ARTMargins Online Blog

More Than Medium Awareness: Jan Hřebejk's Family Cycle

Written by Zdenko Mandušić

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The last two Czech That Film festivals in Chicago have opportunely featured Jan Hřebejk's three-part cycle of family dramas: Innocence (Nevinnost, 2011), screened last year; Kawasaki's Rose (Kawasakiho růže, 2009) and Honeymoon (Líbánky, 2013), were two of the seven films that played this year at the Gene Siskel Film Center, July 13 - 30. These films mark a departure for Hřebejk and his longtime collaborator, scriptwriter Petr Jarchovský, who up to now were known for comedies. The family-cycle films center on characters with dark secrets and suspect ethics. In addition to their winding plots, these films are also distinguished by visual elements that extend beyond their sleek production quality. Kawasaki's Rose, Innocence, and Honeymoon betray an interest in using moving images as much as dramaturgy to present information and complicate meaning. For starters, there is the constant presence of cameras, screens, and projectors, which point to the filmmaking process and make viewers aware of the filmmaker’s hand. Apart from these meta-textual gestures, these films also effectively use visual cues and exploit cinematographic elements like framing, editing, and lighting to expand the viewers’ involvement with the moving images.

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SOSka: Towards a New Iconography of Post-Soviet Ukraine

Written by Corina L. Apostol

The Kharkiv-based SOSka group was established in 2005, in the wake of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, by Mykola Ridnyi, Ganna Kriventsova and Serhiy Popov. Kharkiv, once the capital of the Ukrainian Socialist Republic, and of radical artistic traditions dating back to the avant-garde period, today lacks the infrastructure and resources to support an independent artistic scene. Nonetheless, a post-Soviet wave of socially engaged artists emphasize their development grew out of the 2004 revolution, adopting strategies of self-organization and organizing alternative social spheres in the city. Kharkiv is also associated with the legacy of the pioneering Soviet-era photographer, Boris Mikhailov, whose photographic oeuvre was dedicated to representing the human misery and social devastation after the dissolution of the USSR. Mikhailov remains an important reference and mentor for the post-Soviet generation.

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Digital Futures of Polish Cinema Classics

Written by Zdenko Mandušić

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The North American tour of restored Polish cinema classics, "Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema," presents an absorbing survey of films that covers some of the most important periods in Polish cinema, including the renowned, World-War II-focused Polish School (1956-1962), the personally centered Third Polish Cinema of the mid-1960s, and the Cinema of Moral Concern/Anxiety (1976-1981). The idea for the series came about when in 2011 Scorsese traveled to the Polish National Film School in Łódź, Poland, at the invitation of the great director Andrzej Wajda. Along with receiving an honorary doctoral degree in Łódź, Scorsese was informed about new digitally remastered Polish film classics. He went on to select the films featured in the "Masterpieces of Polish Cinema" series.

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In Search of the Social Body of the Soviet Artist - An Interview with Tatiana Fiodorova

Written by Corina L. Apostol

Tatiana Fiodorova's "In search of the social body of the Soviet artist"(2012) is a conceptual project focusing on the work of her father, Vasily Lefter, also an artist who worked as a photographer, painter and designer in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova. Critically staging historical texts, interviews, photographs and reproductions of his body of work, Fiodorova brings to light the various challenges and meanings of being an artist in her native country during the late Soviet Period, as well as in the present time.

Read more: In Search of the Social Body of the Soviet Artist - An Interview with Tatiana Fiodorova

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