Not all women in Kyiv do nothing else but dream of having ideal love affairs, marrying dashing young men, nice and rich into the bargain, or buying French lingerie. Not all men in Kyiv dream of becoming influential politicians, meeting gorgeous blondes, or buying Mercedes-Benz supercars. Some of those who don’t dream of such things have other interests, for example, theatre and cinema, in general, and Ukrainian theatre and Ukrainian poetic films, in particular.

Young Movie Makers of Ukraine —discussion, organized by Kino-Teatr Magazine jointly with the Open Night Film Festival management at the University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy.
And these weirdoes want not only to see plays and films they like but also read about what’s happening in the world of theatre and cinema. Unfortunately, their choice is limited so far only to one magazine, Kino-Teatr (“Cinema-Theatre”), published in Kyiv since 1995 (Kyiv, incidentally, is supposed to be one of the European capitals and as such should be more culture-oriented than it is). A lot of other periodicals that appeared in Kyiv in the course of the past several years were short-lived. The state does not support periodicals dealing with culture, and Ukrainian nouveau riches do not seem to be in a hurry to finance culture either. In the past year alone, Kultura i Zhyttya (“Culture and Life”) newspaper, Ukrayinsky Teatr (“Ukrainian Theatre”) magazine, ArtLine magazine have all become extinct.
It’s a sad situation. But life in Ukraine teaches Ukrainian citizens to persevere and survive thanks to their innate sense of humour. Kino-Teatr is a serious magazine though. Among its co-founders are the Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine, the Kyiv State Administration Main Board of Culture, the Podil District Administration, and the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy (NUKMA). In fact, it is on the NUKMA premises that the Kino-Tear editorial office is located. NUKMA is the prime mover thanks to which the magazine is being published. The magazine is kept afloat thanks to the great enthusiasm of its editor in chief, Larysa Bryukhovetska, and of all those who work for the magazine rather than to an impressive array of the co-founders. The contributors to the magazine who write about cinema and theatre supply very good articles charging symbolic royalties.
Hanna Chmil, Deputy Minister of Culture
and Arts of Ukraine, at the conference: Ukrainian Cinema of the 1990s — Waiting
for a Miracle or a Lost Chance?,
organized by Kino-Teatr Magazine.
Larysa Bryukhovetska, being a film critic and historian herself, makes sure that the materials published in her magazine are of highly professional quality. Of the recent publications several could be mentioned as quite remarkable both for their style and for information presented: Concerning Berlin Impressions by Lyudmyla Lemesheva, a film critic, about the Berlin Film Festival, one of the most prestigious European film festivals; A Brief History of the European Film Academy and the Present Day by Andriy Kurkov, a prominent writer who also has several screenplays to his name; Some Notes on the Problem of Imagery in Films by Vadym Skurativsky, a man of encyclopaedic knowledge who makes insights into various aspects of culture; series of articles about the history of theatre by Valeriy Haydabura, a theatre historian; Funny Stories by Bohdan Zholdak, a novelist and screenplay writer (the stories are really funny). Zholdak does not limit himself to humour alone and on the pages of the magazine engages in erudite polemics with Serhiy Trymbach, a film historian, over important cultural issues. For those readers who want to read something poetic, the publication (in several issues of the magazine) of excerpts from Yuriy Illienko’s book The Paradigm of Cinema will be a treat.

Yuriy Illienko, director of photography and film director at a meeting with young movie makers.
Yuriy Illienko, a distinguished Ukrainian film and photography director, presents a story of the “poetic film.” The book reads like poetry, poetry in the sense Goethe defined it: poetry is truth. It treats the phenomenon of Ukrainian poetic films, their genesis and describes its most characteristic features (incidentally, the book is in such a high demand that a second printing has been necessary to meet it). A number of authors writing for the magazine live abroad and send their articles from foreign countries. It widens the magazine’s scope considerably. Yuriy Tarnavsky, a renowned Ukrainian poet and playwright who now lives in New York, keeps the Kino-Teatr readers informed about the most important events in the life of theatre in New York and elsewhere in the world.

Movie news are presented by Olena Nesterak, a literary critic who is a postgraduate student of Ludvig-Maximillian University in Munich, and by Larysa and Leonid Aleksiychuks, movie directors and film historians who currently reside in Rome. Recent tendencies in the world cinema are discussed, as well as gossips about major movie figures and winners of most important prizes, like Oscars. The articles by these authors are of a great interest to anyone seeking information about theatre and cinema. And they are also a great fun to read. Kino-Teatr, in addition to being a magazine, is a centre that organizes “round-table” discussions and seminars for theatre directors, movie directors, playwrights, directors who teach directing, and their students. After these discussions and seminars have been held, Kino-Teatr publishes reviews which are one of the most interesting features of the magazine. One of the more recent publications (the first issue of Kino-Teatr of the year 2000) deals with the conference Ukrainian Cinema of the 1990s - Waiting for a Miracle or a Lost Chance? which was held in September 1999. It was attended by many movie and TV journalists, leading film critics, film directors, representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine. Hanna Chmil and Mykola Mazyar, participants of the conference, give Kino-Teatr their constant support and are enthusiasts of the modern Ukrainian cinema. The materials dealing with this conference have been published in the first issue of Kino-Teatr of the year 2000. The magazine does not publish any ads but it does not mean its financial position is so secure that it does not need sponsors. It does. Hopefully, patrons of art, theatre and cinema will support the magazine, the only one of its kind in the city of Kyiv which wants to be looked upon as a European capital.

By Vilena Savchuk