RUS

THEORETICAL DISCUSSION: ANNA GANSHINA "Chronicle and document"

- On Petersburg studio there are people making fiction and non-fiction cinema. Suddenly we got a feeling that long forgotten genre of news-reel is an art of the future. We started making a TV program and opened it with the following words: "People want to watch cinema attractive as murder". That initiated serious discussions about documentary cinema. Basing upon experience and common sense I say that documentary means a genuine event and its authenticity. So a perfect documentary film needs a camera to be everywhere and the shooting to be continuous. That means that you should switch on a fixed camera and then watch. That's how cinema began. For the first century of its existence cinema followed in its technology the philosophical trends of the 20th century. I'll try to explain. Shooting made with a fixed camera is a kind of 20th century objectiveness and positivism. I see means I know. The truth is a kind of observation of an ideal spectator out of aim, out of wish, after the first shock of an image made. We thought: "What if we install a camera on Nevski avenue and begin to shoot?" We shoot several hours and then watch what shall come out of it. That is boring. But the conclusion is interesting: we are not attracted by our life as it is. The result is quite staggering: we don't like ourselves and we don't want to watch our own life. hen we thought that nobody complains about being bored in the dream. The conclusion is that non-fiction cinema is staying awake and fiction cinema is a dream.  a.blok defined cinema as electrical dreams awake. It seems natural that coming to the world of cinema you want to shoot fiction films. To turn to non-fiction cinema takes courage, then you face the reality. But non-fiction cinema has chosen the wrong way and moves towards the dream, i.e. towards fiction cinema. The camera is looking for the interesting things, i.e. the truth is ascetic while the man is erotic, frightened and has desires. So the camera began to look for the interesting things. It looks like the reality is some phenomenal space on the border of psychic and physical reality. When we devote ourselves to the science we are trying to break through to a physical reality. When we devote ourselves to the art we are trying to break through to a psychic reality. An absolute penetration into the psychic reality is the dream and oblivion. Documentary cinema in this context is a paradoxical wakefulness allowing a man to see himself in the dream, i.e. the only way to see one's self in the dream is to see one's self on the screen. But we found out that switched on and fixed camera is not enough, the camera began to move, make research, select the interesting things in the reality. That coincided with the discovery of unconscious in the beginning of the 20th century. As a result we got an art as an unconscious linguistic organization. Reasoning so we got a cinema attraction; i.e. sensation, astonishment, sex, violence. Eisenstein was the first to understand it though he followed other principles. I cite him. "Now i base on the ten years' experience and come to understanding of the domination of attainable heights of intellectual thoughts in the contains of the art. And suddenly it looks like they are breakable; the art, the means of form , the creators and spectators of the deepest abyss of primitive barbarity deserving to keep company with alcoholism, imbecility or schizophrenia." Understanding this peculiarity Eisenstein almost dropped cinema.

But in the cinema of attractions there appeared a counterweight in the form of humanitarian cinema, i.e. of the cinema that propagates the good. The humanistic cinema exists in the conflict. The Good can win only when there is the Evil. So the humanistic cinema provokes the Evil. There surely appeared the cinema of propaganda,an advertisement.

The next step was the edition. If we move our camera and have found something interesting it's tiring to watch it slowly changing. We govern the time using the montage and that is possible because there are three different types of time in cinema: time of a character, time of a spectator and time of a camera. We have an opportunity to shoot the character in the most culminating moment of his life. That's what Flaherty did.

Using the montage we can accelerate the life of the character and slow down the culmination of his life. The psychology of 1920s is the psychology of the ruin of whole ethics, the pluralism and so on. That is we transformed everything into the play with sense, conceptions, into side-shows. Now we see that modern cinema is the cinema of the play.

At last we took a liberty of making the intrusion into the reality, i.e. the provocative cinema. Now non-fiction cinema is balancing on the brink of the fictional one. The movement towards weakness has reached its culmination. Now it looks as if there is only fiction cinema. In the cinema people always play, only sometimes they play themselves. There is only one difference between fiction and non-fiction cinema and that is Death. Because there is no Death in non-fiction cinema and the death in documentary cinema stops the game. The paradox is that the peril of fiction cinema is in its not knowing the death. So we have defined several new trends and called that kind of cinema "murdering cinema". Some people in Petersburg were making necrorealism, but that is not the same.

The murdering cinema is a kind of cinema dealing with death. Cinema fights with the void, fills the void. Now at the end of the century the problem of the death became actual again. We are in the final game. The documentary cinema is in this state: old genres exist, all trends have reached their culmination. Cinema of side-shows has reached the culmination as we witness new barbarity and new cruelty. The total cinema has reached the stage of dream and madness. It is not enough to see you asleep, you want to see you dead. How can you do it? Only in a dream. Defining the tendencies of non-fiction cinema for the future we think of the possibility of analytical total cinema.

What is the chronicle? It's a world which is wider than the notions of biological life, society or state, i.e. the world that is everything. The chronicle or newsreel is the self-reflection of the world. The world inspects itself with the use of newsmen who are just the tools of this reflection. And it is very pleasant to feel oneself a tool of world's self-reflection. Newsreel is like a world consisting of separate moments and having no external tasks. The newsreel allows the world to identify itself i.e. through doubling or trebling of being and its images it performs comparison with itself. In this way it obtains the memory and can develop. The second aim of the newsreel is the selfduplication for the case of self-destruction. In modern technological situation the self-reflection of the world increases. The inspection tends to become total. This quantitative expansion ends in supercommunication. That's why newsreel using the means of the cinema is the process of concentration. The newsreel is the continuously made film. We are working now in that direction feeling that we are the tools of self-reflection. We try to shoot a total film and see  what will come out of it. Having passed through all the circles we got back to the fixed camera position. That doesn't mean that we never move, that means that we got back to the documentary cinema as the wakefulness.

Question:

- How did you make the shooting?

Ganshina:

- How we made our shooting? We just went along the streets and we were learning to see: there was a man pulling or pushing something or running from the rain. All this expands. Then we decided to allow everything and have a joke. The groom holds a bride in his arms and carries her to the car and then all the wedding guests push the car to explode the situation.

Question:

- Anna, don't you think that practice denies your theories in which you insist that the world is identical?

Ganshina:

- Yes, but I don't insist. That's just one of the trends.

Question:

- The realization gives you an idea to have a joke...

Ganshina:

- Yes. That's okay. The longing for the interesting things always exists. But if you perceive it as a weakness it becomes unnatural and false. This is not a manifest, it's just an attempt to understand what we do. I know what I violate or the situation violates but the Hell with it (Laughter).

From the audience:

- Does it mean that you need to make a film for obtaining of the new psychological experience?

Ganshina:

- If it's a blind alley maybe it's worth trying to find the way. I'm tired of a feeling of repetition on the screen. If there is nothing new you should go where everything is closed. Frankly speaking, my position is vulnerable because I am making a film where I'm trying to do something, i.e. if I had something to show you my theory would have been proved.