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PART PRACTICAL DIRECTION. "The view of the 60s", "Kirgis school"


Films: "Sandcastles"

"Dushen's bridges" (directed by G.Degaltsev)

I shall tell you in short about what the Kirgis cinema school is, which is not an ordinary in an aesthetic plan phenomenon.

I would rather name 4 ways which defined the originality of the "Kirgis school".

Firstly: what this school began with and for a short period of time - the beginning of the 60ies and the end of the 60ies - it developed. The producers began with a total attempt to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. But at that time the level of the truth was sufficiently amazing. For instance, they stopped to put on a clean shirt and a tie. They were not forced to shave. It has already been a total victory. The hero during the break is sitting in dirty pants on the hank of wire. He is feeding a sparrow and is talking about smth. It is a turn to the truth of a man's behavior. It was a certain general premise to school.

Secondly: exceptional attention to representation. Nowhere but in Kirgisia they made so many combined sequences.

Thirdly: may be most important - extraordinary attention to a man, impossible without a conflict in the film. Away with descriptiveness! In every film there must be a fight of somebody against something. Kirgis school appeared to be varied, but there always must be a conflict. Boris Galanter from the ordered film about animals made the film "Boomerang", a poetic, two-part film representing an ecological conflict. In the films the rocks were blown up, and there lived rosy starlings. What a wonder - rosy starlings and the constructionsite - but it was made brilliantly! Only with the help of noise - not a single word - noise and music a little...

And the fourth. As a rule, "talking heads" were more than enough, but the method of provocative situation always wins. A conversation of chessplayers in a tent (film "Overlap" by Bronshtein and Vidugiris) was exclusively provoked. Habitual camera was a favorite device. When we began to shoot at the factory - Misha Sherman was shooting, now deceased - the senior engineer was sitting; he had dispersed all who hampered him and Sherman asked: "How have you done this?" He said: "I am power and shall always do this,- playing with paper-fasteners - if you dare to shoot I'll sue you. You are not allowed to shoot!" "We are not shooting",- said Kostya, but the camera was working. That is "the talking head". There was a trial and they were acquitted.

XVI. Film "Katusha"


This film is thirty-two years old. I sometimes think that we, criticizing Vertov and probably deservedly are fully forgetting that it is necessary to criticize very many people who haven't left us a genuine face of our country, our affairs.

The beginning of the 60ies. The atmosphere in cinemato graphy irrespective of the fact that the thaw in literature was mustyand, glutinous, nothing happened in the documentary. In 1961 I was on practice in Central studio of documentaries, where the film "The voices of the virgin soil" was being shot. Nobody remembers it now and does not know and at that time nobody knew when it was made. It appeared to be interesting because six students of the State Institute of Cinema, my mates shot six stories on one and the same topic.

It was the time of passion for sound, candid camera and many our devices. For the sake of a man to be disclosed. It was an incredible time which carried us away - people of our generation but practically it did not charm people of other generation.

I battled my way honestly through a number of sympathetic old men who could not help me. They could prevent, fortunately they did not prevent but to force the way was very complicated because coming of a young producer to the studio was either practically or theoretically impossible. Among all these it was always necessary to burst , to force one's way through. It was necessary to think of something, to do something.

Last year on Russian TV on the initiative of Sonja Svarovskaja a short excursus was made in the past to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the film "Katusha" and the heroine of the film was invited there and I was speaking about something.  And this year on May, 9 she (the heroine) took part in the Goverment's reception, meeting with veterans - and she was talking to Eltsin all the time. I called her up, congratulated and asked : "Ekaterina Larionovna, what were You repeating over and over again?" She answered: "Don't  drink". A very charming woman, without any complexes, she always speaks her mind. She talks well, very lively. But it is necessary to say that when I started to work, I was very much afraid that she would not speak, would not disclose. Now I am sitting, looking, it seems that everything has been shot simply, only four episodes , main and synchronous. Nevertheless, it a very hard thing to do.

The whole creation of this film was the struggle with the script. I think that it must be so. The producer must struggle with the script to destroy it. The film is something new, though it should not be said in the presence of script-writers  and dramatists.

The script has been written. The was a story how the writer S.Smirnov was looking for the heroine. At last he found and how good it was. I have bean thinking for some months how to destroy this story and I thought of roughly how it would go on in the film. At least in the first half. I such away I thought of an episode "Cinemahall". It is necessary to say that it was really thought of and I had not seen anything like this then it was repeated many times somewhere but I don't have claims. I thought of bringing her to the cinema hall and shooting unnoticeably. To shoot unnoticeably is very difficult. At this time the information filters that two very skillful men invented a device to the camera. A device from the night artillery sight which allows to see an object in the dark. With the help of this device it was  possible to shot. I found those men. They agreed to give the device and then the first shooting took place.

