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Ukrainian Avant-Garde - Cinema

Kino i stsenarii [Cinema and the script].

Kyiv: VUFKU, 1928. Octavo (22 × 18 cm). Original illustrated wrappers; 61, [2] pp. Illustrations. Stamp and markings in ink to title. Light wear to wrapper edges, else very good.

First Ukrainian translation of E.A. Dupont’s classic text, originally published in German in 1926. Starting out as a journalist and moving on to screen writing and directing, Dupont (1891-1956) became one of the pioneers of the German film industry. The translation is richly illustrated with images from Walter Ruttmann’s early abstract films, Dupont’s most famous silent melodrama “Variete” (1925) as well as a number of contemporary American films, drawing a connection between abstract film experimentation and popular features. Published by VUFKU (All-Ukrainian Photo and Cinema Administration), the studio was then at the forefront of experimental and feature filmmaking, producing films of directors such as Dziga Vertov and Alexander Dovzhenko and publishing an avant-garde film journal “Kino”. VUFKU also had strong ties with the German film industry, translating the works of a number of German directors such as this. The translators, Alfred Bassekhes (1900-1969), a Ukrainian-Jewish art historian and film critic, and Vasyl Khmuryj (Butenko; 1896-1940), a film and theater critic, provide an introduction to the text. Khmuryj’s contribution was especially notable as he made a name for himself as one of the first critics to write about the distinctly Ukrainian avant-garde. He also worked as an assistant director on Alexander Dovzhenko’s “Earth” (1930). His name was later removed from the titles because of his arrest in 1933 and eventual execution in 1940. A small stamp to title of this item dated 1935 may be connected to the censoring and removal of Khmuryj’s work from Soviet libraries. Wrapper design by unknown artist. VUFKU publisher catalog to last page. As of October 2021, KVK, OCLC show copies at Harvard, USC.

Book ID: 51605

Price: $2,000.00