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Kira Muratova's films in Cambridge

7th November 2004

Received from Andrew Jameson.
Best wishes

A retrospective of the work of the Ukrainian director
Arts Picturehouse and Trinity College (Cambridge)
7-12 NOVEMBER 2004.

The Russian/Ukrainian director, actress and scriptwriter Kira Muratova will
be 70 on November 5, 2004. Widely recognized as one of the most important
directors of the Soviet period, Muratova is also one of the most individual
and avant-garde of living filmmakers. She was for a long time a lone female
director in the politically difficult, male-dominated world of Russian and
Soviet cinema, and her oeuvre as a whole is testimony to the creative
tensions of the Soviet and post-Soviet experience. This will be the first
retrospective of her work in the U.K., and will include several very rare
films, as well as the U.K. premiere of her latest film. It will be
accompanied by a one-day workshop held in Trinity College on November 12th.

This programme is presented in collaboration with Seagull Films and the
assistance of the Russian Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography.

Sunday 7th November, 5pm
BRIEF ENCOUNTERS(Korotkiye vstrechi)

Dir. Kira Muratova. Starring: Vladimir Vysotskii, Kira Muratova, Nina
Ruslanova, Elena Bazil'skaia, Aleksei Glazyrin. Soviet Union 1967. 96 mins.
Russian with English subtitles. B&W.

One of the most celebrated but controversial of Muratova's films, Brief
Encounters was not released until twenty years after its production. It
follows the intertwining fate of two very different women ? Valentina, an
urban official (played by Muratova), and Nadia, a country waitress
(Ruslanova, in her first film role) ? who fall in love with a wandering
geologist, Maksim (Vysotsky, a well-known actor at Moscow's Taganka Theatre
and much loved singer and 'bard'). Muratova moves far from the traditional
love-triangle structure as she experiments with flashbacks and black comedy
to create an enigmatic and wrily poetic film that stands apart
aesthetically from other Soviet productions of its time. As one reviewer
writes, Muratova prefers 'disrupting and disturbing the genteel norms of
her audiences, rather than satisfying their love of a predictable,
well-wrought story.' She has been particularly praised for her charged
interpretation of Valentina.

The Screening will be introduced by Dr. Emma Widdis.


Tuesday 9th November, 3pm
GETTING TO KNOW THE WIDE WORLD (Poznavaya belyj svet)

Dir. Kira Muratova. Starring: Nina Ruslanova, Sergei Popov, Aleksei
Zharkov. Soviet Union 1979. 75 mins. Russian with English Subtitles.

Another love-triangle film, WIDE WORLD is remarkably set almost exclusively
on a construction site amidst the mundanity of cement, dust, and rubble.
This work reveals Muratova abandoning some of her more experimental, early
techniques for a graceful simplicity of style. In theme, however, she
continues to delve into the enigmas of human behaviour as she teases out
the intricacies of the relationships between the characters Mikhail,
Nikolai and Liuba. Russian film critic Andrey Plakhov has called this film
the 'greatest neglected Russian masterpiece.'


Wednesday 10th November, 5pm
THREE STORIES (Tri istorii)

Dir. Kira Muratova. Starring: Sergei Makovetsky, Leonid Kushnir, Renata
Litvinova. Russia/Ukraine 1997. 109 mins. Russian with English subtitles.

In this film, three murder mysteries are presented not through traditional
'crime film' language, but in all their ordinariness: in the first tale,
'Heating Basement No. 6', a man kills his neighbour and then seeks the aid
of a friend who works in a boiler room to help him dispose of the body; the
second tale, 'Ofelia', focuses on a nurse, Ofa who, having been given up
for adoption at birth, has become a serial killer; the third tale, 'Death
and the Maiden', shows the poisoning of an old man by a neighbour's
daughter. Of this complex work, Muratova has said: 'A director should never
judge the characters ? it's better to leave that to the audience. I simply
want to show things as they are.' Many agree that the second segment stands
out as the most extraordinary part of the film, with its fascinating
delineation of the sensuous, cynical character of Ofa (played by the
remarkable Renata Litvinova) , who seems to embody Muratova's own
relationship to cinema ? her engagement, at once, of the superhuman and the


Thursday 11th November, 7pm
THE TUNER (Nastroishchik): UK Premiere

Dir. Kira Muratova. Starring: Renata Litvinova, George Deliyev, Alla
Demidova. Russia 2004. 154 mins. Russian with English Subtitles. UK

In this story about Andrei, a poor piano tuner who turns to a life of
computer-generated crime in order to satisfy the extravagant needs of Lina,
the beautiful woman (Renata Litvinova again) whom he loves, Muratova
returns to her early mannerism to create a psychologically thrilling and
beautifully composed drama. Muratova's reputation as a 'director of actors'
is confirmed by the brilliant, often poignant, performances she evokes from
her cast of film as well as stage actors, who typically portray a range of
eccentric, but highly authentic characters. One reviewer calls this film
'an elegant, sophisticated and irresistible recital ? breathtaking
filmmaking from a true artist.'

Jane Taubman, author of Kira Muratova (IB
Tauris Kino Series, 2004) will introduce the screening.


WORKSHOP, Trinity College Cambridge, 12 November 2004

10.00 Opening remarks. Showing of the documentary film Kira (2003),
directed by Vladimir Nepevnyi, followed by discussion.

11.30. Coffee

11.45 Pis´mo v Ameriku – a Muratova compendium. This session will consist
of a showing of this 20-minute film, made by Muratova in 1999, and an
analysis by Julian Graffy (SSEES, UCL)

1.00 Lunch

2.00 Case studies:

Eugénie Zvonkine – Semantic structure of the fairy tale in Chuvstvitel´nyi
militsioner (Université de Paris 8);

Helen Ferguson – The structure of space in Tri istorii (London)

3.30 Tea

4.00 Muratova writ large:
Jane Taubman – Muratova on Muratova (Amherst, author of new book on Kira
Muratova, IB Tauris 2004)

Philip Cavendish – Kira Muratova and Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty: some
comparisons (SSEES, UCL)

5.30. Concluding discussion

If you wish to attend this workshop, please contact Dr Emma Widdis on

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