Boris Barnet

(T. lett.: Proprio presso il mare blu); Scen.: Klimentij Minc; F.: Mihail Kirillov; Scgf.: Vadim Aden; Mu.: Sergej Potockij; Su.: A. Gornštejn; Int.: Elena Kuz’mina (Marija), Lev Sverdlin (Jusuf), Nikolaj Krjučkov (Alëša), Semën Svašenko (presidente del kolchoz), V. Sateeva, A. Žuhov, A. Dolinin, S. Komarov; Prod.: Mežrabpomfil’m e Azerfil’m; Pri. pro.: 20 aprile 1936. 35mm. D.: 70’. Bn

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

“Everyone passed in front of the fishermen’s nets, everyone saw them, but only Barnet observed them as he usually did, thinking of how to turn them into details of emotionally loaded pictorial images. What to others appeared profane in the eyes of Barnet became spectacular, unusual, full of meaning”. The words of the screenplay-writer Minc demonstrate the understanding between the two artists, even if the film did not stick to the literary screenplay. Keeping the characters and the story’s lyrical development, Barnet created a story with strong dreamlike elements, where the importance of being realistic diminishes in the face of recapturing another kind of truth: the sea and the island become a place of vitality and connection with a primary element and its harmony. In this sense, U samogo sinego morja is an example of the “idyll and utopia” (according to Evgenij Margolit’s definition) permeating the entire work of the director. “The most original film and the freest from the ideological aesthetic canon,” wrote Jacques Lourcelles, “extremely dear to the filmmaker and more in tune with the infinite cosmic vitality of the universe that the best Russian films, no matter the time, have always tried express.” The film received acclaim from the artistic community. It, however, was not as successful with audiences as was expected. With its abstract nature, official critics quickly classified the film as a justified failure along with Ejzenštejn’s Bežin Lug, blocked definitively by the government in 1937. That same year the journal “Iskusstvo kino” formally denounced the principle of “emotional screenplay” conceived of by Aleksandr Ržeševskij and shared by Minc.

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