Heart of a Dog
Film screening and discussion with philosopher and ethologist Vinciane Despret (University of Liège, Belgium). Part of the "Europe in Four Themes: Animals" series organized in collaboration with the Getty Center and the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Sunday, February 25, 20183:00 PM
Billy Wilder Theater (Courtyard Level, Hammer Museum)
10899 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Heart of a Dog (Soviet Union, 1988)
The political awakening of a stray dog is the leaping off point for Soviet author Mikhail A. Bulgakov’s classic 1925 satire of Lenin’s New Economic Policy, brilliantly adapted for Russian television by director Vladimir Bortko at the tail end of the Soviet era. The film opens from the dog’s point-of-view as he prowls Moscow’s alleys curiously commenting on the proletariat scene until he’s snapped up by a quack doctor (Evgeniy Evstigneev). A bourgeois holdover who offers dubious anti-aging treatments to Soviet officials, he transforms the dog into a proto human through a wildly irresponsible experiment. Before he knows it, he has a committed revolutionary living in his apartment with an equal dislike for capitalists and cats.
Digital, b/w, in Russian with English subtitles, 136 min. Director: Vladimir Bortko. Screenwriter: Nataliya Bortko. Based on the novel by Mikhail A. Bulgakov. Cinematographer: Yuriy Shaygardanov. Editor: Leda Semyonova. Cast: Evgeniy Evstigneev, Vladimir Tolokonnikov, Boris Plotnikov, Roman Kartsev, Nina Ruslanova..
Purchase tickets for this screening here.
In collaboration with the Getty Center, UCLA Film & Television Archive and the UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies have partnered this year to present a quarterly, interdisciplinary festival of film and music that explores European culture, politics and society through the prism of four themes: Animals, Food, Music and Architecture/Landscape. Every calendar, the Archive will a devote a weekend of screenings to films by European and Russian filmmakers that explore these themes in compelling ways. A noted expert in a related field of study will be invited to respond during post-screening conversations.
We launch this initiative February 23-25, 2018 with three films centered around animals: Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar (France, 1966), Kornél Mundruczó’s White God (Hungary/Germany/Sweden, 2014) and Vladimir Bortko’s Heart of a Dog (Soviet Union, 1988). Philosopher and ethologist Vinciane Despret, professor at the University of Liège, Belgium, will join us at each screening to discuss the films. A leading voice in the emerging field of scientific humanities, Despret, in her latest book, What Would Animals Say If We Asked the Right Questions? (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), challenges with humor and insight the received scientific and anecdotal wisdom about animal behavior and agency.
These screenings take place in conjunction with a lecture-concert at the Getty Center on Saturday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m., featuring a presentation by Laure Murat and performances of works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Fauré, Rameau, Rossini, Cage, Gershwin, and others. The program also features the first U.S. appearance of Vincent Penot, clarinetist of the Opéra de Paris, who performs three pieces on the program. For more information and ticketing, please click here.
Sponsor(s): Center for European and Russian Studies, Hammer Museum at UCLA, Film and Television Archive