In my article I concentrate on works by three female artists - Natalia LL, Ewa Partum and Teresa Tyszkiewicz. Natalia LL and Ewa Partum started their careers inspired by conceptual tradition, later they extended their interests to feminist concepts, including the image of women, the position of women in a patriarchal society, and the woman as an object to be consumed. Teresa Tyszkiewicz began her artistic activity a decade later; thus, the reflexes of the conceptual trend are less visible in her films than in the works of LL and Partum. Her films can be described as symbolic, dedicated to corporeality and sensuality. Unlike LL and Partum, Tyszkiewicz did not consider her works to be connected to feminism or examples of women’s art.
This article is devoted to the theme of women and war in the films of Jānis Streičs, possibly the most influential Latvian film director. In the course of his career, which spanned nearly 50 years, Streičs made films that were popular in Latvia, as well as throughout the Soviet Union. He is one of the few Latvian film directors who managed to continue a comparatively stable career in the newly reindependent Republic of Latvia. Streičs skilfully used the canonised means of expression of classical cinema and superficially fulfilled the demands of socialist realism to provide appealing and life-asserting narratives for the audiences. Being a full-time film director at Riga Film Studio, and gradually becoming a master of the studio system, Jānis Streičs managed to subordinate the system to his own needs, outgrowing it and becoming an auteur with an idiosyncratic style and consistently developed topics.1 The most expressive elements of his visual style can be found in his war films, which are presented as women’s reflections on war.
In this article, Streičs’ oeuvre in its entirety provides the background for an analysis of two of his innovative war films. Meetings on the Milky Way (Tikšanās uz Piena ceļa, Latvia, 1985) rejects the classical narrative structure, instead offering fragmentary war episodes that were united by two elements – the road and women. In Carmen Horrendum (Latvia, 1989) Streičs uses an even more complicated structure that combines reality, visions and dreams. After watching this film, the only conclusion we can come to with certainty is that war does not have a woman’s face and, in general, war has no traces of humanity.
The aim of this article is to demonstrate how World War II, a theme stringently controlled by Soviet ideology, provided the impetus for a search for an innovative film language.
This article investigates the contradictory information about the Estonian identity of the filmmaker Dimitri Kirsanoff (1899–1957) and examines the archival material that provides final confirmation of his birth and childhood in Tartu. In addition, Kirsanoff’s substantial contribution to silent cinema and his significance in the context of French avant-garde impressionism are discussed. Kirsanoff’s most acclaimed film Ménilmontant (France, 1926) was released 90 years ago. It is still frequently screened all over the world, due to its experimental montage techniques, the early use of handheld cameras, its innovative use of actual locations and the actors’ performances that still resonate with contemporary audiences. Ménilmontant is also influential because of its elliptical narrative style. However, with the advent of sound film, Kirsanoff’s career declined because the reorganisation of the film industry limited the creative freedom he enjoyed in the 1920s. This article attempts to contribute to a wider acknowledgement of Dimitri Kirsanoff’s Estonian origins, his films and his important place in the world cinema.
2012 was the year of film in Estonia, when the 100th anniversary of Estonian film was celebrated. One of the most significant undertakings planned for this occasion was the creation of the Estonian film database (electronic national filmography). Performing this large-scale task was undertaken by the NPO Estonian Film Database, launched in 2007. The main objective of the undertaking was to form a complete Estonian national filmography within ten years (2007-2018) and make it available in a web environment to everyone interested, both in Estonia and abroad. The access to the database was opened in late fall, 2012 (www.efis.ee).
Together with newsreels, the number of produced items reaches over 12 000. Feature films, documentaries and popular films, anima, television, educational programmes, advertising films and newsreels form a rich collection of the life, history, culture and people of Estonia. Nearly 3 000 filmmakers and most Estonian actors and actresses have participated in creating the Estonian film heritage. Several thousand people, events, places, buildings, offices and institutions in Estonia participate in or are mentioned in the films. In addition, the films are adressing several thousand people shown or talking in films. The electronic database opens the film treasury in a summarised way, employing a variety of possibilities offered by modern electronic databases.
A metadata system and coding instructions were prepared for each film, person and institution in the extensive space of attributes with search options, which combines the interactive features of a film directory and bibliographical, biographical databases. Each film is described as thoroughly as possible. The attributes of films contain data about the subject, genre, authors, cast, production team, locations, producers, copyrights and distributors of films and about the technical parameters of films, as well as the bibliography of films, references to the reviews, articles, books published about films and the makers of films, digitised frames and pictures from films, trailers and promotional clips, scripts, memories of the makers and other interesting details. The subject content of films is indexed in 12 categories and related sub-groups and enables the search of films by plot/subject content, physical items, themes of newsreels and feature films, people, time, events, locations, building sites and institutions. In addition, films are indexed by a film-adapted UDC. As a result, more than 50 000 keywords enable thorough multi-layered content and subject search. All filmmakers are given their personal websites, which provides an overview of their creative careers and filmographies.
The electronic film database is interfaced with other similar databases at the Estonian Public Broadcasting, film archive of the National Archives, National Library and the Baltic Film and Media School of the Tallinn University. The web interface offers the possibility to enter with an ID-card and allows advance into several digital storages, where it is possible to view the films produced and purchase them for streaming. The filmography is interfaced with social networks (Facebook, Twitter) and is aiming the possibility to interlink it with the European Film Gateway in the future, thus offering access to a digitised film treasury through Europeana. The database is aimed at film professionals, teachers, students, researchers and the general public as the target audience.
Among others, the key issues of cultural databases draw on the approaches and solutions for information retrieval and are relying in particular on the principles of conceptual (intellectual) subject indexing of audiovisual artefacts. Inspired by classical works of Panofsky, Shatford, Turner and others regarding image description, analysis and interpretation the article covers some main issues regarding options for a multifunctional film indexing metadata. The text tackles different aspects of the description of moving images for public needs in general and also describes the specific details of the system, developed for deep keywording of Estonian films. The rationale, limits and disputable issues as well as our experience and basic suggestions for professional indexers who are undertaking these kind of tasks are also revealed.
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Laaniste, M. 2009. ‘Karikatuur ja/või kunst.Valdkondade vahekorrast Eestis Priit Pärna loomingu näitel / Cartoons and/or art: On the relationship of two fields in Estonia, based on Priit Pärn’s creative career’. - Kunstiteaduslikke Uurimusi, 18, 1-2, 111-150.
Majmurek, J. 2010. ‘Utopia, dystopia, escape: Surrealism and Polish science fiction / fantasy cinema’. - K. Wielebska, K. Mikurda (eds.), A Story of Sin: Surrealism in Polish Cinema. Krakow, Warsaw: Korporacja Ha!art, 160
Ali, Lorraine 2015. ‘Q&A: Alejandro G. Iñárritu on Directing His Own Career’. - Los Angeles Times, 3 February. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-alejandro-gonzalezinarritu-retrospective-20150203-story.html (14 August 2017).
Anonymous 2009. ‘SIFF 09: Review of Beautiful Estonian Drama Sügisball’. - Quiet Earth, 23 June. http://www.quietearth.us/articles/2009/06/22/SIFF-09-Review-of-beautiful-Estonian-drama-Sgisball (14 August 2017).
Aronson, Linda n.d. ‘The Six Sorts of