“Perhaps Loznitsa’s most telling creative device is an enhanced sound design – by his long-time collaborator Vladimir Golovnitsky – that picks out threads of conversation in the crowd, and shows how talk, both among people, and on the radio, provided a sort of bush telegraph by which the population kept itself informed. Voices both official and unofficial – loudspeaker announcements, radio broadcasts, a protest folk singer – thread their way through the film, giving The Event almost the feel of a documentary opera, something it has in common with Maidan.”
“‘Absolutely,’ says Sergei Loznitsa, one of our greatest active filmmakers. ‘I hadn’t even thought of that but you’re absolutely right.’ He’s responding to my claim that, in his latest documentary The Event, his repeated use of music from Swan Lake is the soundtrack equivalent of the Kuleshov Effect – a theory of film editing first conducted by the Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov in the 1910s, which demonstrated how the emotive effects of a single image could depend on those following and preceding it. ‘I use only one theme from the second act of the ballet,’ Loznitsa says, ‘but it sounds different at different moments of the film. At certain moments it sounds ironic, at others tragic. And in some moments there is a lot of pathos.’”
- 1Jonathan Romney, “The Event: Review,” Screen Daily, 7 September 2015.
- 2Michael Pattison, “Faces in a Crowd: A New Film Revisits The Failed Coup That Was The Final Act of the Soviet Union,” Calvert Journal, 30 December 2015.