Evgeny Kondratyev

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Evgeny Kondatyev (idiot). He is the most mysterious person in Parallel Cinema. He has been involved in cinematography before he arrived in Leningrad, when he lived in Chernogorsk. In 1984 he became a member of the Mzhalalafilm group.

He made several films using necrealistic ideas: 'Work and hunger', 'Nanainana', 'I forget, idiot...I' Unlike Ufit's films, which have a leaning towards lingering shots, to set up effects similar to the necrorealism of pathologic-anatomical atlases, in his first works, Kondratyev used a fast, rough edit, similar to clips, full of symbolism. The films are devoid of the meaning that gave other necrorealistic films a certain established character. These films work not only because of the subject of the films, but also because of the editing.

The three minute film 'I Forgot, Idiot...II' was a turning point for Kondratyev. For the first time there was a concept in Leningrad parallel cinema. The film begins with a series of titles, declaring that a 'boy from a pioneer camp, who had agreed to act in a film, left with some grand dads in a bus, never to be seen again. After the titles there are a few landscapes, and a man is seen walking towards the camera who suddenly disappears, and at the end of the film - blackness seen through a window. After the titles, the viewer is left with a feeling of expectancy, and he pays great attention to the few banally-shot scenes, at an incomprehensible man. The viewer knows that nothing is going to happening, but he can't take his eyes off the screen. The culmination of the film is reached at that point when the titles merge with the landscape. It is as if Kondratev off-handedly demonstrated here the initial strength of naive Lumerovsky cinematography in which there is an unexplained desire to see life reflected in cinema, then a desire to leave, like that brave pioneer boy in the illusive world of the silver screen.

Now Kondratyev has left necrorealism firmly behind and is working on the theory of vertical and incorrect cinema.

An excerpt from a letter by Kondratyev reads: "Authors, it seems to me, fight trying to find a space for themselves within the limitations that they have created for themselves. But illusion is endless. The dream of all surrealists was to create an illusion, but they used traditional language; editing and composition". Kondratyev strives towards an effect, when "the shot ends, the next one begins, and...!!! The viewer cannot understand - did he really see that or was it his imagination'. Kondratyev tries to return to the original sources of cinema, and is not afraid of being primitive. He suggests paying attention to such phenomena as the vertical direction of film as it moves through a camera, and to the fact that most movement is horizontal, in other words, to take a look into the sub consciousness of the cinematographic process, at that which most directors don't even think about, and take for granted. Kondratyev first of all gives his students-teenagers transparent and black exposed film and gets them to make films using without using a camera, with the help of sharp objects and dies, making an accent on the fact that for a film show, the projector is more important than a camera. Only after they have mastered these aces, do the kids begin to work with film making equipment.

Kondratyev began using the ideas of verticalness and incorrectness in the film 'Development of the Cinema. Part 1'. Horizontal primitive.' The point of the film is that he, in the process of teaching the viewer the basics of the cinema, is at the same time a study process for its author.

The films 'Fire in Nature' and 'Grezi' cannot be written about using the traditional language of film critics.