KINO SLANG presents KSHE – KOMSOMOL, LEADER OF ELECTRIFICATION and TWO PEOPLE
Friday, August 16 at 8 PM
Doors 7:30 pm; $5 admission.
KINO SLANG PRESENTS
KSHE – KOMSOMOL, LEADER OF ELECTRIFICATION | К.Ш.Э. Комсомол – шеф электрификации
(Esfir Shub, 1932. U.S.S.R. 56 minutes)
A film about workers’ electrification and electricity, and the building of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station in Ukraine as part of the first Five Year Plan (1928-1932). One of the earliest Soviet sound films, KShE is also about sound itself. Rarely have we ‘seen’ sound and electricity as we do in KShE, raw and in the service of the people who produce it, and its amplification.
Pioneer Soviet woman filmmaker Esfir Shub films the movement of electricity, yet in reverse: first we see electricity at work, what it can record, communicate, hear and see, via the film apparatus and its operators inside the Moscow Sound Factory and at Leningrad square (theremin, orchestra, internationalist radio production and broadcast, red flag parade); she then films a production line of electric objects inside an advanced light bulb factory, scored by Shostakovich pupil Gabriel Popov, where we see only women workers and hear their proud testimony; finally we see and hear the massive effort to construct and achieve the actual hydroelectric dam that will generate all this energy.
The cinefication and electrification of life, uniquely produced in this era, in this society, and expressed through Shub’s factualism, join forces to introduce us to the idea that we are in the dark, so much the better to bring us out of it.
TWO PEOPLE | TVÅ MÄNNISKOR
(Carl Th. Dreyer, 1944. Sweden. 71 minutes)
A tragedy that entirely takes place in the middle-class apartment of mental hospital staff doctor and scientist Arne Lundell, and his wife Marianne. Accusations of plagiarism are leveled at Lundell over his thesis on a treatment for schizophrenia. In no position to refute these false accusations made by a superior at the hospital, Lundell is consoled only by the love of his wife, and his love for her, until that too is implicated in the scandal.
“In theory, the film is the ne plus ultra of Dreyer’s style: only two characters, one set, and a plot whose duration coincides exactly with the running time,” writes Tom Milne before continuing that, in practice, this results in a film “devoid of any sort of resonance.” The two people of Two People were imposed on Dreyer during casting, and because of this he disowned the film, declaring it impossible to fulfill the story with the wrong faces. Yet it’s clear that Dreyer nevertheless applied himself fully, in this absolutely negative situation, to the formal challenge of shooting a film with just two people and three walls, and the objects placed there. The variations within this small space are astounding, and totally other. If the detachment of Dreyer (he agreed to make this film in Sweden in order exit Nazi-occupied Denmark with a job in-tow to clear his passport and avoid being interned in a refugee camp) lead to a kind of abstraction, he persisted in showing the extent of the void.
Program total running time: 2 hours and 11 minutes.
“Kino Slang Presents” is a series of cinema screenings programmed by Andy Rector at the EPFC. It continues the cinematographic and historical excavations, proceedings by montage and association, silent alarms and naked dawns of the thirteen-year-old blog, Kino Slang.