Filming is a Game: Screening of Films by Ivan Kulytskyi
We invite you to a screening of amateur films by Ivan Kulytskyi (1923-2015) and a conversation about the author and his creative heritage, which will take place as part of the Home Movie Day 2023.
Ivan Kulytskyi's films are a game in which the author involved his daughters, his wife, and his whole family. In this way, he turned the medium of cinema into a creative process through which he brought his family together. This game started with a borrowed amateur camera in the early 1960s and lasted for almost ten years. It included not only filming and distributing roles among the participants, but also writing scripts, creating hand-drawn animation, and even signing contracts with relatives to film. For Ivan Kulytskyi, films were also an element of raising his own children, and the available amateur technology allowed him to invent, choose, and create content himself, in contrast to what was distributed and allowed in Soviet times. Some of these films contained messages that openly criticized or opposed the official system of the time, but they never went beyond the family circle.
The example of Ivan Kulytskyi's work allows us to expand our understanding of the concept of cinema, which was not just a flat image on the screen but became part of a three-dimensional reality and a way of interacting within the family. This is what is important for understanding the phenomenon of amateur cinema, which has no clear framework, regulations, or rules; it is open to search and experimentation, based on visual media and imagination. Very often it is relaxed, spontaneous, and optional. Amateur and home movies contain a documentary part, and therefore, they are both a source and a testimony to what was happening around them. To analyze it, it is essential to pay attention not only to the form and the result but also to the process of creation and the context. Myroslava Kryvdyk, the author's daughter and a participant in his films, will help us understand this context during the screening.
The occasion for this screening is the annual International Home Movie Day, which is celebrated in October, as well as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. The heritage of amateur filmmakers is an important part of our past and needs to be systematically preserved and popularized.
A part of Ivan Kulytskyi's private film archive was digitized by the Urban Media Archive of the Center for Urban History. We are grateful to his family for their trust and cooperation in this process.
Cover Image: Graphics by Liudmyla Sushchenia
Gallery: Olha Shakhnyk