Thoroughness of the work was incredible. At the Central Studio there was an oak-trimmed cabin. We made one more with a double window frame, the camera was put and we were ready to shoot. The first try-out was not a success. It was impossible to shoot through the glass. We had to take out the glass a small window was left, we were to cover the camera because it was chattering. The heroine wasn't supposed to know that she has been shot. We showed different her chronicles about her division for more than an hour.

Next day it was a shooting in the cafe. The shooting wholly was made by candid camera, she did not know anything. She knew only that she was taken to shooting. And when she came to the cafe, she saw the camera. She said: "Thanks God that there is no cameraman." She sat down and stopped being nervous. She totally relaxed. There was a lot of material, good, interesting, that was not used in the film.

At last, third shooting, synchronous with the open camera. The heroine seemed to get used to shooting little by little.

Then there was a trip to Kerch. The very coming into contact with reality which she saw after many years. A day before the shooting we could hardly take her away from the well which she had found.

When the film was shot everything seemed all right. Soon in two or three days I was told that it is necessary to make a cutting in the film. Went to Repertcom. It was necessary to cut out one episode. What episode? At the well? Fully? They said - the whole episode. I do not remember how but I managed to meet those people. At last the main editor of the studio said: "You see they offer to cut out words, one cannot say: "A German came out, red-haired Fritz", it is necessary to say "a fascist came out". I say: "Sorry, but where is the logics?" Any Fascist would shoot, and there was a German, red-haired Fritz, he did not shoot, he was playing the harmonica." But it is in impossible to say that a man from that side did not shoot. In the long run there was a long struggle, I was to write explanations: "a German can be no fascist." All this I explained.

"Raga school". "Ten minutes older" directed by Hertz Frank

XVII. VICTOR LISTOV, the critic:

I have seen this picture many times. Every time I notice in it something new. May be the most precise thing that I can say, was said by Vertov who once declared: "I don't like buyers I like very much inventors. This film may be not so much shot as thought of and invented. Of course, it makes an effect of an absolutely striking insight of this master. I once managed to speak about this film with the author, it was three years ago in Hamburg. He said that humanity came not to a certain culture but to a dreadful savagery and there was a very important moment on this way. A man turned into a man not when he got down from the tree and took a stick or a rock. A man turned into a man at the moment when he came to the idea of abstract God. God-Bible or God-Koran - it is all the same. Because then the man understood that he must worship neither the sun, nor a brick, nor a star, nor a tree but what is superior and what one has in the sole. And from this point of view the picture is very important because we see a man who sees something that we cannot see. That is he worships something that he cannot find inside himself.

And this is may be most important in the man who rises up to understanding of a certain force not having an image of abstract force and this is on analogy God-Bible, God-Gospel, God-Koran.

Approximately in such way we can try to explain one of the sides of this wonderful film. With no less joy I watch and his other pictures - "The Superior Court" and a terrible film about a dissecting-room which is not endured by everybody. In any case, certainly there is a whole continent of wonderful art, to which I don't know any analogy. Hertz Frank is equal everywhere - in Perm, in Hamburg, in Jerusalem, in Moscow, or in Raga. It is art which is absolutely available to all. Because it really tries to find God in one's soul. Thus I understand this film and creative activity of this wonderful producer.


I would like to say a few words. I am not sure that all those present here know the history of the creation of this film. I fully agree with Victor that this Film first of all was invented and in a way it's a film-manifesto. Just imagine in 1978 to shoot a film by one sequence as it was Lumier who had not invented montage. But this is consciously shot sequence. A film which may be shot only on one cassette, and you cannot do any thing with it. Three cassettes were shot, but one was to be selected from these three, one could do nothing with such intention. To realize all this they went from one theater of young spectators to another and were looking for. They already knew, that the personage must be a boy who was looking at something and we were watching. He proceeds from that the time of a child and of an adult are not a like; they have different rhythms. In the course of 10 minutes the child's mind can experience a whole displacement in comparison to adult.

And so they were looking for a boy or a girl, whose faces could express inner sensations at most. They visited a lot of performances and at last at one of them they found admirably expansive boy with his mother sitting nearby who endlessly set him at ease. At the end of the performance the producer came up to them and asked his mother's permission to shoot the boy with a single request that she didn't prevent him from impulsive behavior.

At the back of the chair, standing in front of the boy's chair special lamps were installed covered with asbestos so that the light did not strike anybody. And the boys eyes were lively, expressive and seemed to flare up when the boy became absorbed in what he saw on the screen and the garland of lights was reflected in them.

The next task was to find a performance in which there was a maximum quantity of events pressed within 10 minutes. They have found such a play. Certainly, spectators didn't know that their emotional experience in a certain moment would be imprinted. The camera was hidden in the promt-box.