Movie Picnic 

Movie Picnic in Riihisaari:
In Spring

Mikhail Kaufman | Soviet Union | 1929 | 54 min | No dialogue, live accompaniment | U

The atmospheric Film Picnic of the Savonlinna International Nature Film Festival is organized as usual in Riihisaari on the Saturday of the festival. At the picnic, Mikhail Kaufman's Ukrainian avant-garde film In Spring will be shown, which will be accompanied by a "Silent Rapture" concert  by Sirkka Kosonen and Markus Pesonen on the spot.

This year there is a voluntary entrance fee for the picnic, which will be directed to be paid directly to Unicef to support the victims of the war in Ukraine. Show your support and donate here!

Pizzanen ao, a pop-up pizzeria serving picnic lunches in Riihisaari, also donates 10% of every pizza purchased to Unicef for the victims of the war in Ukraine.


In Spring
 

Completed in 1929, In Spring is one of the masterpieces of Ukrainian avant-garde cinema. The film by Mikhail Kaufman , one of the most important names in Soviet cinema, depicts the arrival of spring in 1920s Kiev. Nature awakening to the new season and urban life are seen interacting with each other through Kaufman's avant-garde lens. 

 

Perhaps Mikhail Kaufman is best known as the brother of two other famous directors, Dziga Vertov (Denis Kaufman) and Boris Kaufman. Mikhail and Dziga, who were born in the late 19th century in what is now Poland, worked together after the Bolshevist Revolution in Soviet Russia, innovating filmmaking from both an aesthetic and technical point of view. As the 1920s progressed and the political system became harsher, they felt their artistic freedom of expression in Russia so limited that they decided to move to Ukraine to work under the auspices of the newly founded film institution VUFKU under the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. In the second half of the 1920s, Ukraine and VUFKU were still able to operate more freely, giving room for artistic research and reform. 

 

In 1929, creative differences between the brothers inspired Mikhail Kaufman to take up the camera alone and create this visionary cinematic essay that pushed the boundaries of Soviet revolutionary filmmaking. Soon after, Ukraine lost its status as a relatively autonomous region, both politically and artistically. VUFKU was abolished and its successor, Ukrainafilm, was established to operate fully under the control of Moscow.

 

SINFF will show Kaufman's film as part of this year's Film Picnic in cooperation with Riihisaari – Savonlinna museum. The version shown now has been restored in the 2010s by the Ukrainian film archive Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre.

 

Live accompaniment of the film "Silent Rapture"

 

The film of this year's film picnic will be enjoyed in Riihisaari with live accompaniment. Sirkka Kosonen and Markus Pesonen's intuitive concert "Silent Rapture" combines cultures, bringing the Ukrainian silent film made in 1929 into Finnish and European cultural elements.  The concert heard during the movie by Kosonen and Pesonen is based on folk songs and original music, where Kosonen's versatile voice usage, folklore awareness and present artistry meet Pesonen's phenomenal electric guitar sounds and electronic sound processing. The dialogue between the ancient tunes of the past and the futuristic soundscapes influence each other, creating a state of silent trance that is present .

 

Sirkka Kosonen is a singer specialized in different styles of folk music and the way of using the voice, who is at home in the worlds of both traditional singing styles and experimental improvisation. The most important of Sirka's bands are MeNaiset, Siba Folk Big Band and Perriin Tyssit. Sirkka can be heard both as a hanurist in dance music ensembles and as a voice improviser in multi-artistic contexts. As a provincial artist of Etelä-Savo, he is e.g. brought out the folk music found in the archives of Southern Savonia.

 

Markus Pesonen is an award-winning composer, musician and multimedia artist who works extensively in music, sound and listening. He creates experiential sound tours that combine original music with field recordings from nature. Markuse has a master's degree in music and a composer's diploma from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, but his insatiable curiosity has made him explore beyond the boundaries of art and science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Text | Hanna Markkanen and Jarkko Kääriäinen
Image | Veera Kolehmainen

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