alr

Earth
(Zemlya)

Introduction by Matthew Packwood May 14
Screening on Film
Directed by Alexander Dovzhenko.
With Stepan Shkurat, Semyon Svashenko, Yulia Solntseva.
USSR, 1930, 35mm, black & white, silent, 87 min.

Dovzhenko’s silent masterpiece is a paean to the cycles of nature, evoking themes of death and rebirth, joy and anguish, as it depicts the arrival of collectivization to a Ukrainian farm. Using the full range of a large orchestra and chorus, as well as a fair degree of sound mixing, Ovchinnikov creates a rich and complex aural counterpart to the poetry of Dovzhenko’s visual compositions. The relationship is most striking in the montage sequences: the harvest of the collectivist farm is accompanied by overlapping waves of sound and dancing rhythmic motives, and the village funeral procession resounds with chorus, bells, and a slow, insistent orchestral anthem.

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A Tribute to Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov

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