Soviet Ukrainian Brutalism: a glimpse into Kyev’s endangered architectural masterpieces

In October 2018, Osnovy Publishing and DOM publishers will present Soviet Modernism, Brutalism, Post-Modernism: Buildings and Projects in Ukraine from 1960 –1990 a book about Soviet-era architecture in Ukraine., the Kiev-based production company, was inspired by the topic of Ukrainian Brutalism and made a short film in support of the upcoming book.

This short presents Kiev’s eclectic architectural beauty. Unfortunately, we might be seeing the last of the buildings in the film. Many Modernist and Brutalist gems are in danger of being destroyed by developers building new housing and shopping malls.

The famous “UFO Building”, featured in the short, is Ukraine’s Institute of Scientific, Technical and Economic Information and State Scientific and Technical Library. It is at risk of being swallowed up by a new mall next door.

Director of Photography Mikhail Volkov used a vintage lens (manufactured at the beginning of the 70s in the Soviet Union) in combination with a Japanese vintage anamorphic lens.

This setup made the picture not very sharp, very light, with warm anamorphic flares. And the fixed focal length of 75 mm encouraged a sense of intimacy between the audience and the filmed objects.

Roman Blazhan, the film’s director, said the aim was to create a meditative experience which will lead one to notice modernist structures in everyday life. Music for the film was composed by Oleksandr Cherepanov from Horizon Music Studio.