Considering the topic mentioned in the title requires not only to portray our prominent filmmaker, but also to comprehend many aspects of his image, to unfold the storyline and the overall presentation of his place in Bulgarian culture, to characterize social, social, etc. processes affecting his art, the reception of his films. There are obstacles of a different nature to the task, so we will narrow down the 'story' to some of the clearer moments by which its presence is outlined today.
As a starting point we will take the fact that Valo Radev "entered" the cinema spaces in the 50-ies of the XX-th century as an operator who completed his training, familiar with modern achievements, with the "horizons" of world cinema. The decision to engage in cinema comes after a screening of Lev Arnstam's film "Zoe." According to V. Radev, the film is projected a kilometer from the front, in a dilapidated cultural home, in February 1945, in Gergetek (Hungary). Together with the Russian and Bulgarian military, he sees snow falling on the screen from the roof without a roof, sees the reactions of soldiers and officers, experiences Zoe, realizes the power that art exerts on man.
A few years later, he was already making documentary short films before moving on to the "parallels" to the heterogeneous challenges of a feature film with "Dimitrovgrad" (1956). It goes on with Yank Yankov's "Years for Love" (1957), Vladimir Petrov's "On Eve" (1958). The aforementioned productions undoubtedly leave traces and traces in the development of V. Radev, but according to film critics and according to the filmmaker himself Tobacco (1961) sets the tone for the further work of the operator.
Three years after his active participation in the adaptation, directed by Nikola Karabov, in the novel of the same name by Dimitar Dimov, V. Radev has already finished another project. He wrote his first screenplay on the Emilian-Stanev novel, The Peach Thief (1964), and directed the screenplay. Months later, the production will be celebrated at the prestigious Venice Film Festival and will receive a large part of the awards in Bulgaria, including the recognition of the audience, in Varna, in the same year.
Around the mid-60s, when Valo Radev graduated from The Peach Thief, the initial amateur attempts were outdated, the inept imitation bands played their preparatory role, the waves of amateurism diminished considerably, the successful and unsuccessful schools and schools yielded their fruits. Cinema works have emerged that are not inferior to the aesthetic achievements of the European ones. Our home cinema is booming.
Today, researchers evaluate Valo-Radev's "second", "double" movie debut (as a screenwriter and director) beyond the conventional boundaries that have spanned decades. The film has been repeatedly described as one of the most significant Bulgarian cinema works. Art. Trifonov e.g. claims that the Peach Thief stands out because "not only is it the best of all Stan's screen adaptations, but it is also the best Bulgarian film at least until the liquidation of the state monopoly in film production in Bulgaria during 1991."
After the film was made, V. Radev took it for granted that he was showing "historical events and human characters." Projections of the principle can be found in his later works, such as "King and General" (1965), "Longest Night" (1967), "Black Angels" (1968), "Condemned Souls" ( 1970), Adaptation (1975), and more.
The cinematographer also stands behind the teaching department. In his lectures he turns retrospectively and analytically to the captured personnel, to the biographies of his projects. His approach is also reflected in the book of bequests - Lost Spaces (2002). In the luxury edition, he rounds off his image by posting photos from film sites, premieres, collecting scripts with commentary, highlights from leading foreign publications, reviews of his films, posters and excerpts from diaries, and conversation with Docho Bojakov, and more. In the book V. Radev presents familiar and unknown, "lost" sides of his life, from the history of working in cinema.
For example, in the text about The Peach Thief, entitled "Opera Prima (first work)", drawn from the lectures that V. Radev took, the author draws from his recollections to take a position on issues relevant to Bulgarian cinema and problems in order to point out the unchanging qualities without which the artist would not be able to realize his ideas, without which the compromise could seize the territories created with dedication and perseverance, would hurt the individual as an individual with a built worldview, would distort the talented people beyond recognition. intentions and perspectives, would rob a sovereign artistic act of anything that makes it meaningful.
In "Viola D'Amore", a conversation with D. Bodzhakov in December 1995, the director of "Tsar and General" emphasizes the principles that have formed in his mind as a cameraman, principles that he wanted to follow and followed . In summary, they are: 1. - the cinema to touch on significant problems; 2. - the problems should be presented in an interesting way; 3. - the artist should not declare his ideas, let the viewer perceive them. The postulates contain well-known truths, without whose individually realized interpretation one could not speak of high manifestations of art.
In the conversation V. Radev claims that his viola already has strings. The metaphor he uses suggests that the cinematographer was aware of the importance of his work and that is why he explains that the next generations must touch the strings of his viola, stop on their way and in his "lost spaces".
Although dozens of pages can be written about V. Radev and his will as we flip through his biographical "story", apart from the principles proclaimed and illustrated in the 2002 book, let's not forget, watch and watch the films , in the scenes, in the details, in his work.
The spaces are not lost there; the viola continues to play.