Parallel Cinema: Aleinikov, Yufit and symptoms of the collapse of the Soviet era

This session is devoted to brothers Igor and Gleb Aleinikov and Yevgeny Yufit, founders of the underground Soviet movement known as Parallel Cinema, during the period of Perestroika and the disintegration of the former USSR, without the official support or consent of the authorities.

In Moscow, the Aleinikov brothers embraced the amateur aesthetic and deliberately refused to conform to professional standards. They also founded the independent film magazine Cine Fantom and created a club of the same name for radical “shock therapy” experiments, at a time when the national film industry was in decline after the collapse of the Soviet Union and economic reforms.

At the same time, in Leningrad, the photographer and painter Yevgeny Yufit started filming and directing performances in urban public spaces. Inspired by the images in Eduard von Hofmann’s Atlas of Legal Medicine, the slapstick of Mack Sennett, the French avant-garde and the formal eccentricity of the Soviet cinema of the nineteen-twenties, Yufit’s early short films contain absurd events with black humour and abundant references to death, resulting in a new genre in Parallel Cinema: Necrorealism.

Gleb and Igor Aleinikov:

Traktora, 1987, 12 min; Revolutionary Sketch, 1987, 8 min; Cruel Illness of Men, 1987, 10 min.

Digital screening. English and Catalan subtitles. Copies courtesy of Gleb Aleinikov.

Yevgeny Yufit:

Lesorub (Woodcutter), 1985, digital, 8 min; Vesna (Spring), 1987, digital, 10 min; Rytsary podnesbesya (Knights of Heaven), 1989, 16 mm, 25 min.

English and Catalan subtitles.

Copies courtesy of Masha Godovannaya, except Knights of Heaven, courtesy of EYE Film Institute.

A programme by Mariana Hristova.

20 February 2020


The Auditorium
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