(The Return of the Battleship)
Dir: Gennady Poloka
150 min., 35mm, 1:1.66, Color
Produktion: RITM Studio, Gorki-Studios, Moskau. Buch: Gennady Poloka, Wladimir Bragin, nach der Novelle ,Wiederkehr des Panzerkreuzers' von A. Kapler. Kamera: Jewgeni Dawidow. Schnitt: S. Guralskaya, T. Moliavina. Austattung: Michail Stscheglow. Ton: G. Kravetsky, A. Koniajev. Musik: Veniamin Basner. Produzenten: Igor Kowalenksy, Juri Kuschnerjow, Gennady Poloka, Michail Susmanowitsch.
Darsteller: Michail Urshumzew, Jelena Majorowa, Ludmila Potapowa, Tatjana Wassiljewa, Armen Dshigarchanjan, Boris Nowikow, Igor Kwasha, Iwan Bortnik, Boris Brunow, Igor Dmitrijew, Alexej Bouldakow, das Moissejew-Ensemble, das Zigeunerduett ,Romen', Artisten des russischen Staatszirkus und andere Stars der russischen Unterhaltungskunst.
Uraufführung: 7. Mai 1996, St. Petersburg.
Weltvertrieb: Centre Skip Film, Moskau. Tel.: (7-095) 45 24 59.
Wed 19.02. 13:30 Kino 7 im Zoo Palast Wed 19.02. 18:45 Delphi Thu 20.02. 10:00 Arsenal Fri 21.02. 16:30 Akademie der Künste
The film is dedicated to the One Hundredth Anniversary of Cinematography, to the beloved art, its idols and failures.
Gennady Poloka (born in 1930) is a real ,enfant terrible' of the Soviet cinema. His films have never been allowed into official cinema history: they were either banned or released in a small number of copies, though his first full-length work The SHKID Republic (1967) was a hit. Poloka´s films, unreal, absurd and grotesque were considered contradictory to the conventional traditions of Socialist realism. In fact Poloka is a most direct and inspired follower and interpreter of traditions of the Soviet avantgarde film of the 1920s (it is not in vain that his professor at the Cinema Institute was the great Kuleschow - the creator of ,Russian cutting').
Poloka belongs not to the existing poetic of revolutionary epopee, but to the source of avantgarde cinema - chaotic, almost carnival life of the street in the first years of the Revolution, the tradition that was so vivid in the theatrical productions of Meyerhold, Eisenstein, and then in the cinematographic experiments by the avantgarde creators - eccentric short film clownery.
Gennady Poloka is heir to the eccentric traditions of Soviet cinema (the tradition that was later arrogantly and officially repudiated), that in fact formed the basis of the future classical cutting frescos. That is why actions of most of his main creations take place in the period of the stormy 1920s (or around that time): The SHKID Republic (1967), Intervention (1968), Our mission (TV serial, 1981), Did Karotin Exist? (1989), RETURN OF THE BATTLESHIP (1996). And the action of these works takes place in the street, the heroes are people of the street. They are teenager thieves from The SHKID Republic, who remind us of the wonderful film A Start in Life by Nikolai Ekk, a student of Meyerhold´s. Or colorful Odessa robbers from the Intervention, frankly styled as a theatrical grotesque of the 1920s (this was highly valued in the film by Grigory Kozintsev).
The reality, reconstructed by Poloka in his films with unexhausted inspiration, delight and fantasy is not a documentary one, but a screened reality of the epoch, the reality that was stamped in the Soviet cinema. The hero of the excellent stylization as a Soviet spy film of the end of the 1930s One of Us (1970), a typical ,plain fellow' of cinema of those years, as well as an aged village Don Juan from One by One (1973) with an accordion being a permanent screen attribute of a Russian village lady-killer, they all are easily recognized by spectators as popular screen types.
Poloka's cinema could be called post-modern, emerging before the term was created. Both the world and the hero who opposes it are insane, but their madness is basically different. The hero‘s madness is the inspired madness of idealist Don Quixote, who does not want to reconcile with ordinary logic. The world´s madness is the madness of the present moment. Poloka´s cinema has only one genuine reality - a screened one, where desired unity of the hero and the world is possible.
That is why the RETURN of the BatTleship is the last and concluding of Poloka‘s work. The film is a subtle love song to the Soviet cinema, a love poem in the style of an Eisenstein hymn to the struggle of the working class. People of the street discover themselves with amazement and delight on the screen as characters of eternal world tragedy of passions - here is the solution of the phenomenon of the Soviet cinema, its living soul. (Jewgeny Margolit)
Gennady Poloka was born in Kuibyshew, Siberia, in 1930. In his youth he was a musical infant prodigy. In 1941 Germany invaded Russia. In this winter, being a teenager, he worked felling trees at a country farm and driving goods vans to the front. At 15 years he was decorated with a military medal. Poloka has changed professions frequently: He studied at a theatrical school, specialising in cinema, he worked as an artist at a theatre, studied at military school, and he has the military rank of officer. He was a professional sportsman, a journalist and a TV commentator.
In 1957 he graduated from the director‘s faculty of the Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. All attempts to tame or intimidate Poloka have failed. He was forbidden to shoot at all studios of the USSR. However, he continued to work under a pseudonym. Eventually, a criminal case was framed up. All the leading men and women of the film world stood up in defense of him, applying to the Procurator-General of the USSR.
1957: Shisn (Das Leben / Life - Kurzspielfilm, Abschlußarbeit am WGIK / graduation film). 1958: Naschi gosti (Unsere Gäste / Our Guests, langer Dokumentarfilm / long documentary).1960: Tschaiki nad barchanami (Seagulls over the desert - wurde in Turkmenien verboten / forbidden in Turkmenia). 1962: Kapronowyje seti (Kapron net). 1966: Respublika Schkid (The SHKID Republic). 1968-88: Intervenzija (Intervention - verboten / Intervention - forbidden, Premiere 1988). 1970: Odin is nas (One of us). 1971: Odinashdy odin (One time One - nach diesem Film wurde ein Berufsverbot über Poloka verhängt / after this film Poloka was forbidden to work). 1981-86: Nasche priswanije ( TV-Serie); Ja, woshatyj forposta (vierter Teil der Serie / fourth episode). 1989: A byl li karotin? (Was it Karotin? / What is Carotin?) 1996: WOSWRASCHTSCHENIJE BRONENOSZA.
© 1997 by International Forum of New Cinema. All rights reserved.