Archive for March 26, 2023


Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2023 by dcairns

IN SPRING — Mikhail Kaufman’s Ukrainian city symphony — is sort of like brother Dziga Vertov’s MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (the third brother, Boris Kaufman, went to Hollywood and shot films for Kazan). It’s my Hippfest highlight this year thus far, though THE MAN WHO LAUGHS on a big screen with Meg Morley and Frank Bockius accompanying was epic and Run-Tin-Tin’s WHERE THE NORTH BEGINS was heaps of fun. This year’s dog theme was evidenced by Rinty in a blizzard, Zimba the dog as Homo the wolf, and scores of Ukrainian hounds — dogs on boats, dogs on balconies. I expect those dogs are quite old now, some of them.

Kaufman’s film is more people-centric than his brothers. The shots are consistently inventive and poetic, as are the connections linking them. The only disadvantage it has over MWAMC is that Vertov divides his film into chapters and tells you how many there will be, which helps when your film has no plot or characters. The audience can chart its progress and knows roughly how far in it is at any given time. But IN SPRING is so frenetic (but with beautiful modulations of pace) and is under an hour, so boredom is never an option.

Action is grouped by theme — snow, flooding, flowers in bloom — and sub-theme — dogs in the snow, babies. The sporting action might well have influenced Rienfenstahl’s OLYMPIAD, and it’s madder and better. The live score by Roksana Smirnova (piano)
& Misha Kalinin (guitar) swept things along, perfectly complimenting the rhythmic montage and spirit of optimism.

IN SPRING stars Kiev.