The Meat Grinder by K. Mintz and A. Razumovsky. Reconstruction and Analysis of the Oberiu's Film

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On the 24th of Janurary 1928 the Oberiu art-community (Daniil Kharms, Alexander Vvedensky, Nicholay Zabolotsky, Igor Bakhterev et al) performed its famous theatrical soiree, the last public act of the Russian avant- garde, Three left hours in the Leningrad Publishing House. After a series of poetic performances and an avant-garde performance Elizaveta Bam there was demonstrated the first and only Oberiu's film - The Meat Grinder. This result of Klimentiy Mintz and Alexandr Razumovsky’s screen debut was shown just once and wasn't preserved. But judging by the memoirs left after this theatrical evening, one is able to restore a conditional explication of the film, as well as determine its position in the context of avant-garde experimental era of the “montage cinema”. The author concludes that the audience watched a rare example of a feature compilation of a war movie with an absent story and rhythm as major means of expression. The article correlates the phenomenon of The Meat Grinder to the compilation works by Esfir Shub, while the formal method of Oberiu's cinema looks like inspired by famous films by Sergey Eisenstein and Vsevolod Pudovkin. The special attention is drawn to a fragment of Oberiu's Declaration, which refers to the ways of the new cinema and new tasks for film directors of modern, radically changing times. Here could be found some straight rhymes with the manifestations of the French film avant-guard - Fernand Leger, Jean Cocteau and Paul Valery. However, the author finds the identifying category of shaping ideology and of film language of Oberiu's filmmakers not just in the space of theory with abundance of manifestos, but also in a particular place and particular social-group, that is the leftist center of radical art, paintings of Filonov’s adherents, and community of young poets, who call for recognition of the intrinsic value of any object in the artwork.

Kiselev Alexey Olegovich

Post-graduate student

Russian University of Theatre Arts - GITIS

Author for correspondence.


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Copyright (c) 2015 Kiselev A.O.

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