The Ukrainian Week`s choice of music events and film festivals to visit in June
The Wrong Triangle
On May 30, Eastalgia directed by Daria Onyshchenko premiered in Ukraine. At first sight, it is a well-made project involving international co-production, cooperation with funds, a good title, an important theme and a well-known cast. The film focuses on a burning issue in Ukraine: the massive migration to the West in search of better earnings and these people’s nostalgia for their homeland. The director’s choice of a modern problem makes sense: finally, the audience will see something about Ukraine today rather than its distant past. The film incorporates three novels set in Germany, Serbia and Ukraine. Shot with a hand camera, they cover the most interesting aspect of human life – love. And they are all intertwined. In one, a 23-year old Ukrainian boy is about to go to his mother in Germany. In the other, his mother is waiting for him. Everything seems to have been done just right. But the dull poster with no accents or attractiveness was the first disappointment. So was the dramatic aspect of the film which was promoted as a social drama. The Ukrainian and Serbian novels do not seem to be very interesting, and the Ukrainian language spoken by the actors sounds fake. The German part has everything that fully draws the viewer into the drama of the characters, their solitude and pain. Nina Nizheradze who plays the lead female role in the German novel acts brilliantly. With the tiny apartment as her setting, she makes the acting dramatic and versatile with mimicry, gestures and body plastics, without running around too much or showing explosions of emotion. Talented Austrian actor Karl Markovics helps her create the necessary atmosphere. Their tandem is equal: they naturally portray a relationship of two different nations living in a strange world far from home. It is this tandem that makes it worth watching Eastalgia and counting it as a success of Ukrainian cinematography. The film has already taken part in many festivals and won an award in Germany.
A New Look at the Old
Something in the Air by French director Olivier Assayas is about France in 1971 and the local youth, showing how social sentiments changed after May of 1968 – the French title of the film, Après mai, actually translates as ‘After May’. The echo of revolution remained because the rich and poor did not disappear, but the exhilaration of radical leftist ideas faded like a headache after a party where the drink flowed. In this film, Assayas does not lie or idealize about anything: he paints – literally and metaphorically. It is not so much a tribute to that time, as it is to his personal past, the ideals of his youth, and his beliefs that changed along with his life. It looks like a retrospective of the 1970s, where events are related to certain people and serve as a general conclusion of sorts. Gilles, the main character, is an average young man of that time, carried away by revolutionary turmoil, protesting against the police regime, loving women, weed and films. This is a typical set of hobbies for his age. But his young adulthood passes, leaving him with the following questions: where will you go and will you ever grow up? Unlike The Dreamers by Bernardo Bertolucci where the 1968 turmoil went hand in hand with the hero’s new sexual and philosophical experiences – a stepbrother of Something in the Air – the latter is not all that dreamy. Assayas makes his film clear, linear and unemotional, yet it has its very noticeable atmosphere. And it is deeper than The Dreamers. The hero in Something in the Air goes through spiritual and mental trials. At some point, he realizes that he would like to act in movies. However, the pro-communist films of the older generation make him think that their cinematography is boring, and the politics primitive. Despite the fact that the events took place 40 years ago, Something in the Air is very modern. Whether he wanted this or not, Assayas showed the evolution of ideas that are virtually identical at all times, where people spark with an idea, and act quickly and skillfully to implement it, talking about it before and after, but actually doing something in the process. This vision may serve the youth and politicians of today well: if you want to do something, do it, don’t just talk about it.
15 June, 7 p.m.
(1, Sportyvna Ploshcha, Kyiv)
The original and sophisticated music of the British folk-rock band will thrill the most demanding audience. The duo of Ritchie Blackmore on acoustic and electric guitar, and Candice Night as lead vocalist, lyricist and multi-instrumentalist, it plays exquisite harmonies that hearken back to the romantic Medieval and Renaissance eras, with musketeers, beautiful ladies and all-night ballroom dancing. When British guitarist and songwriter Ritchie Blackmore started the band, he said: “I love that period – it’s simpler and nobler, more romantic and enchanting than it is now.” The band performs in medieval costumes and encourages all fans to dress so for the concerts.
18 June, 7 p.m.
Ukrayina Palace of Arts
(103, vul. Velyka Vasylkivska, Kyiv)
This will be the night of Denys Matvienko’s ballet dialogue with the audience. The owner of four Grand Prix awards from the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world, he will dance at the Palace of Arts to show his gratitude to the viewers for their love and support. Other solo dancers of the National Opera House of Ukraine will perform on stage alongside Denys, including his wife Anastasia and Nina Ananishvili. The show will include the popular and most requested Radio and Juliet, a modern ballet to music by Radiohead.
21 - 23 June
2013 Leopolis Grand Prix
All over the city
Ukraine’s art capital churns out one pleasant surprise after another. Shortly after the series of huge rock and jazz festivals, it will host an international festival of retro cars. For several years now, the lovers of old cars have been trying to recreate the Grand Prix race that took place in Lviv eighty years ago. The retro cars will drive through the Lviv Triangle, a historical road in the heart of the old city, between the streets of Vitovsky, Stryiska and Hvardiyska. In addition to the race, the programme includes a car festival for kids and a navigation quest.
27 June, 10 a.m.
2013 TrypillianCircle. Water
2013 marks the 120th anniversary of the discovery of the Trypillan culture by archeologist Vikentiy Khvoika. Therefore, the 6th international arts festival, Trypilske Kolo, or Trypillian Circle, will be special. Just as in previous years, this year’s programme includes performances by folk groups, book readings, mystical theater performances, folk dance workshops, and much more. As always, the festival area is tobacco, alcohol and drug-free. The drive to Rzhyshchiv will take you around 1.5 hours, but plenty of public buses are available at the Podil bus station to take you there.
28– 30 June
2013 Lviv on a Platter
All over the city
Gourmets, as well as anyone who likes good food, will have the opportunity to taste the versatile Lviv cuisine at the 2nd food festival. It will kick off with a huge gala dinner, just like it did last year. In 2012, the common dinner took place in the yard of the Potocki Palace, where almost 300 guests tasted the delicacies. The festival continued with a fair where Lviv restaurants and coffee shops presented their food to everyone in town. And there was plenty of music. This year, the organizers promise an equally intense programme and more mouth-watering surprises.
29 June, 7 p.m.
55, vul. Velyka Vasylkivska, Kyiv
The legendary British electronic-rock band will play a long-awaited concert in Ukraine as part of its Depeche Mode World Tour 2013. Ukrainian fans are eagerly anticipating listening to what critics have already described as powerful, dark, gloomy and bluesy. The musicians spent all year in the studio, working on their new, thirteenth album. Very soon now, the audience will hear Delta Machine - the title was a long-kept secret – live. The first single on the album called Heaven was released on February 1, 2013. This time, Depeche Mode plans to visit 25 countries and wrap up the European part of the tour on July 29, in Minsk, Belarus.
Mostly discussed for its regulation of the language of instruction in schools, the new law offers more overlooked important innovations intended to change the quality and the content of education in Ukraine
The new law on the reintegration of the occupied parts of the Donbas qualifies them as such and names Russia as the occupier. Yet, it does not launch the process of deoccupation or change the mechanism envisaged in the Minsk Agreement
This week started off with a bang in Kyiv...and it had nothing to do with working on healthcare reform, which the Verkhovna Rada eventually passed on October 19. The #1 topic became a protest action to push political reforms forward that was called by anti-corruption politicians and former Odesa Governor Mikhail Saakashvili