Born 1961 in Leningrad. Affiliated with Parallel Cinema movement. He is the leader of the cine group 'Mzhalalafilm'. He describes his creative work with the term necrorealism. From 1982 to 1984 he was involved with situational photography, and he was involved with the following necrorealistic subjects: mass fights, murder, suicides, every day trauma. Legal medicine had a big influence on Ufit, a world where pathologic-anatomical atlases are important. Ufit has been involved with cinematography from 1984, and his necrotic ideas have come to life and taken form.
Ufit's first two films 'Orderlies-Were'wolves' and 'The Tree cutter' which were filmed on film stock which had already expired, and thus the quality of the films is 'terrible'. But thanks to necrorealism and Ufit's sense of black humor, this is all justified. In my opinion, necrorealism - is an interpretation of the myth of the death of cinema in the context of the Soviet cinema. Because Evgeny Ufit - is a director and a human being - he has remained active, and he has had to find a way out, to be more exact, to understand - is their life after death? He wasn't satisfied with the idealistic interpretation of the after-life. Like any true materialist. He looked at the body and noticed that after death it is subjugated to a whole series of metamorphoses. A song from the film 'The Tree cutter' appeared at that time.
Our corpses are being eaten
Fat maggots crawl around, After death, that's when
The life we've been waiting for, begins!
Figuratively speaking, Ufit transferred the metamorphoses of corpses onto the film industry: expired film, careless editing, the hero is either a corpse, a suicidal or half-dead. Compete madness, endless ideological battles filmed in high speed when you can't distinguish 'us' and 'them', and as a result the opinion is formed that this is simply about a bunch of guys hanging around in the next village, as one of the lines in the song goes.
From an interview with Ufit from CINEFANTOM:
Ufit. ...The first shoots were held in a large, crowded courtyard in the center of Leningrad, after I had got a fight going around a rubbish tip. We didn't manage to film for very long, about 20 minutes, as I (I was holding the cine camera) was marched off in a convey of policemen to the nearest police station, where I was read the book - I was accused of almost everything. Then they decided that my case was not part of their jurisdiction, sent me off to the RUVD, where they tormented me for a whole week, until the film was developed.
They looked at the film and didn't discover any compromising material apart from absolute madness. Then they let me go, advising me not to do this any more. I didn't take their advice and on the next day calmly continued filming.
CINEFANTOM: What aspect of our own culture has had the biggest effect on you?
Ufit: None of it has, with the possible exception of K. Mikaberidze's 'My Grandmother', but it is mostly an international work. Films from the French avant-garde of the 20's has effected me - 'Andaluzskiy dog', 'Golden Age', by L. Bunuel and 'The Shell and the Priest' by J. Dulak.
The influence of early Bunuel is particularly noticeable in Ufit's third film - 'Spring'. In his picture, Ufit began to pay more attention to the shot-construction, to editing, to the tactility of the visuals. He turned away from fast-speed filming. 'Spring' marked a new stage of development of Ufit's creative career. The dominating factor became a condition of depression, expectation. If there was any laughter at all, you wouldn't call it care-free.
Among Ufit's contemporaries, Andrey Mertvy figures, a talented actor and director, the co-creator of 'Spring'.
- Seth Graham (ed.), Necrorealism: Contexts, History, Interpretations, Pittsburgh, 2001.
- Campbell Tomas, "Homosexuality as Device: Necrorealism and Neoacademism", in Russian Art in Translation, Ante Projects, 2007. (English)
- See also