vladimir Yegorov (1878-1960). He
gained fame for the Soviet film ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ (1915)
directed by Vsevolod Meyerhold, later he worked with Vsevolod
A publishing company Kinopechat’ released a great diversity of
libretto brochures in the early Soviet period. Along with experimental
film production, such advertising brochures featured a constructivist
approach in design. Librettos ‘Who Are You?’, ‘Red Imps’, ‘The Man from the Restaurant’, ‘The Wings of a Serf’, etc. included photomontages of
actors and film sets.
This libretto presents the 1926 silent film ‘The Wings of a Serf’.
It is an extraordinary denunciation of the tsarist regime, showing the
reign of Ivan the Terrible.
The picture was produced by Belarusian director Iurii Tarich
(1885-1967). In pre-revolutionary period, Tarich performed in provincial theaters in Chita, Blagoveshchensk, Khabarovsk, Tambov. In 1917 he
moved to Moscow where played in stage performances and some films.
Tarich debuted as movie director in 1925. In 1928-1939, he worked in
the Soviet Belarus studio, influencing early Belarusian cinematography.
In the 1940s, Tarich was evacuated to Kazakhstan and contributed to
the Central United Film Studio in Almaty, then headed the Mongolian
Film Studio in Ulaanbaatar. Later years of his activity are associated
with documentary films.
‘The Wings of a Serf’ was edited by Jewish female filmmaker
Esfir Shub (1894-1959), known for ability to turn any foreign movie into
a propaganda picture. In 1919-1921, Esfir Shub worked with Vsevolod
Meyerhold in the theater department of the People’s Commissariat
of Education. In 1922, she began to work at the Goskino film studio,
preparing foreign or Russian pre-revolutionary films for distribution
in the USSR as well as creating the new ones. Shub was appointed a
director of Mosfilm (later Sovkino) in 1926 and a director of the Central
Documentary Film Studio in 1942.
The film was based on a novel ‘The Wings of a Serf’ by Konstantin
Shil’dkret and revised by screenwriter Viktor Shklovskii (1893-1984). It
showed inventor but serf Nikishka who turned up at the epicenter of
noble squabbles. His only passion, handmade wings successfully passed
an experimental flight but were burned as communication with Satan.
Their creator died in prison.
An advertisement on the back cover announced the Soviet
silent black-and-white film “Alim – the Crimean Dzhigit” (1926) by G.
Tasin which was banned for screening in 1937.
Only copy is
located in the
Price: $950.00Status: On Hold