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Introduction: Reading Russian film . Terms, Genres, Historical context. Two types of discontinuity. Technical innovation: sound, colour, hand-held camera (steadycam) Social and political breaks in evolution. Periodization: 1896 – 1918. Capitalist, commercial cinema.

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Introduction reading russian film l.jpg

Introduction:Reading Russian film

Terms, Genres,

Historical context


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Two types of discontinuity

  • Technical innovation: sound, colour, hand-held camera (steadycam)

  • Social and political breaks in evolution


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Periodization: 1896 – 1918

  • Capitalist, commercial cinema.

  • Entertainment predominated. Star system.

  • Melodramas, national sagas.




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Periodization: 1918 – 1930

  • Cinema nationalized.

  • “Avantgarde” political cinema: Pudovkin, Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Dovzhenko.


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But….

Audiences prefer Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford…



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Periodization: 1930 – 1953

  • Sound movies and musicals.

  • Tight political control,

  • 1935 - Union of film-makers.

  • High Stalinism,

  • Socialist realism.

  • Film as propaganda.

  • “Trophy” films.


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The Kuban Cossaks(1949) by Ivan Pyriev


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“Trophy” films

Marika Rökk

The Girl of My Dreams

(1944)


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Periodization 1953- 1984

  • Golden age of Soviet Cinema.

  • Influence of French and Italian cinema.

  • Mass production of high quality popular films: Georgy Danelia, Eldar Ryazanov.

  • “Elite” films with deeper intellectual content: Sergei Paradzhanov, Andrei Tarkovsky.


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Autumn Marathonby Georgy Danelia (1979)


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Periodization 1984 - 1991

  • Perestroika.

  • Competition from video and TV (Mexican and Brazilian soaps).

  • Distribution of suppressed films.

  • “Film Noir” (“Chernukha”)

  • Collapse of film industry.

  • Breakdown of Soviet system.


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Outof the archives

TheCommissar

dir. Aleksandr Askoldov

(film shot in 1967,

released 20 years later)


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Chernukha (“black” film)

The Needle

dir. Rashid Nugmanov (1988)


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Periodization: 1991 -

  • Capitalist film industry

  • Flood of American films in cinemas and video

  • Struggle to maintain Russian film industry

  • Alternative films and TV series.


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The Barber of Siberiadir. Nikita Mikhalkov (1999)


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Brotherdir. Aleksei Balabanov (1997)


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The Night Watch (Nochnoy dozor)dir. Timur Bekmambetov (2004)

“All that stands between light and darkness is the Night Watch.”


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The Mongoldir. Sergei Bodrov the Elder (2007)




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Issues: Political role of film as form of dissent

Victor Tsoy: “Change”

Film: Assa

Dir. Sergei Solov’ov (1987).


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Issues: Narrative vs non-narrative structure

The Russian Ark

Dir. Aleksandr Sokurov (2002)


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Issues

Relationship of film to other genres:

theatre, literature, visual arts, TV

TV Series Liquidation (2007)


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