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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

Introduction:Reading Russian film

Terms, Genres,

Historical context

two types of discontinuity
Two types of discontinuity
  • Technical innovation: sound, colour, hand-held camera (steadycam)
  • Social and political breaks in evolution
periodization 1896 1918
Periodization: 1896 – 1918
  • Capitalist, commercial cinema.
  • Entertainment predominated. Star system.
  • Melodramas, national sagas.
periodization 1918 1930
Periodization: 1918 – 1930
  • Cinema nationalized.
  • “Avantgarde” political cinema: Pudovkin, Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Dovzhenko.
slide9

But….

Audiences prefer Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford…

periodization 1930 1953
Periodization: 1930 – 1953
  • Sound movies and musicals.
  • Tight political control,
  • 1935 - Union of film-makers.
  • High Stalinism,
  • Socialist realism.
  • Film as propaganda.
  • “Trophy” films.
trophy films
“Trophy” films

Marika Rökk

The Girl of My Dreams

(1944)

periodization 1953 1984
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.
periodization 1984 1991
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.
out of the archives
Outof the archives

TheCommissar

dir. Aleksandr Askoldov

(film shot in 1967,

released 20 years later)

chernukha black film
Chernukha (“black” film)

The Needle

dir. Rashid Nugmanov (1988)

periodization 1991
Periodization: 1991 -
  • Capitalist film industry
  • Flood of American films in cinemas and video
  • Struggle to maintain Russian film industry
  • Alternative films and TV series.
the night watch nochnoy dozor dir timur bekmambetov 2004
The Night Watch (Nochnoy dozor)dir. Timur Bekmambetov (2004)

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

issues political role of film as form of dissent
Issues: Political role of film as form of dissent

Victor Tsoy: “Change”

Film: Assa

Dir. Sergei Solov’ov (1987).

issues narrative vs non narrative structure
Issues: Narrative vs non-narrative structure

The Russian Ark

Dir. Aleksandr Sokurov (2002)

issues
Issues

Relationship of film to other genres:

theatre, literature, visual arts, TV

TV Series Liquidation (2007)