Anatoli Golovnya - Writer

Cinematographer. Nationality: Russian. Born: Anatoli Dimitryevich Golovnya in Simferopol, Russia, 1900. Education: Attended the State Film School, Moscow, mid-1920s. Family: Married the photographer Tamara Lobova. Career: Entered films as camera assistant in mid-1920s; 1925—first film as cinematographer, Chess Fever ; then worked almost exclusively on films of the director Vsevolod Pudovkin until 1950; 1934—began teaching at the Cinema Institute: became head of the camerawork department; also author of several books on photography. Award: People's Artist, 1935. Died: In 1982.

Films as Cinematographer:


Kirpichiki (Obolenski and Doller) (asst); Luch smerti ( The Death Ray ) (Kuleshov) (asst); Shakmatnaya goryachka ( Chess Fever ) (Pudovkin)


Mekhanikha golovnovo mozga ( Mechanics of the Brain ) (Pudovkin); Mat ( Mother ) (Pudovkin)


Konyets Sankt-Peterburge ( The End of St. Petersburg ) (Pudovkin)


Potomok Chingis-khan ( The Heir to Genghis Khan ; Storm over Asia ) (Pudovkin); Zhivoi trup ( A Living Corpse ) (Otsep)


Chelovek iz restorana ( The Man from the Restaurant ) (Protazanov)


Dezertir ( Deserter ) (Pudovkin) (co)


Pobeda ( Victory ) (Pudovkin and Doller)


Minin i Pozharsky (Pudovkin and Doller) (co)


Suvorov (Pudovkin and Doller) (co); Pir v Girmunka ( Feast at Zhirmunka ) (Pudovkin and Doller—for series Fighting Film Albums ) (co)


Amiral Nakhimov ( Admiral Nakhimov ) (Pudovkin) (co)


Yukovsky (Pudovkin)


By GOLOVNYA: books—

Kompoziciya fotokadra [The Craft of the Cameraman], 1938.

Svet v iskusstve operatora [Light in the Cameraman's Art], Moscow, 1945.

The Screen Is My Palette (autobiography).

By GOLOVNYA: articles—

"Fundamentals of Camerawork," in Sovietsky Ekran (Moscow), 1 November 1927.

"On Soviet Film Art," in Soviet Cinema , edited by A.Y. Arosev, Moscow, 1935.

Soviet Film (Moscow), no. 12, 1968.

On GOLOVNYA: articles—

Sovietsky Ekran (Moscow), no. 12, 1959.

Filmkultura (Budapest), no. 7, 1961.

Soviet Film (Moscow), no. 11, 1970.

Iskusstvo Kino (Moscow), no. 2, 1975.

Soviet Film (Moscow), no. 2, 1975.

Iskusstvo Kino (Moscow), January 1983.

* * *

The work of Anatoli Golovnya will always be associated with the films of Pudovkin, whose close collaborator he was and for whom he worked almost exclusively. Before he joined Pudovkin's team he had worked for other directors or as assistant to the cameraman Levitsky. Golovnya photographed three great masterpieces of Pudovkin, Mother , The End of St. Petersburg , and Storm over Asia . His feeling for light and shade, the dramatic structure of the image, and his feeling for people made his contribution to these films a truly creative achievement. As Harry Alan Potamkin noted: "Golovnya's work in The End of St. Petersburg adds his name to the lists of the heroic in camera creation." He carried the plastic realism and the powerfully expressive vigour of painters like Surikov and Serov to the screen. In the Pudovkin films the style is essentially lyrical no matter how realistic the theme. His awareness of structure, his hypersensitive eye, and his acute intelligence gave shape and form to the imagery. Especially in Storm over Asia his virtuosity is particularly noticeable in the great and contrasting landscapes and in his portraits of both the actors and natural types that fill the film. From the first shots of the dissolving approach to the hut in the barren mountainside one's imagination is captured and held by the richness of the image. In Yukovsky , Pudovkin's last film, he had the opportunity to work in colour. He had a special interest in stereocinematography. As a writer on his special art he made a valuable contribution to the knowledge of film photography. He upheld the cinema against the encroaches of theatricalism and literary impositions. "The main thing," he said, "is that the cinema be looked upon and conceived as an art." And of the camera: "the operator will certainly remainwhat he should be—the artist, the organiser of the visual material."

—Liam O'Leary

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