Klucis DVD – a Gift to Film and Art Lovers

It was a privilege to follow the development and production of Peteris Krilovs ”Gustavs Klucis: The Deconstruction of an Artist”. And it was a privilege to see how the producer of the film Uldis Cekulis fought for the film to have the necessary financing to be completed. And to be able to see the end result live up to the high ambitions. The film had its premiere in Riga in May 2008 and now – 7 years later – it has a new premiere as a very inviting 2 dvd set, a collector’s edition it is called, including a booklet, well it is all there for you to enjoy, experience and learn from!

The visual part first: The 90 minutes version is there in English vo and subtitles, as are the Latvian vo with subtitles and the Russian vo with subtitles. Plus a 90 minutes version with Peteris Krilovs and editor Julie Vinten in conversation with me, in the best English we know! It was the first time we did that, commenting on what you see in this and that sequence, hope it works! And then on the second dvd

8 (yes Eight!) tv language versions (56 minutes) of the film, plus intriguing bonus material. Art historians place Klucis in the Russian avant-garde, in the world art history, as the phenomenal photomontage pioneer he was with John Heartfield at his side, and there are deleted scenes that introduce the surviving family, his son Edvard Kulagin and his children Aleksandr and Maria, and beautiful texts from Valentina Kulagina’s diaries.

The text side… (more than 100 pages, well illustrated) I read it all and it is rich in information: The story of the film coming to life. Two scripts. Interview with Krilovs. Who was Klucis. What is the inspiration he can give us today? Review of the film. Etc. etc.

I am too biased to give it the highest points at filmkommentaren.dk, which it deserved so let me end this tribute to this extraordinary publication by quoting the synopsis on the back of ”Klucis. The Deconstruction of an Artist”:

”A deeply personal view on the life of artist Gustavs Klucis, one of the foremost representatives of early 20th century Russian avant-garde art, whose life drama reflects the tragedy of a whole nation during the years of Stalin’s repressions. It is a story about boundless ambitions, hope, love and artist’s responsibility that continues haunting him after his death. The film is imbued with particular intimacy by the director’s commentary, gradually revealing the fate of Peteris Krilovs himself.”

www.vfs.lv

 

   

 

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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