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The History of Early Russian Cinema

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The History of Early Russian Film (1907 To 1977): Seventy Years of Russian Film

The History of Russia: 1861 to Present Day
Dr. Sola-Corbacho

February 19, 2012

The History of Early Russian Film (1907 To 1977): Seventy Years of Russian Film

The beginning of the twentieth century was an exiting time for this business that we call show. The film industry had not restricted itself to Hollywood. The film industry had spread its wings round the world at a fantastic rate. This term paper focuses on the early years of Russian cinema, the films that were made, and the directors that pushed the boundaries of Russian entertainment. We will trace a path through history; from the beginning of the silent era, the introduction of sound, and the sound of drums which heralded the beginning of a second great war. This paper will touch upon such pre-revolutionary Russian films as Seaside Walk, The Gadfly and the Ant, Christmas Eve, Kliuchischastia, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Queen of Spades. We fill find the fall of Nicolas II will not be an end to the Russian film industry. The industry will continue. We will also look at such films as Chelovek s kino-apparatom, The Battleship Potemkin, Novyy Vavilon, and Putevka v zhizn. The path we will take with this paper will lead us from 1907 to 1977; through the Russian revolution, the Great War and the beyond the Second World War.
Even though French film companies dominated the Russian Empire film market up until the beginning of the First World War, Russian companies started appearing as early as 1907. The Russian Empire had a fledging film industry waiting to bust out on to the world stage. The beginnings of which can be seen in the film Seaside Walk. Seaside Walk was originally titled Dəniz kənarında gəzinti, one of the earliest examples of Russian film known to still exist. Directed by Vasil Amashukeli, Seaside Walk was filmed in 1908. Amashukeli not only directed Seaside Walk, but is also credited as being the person that wrote and produced the film. Seaside Walk was made with shot 33mm film. By today’s standards, Seaside Walk is considered a short film.
Amashukeli wrote, produced and directed several other short films in 1907; working in Baku, primarily making films of oil production and extraction in and around the capital. These films included Oil Extraction and Transportation of Oil. These titles really speak for themselves. The films Amashukeli made were documentary based. This type of film was pretty much the order of the day. The entertainment industry only recently started to expand its wings at this point.
The difference between the films made in 1907 and 1912 is as plain as day. Wladyslaw Starewicz who will eventually change his name to Ladislas Starevich started to make a name for himself as a gifted director of animated films. Starewicz had directed several short animations by the time he choose to create a drawn animation. Starewicz adapted Krylov’s fable The Gadfly and the Ant into what is now considered to be one the best examples of “Russian animated cartoons.” It was this animation that elevated Starewicz out of obscurity and subsequently introduced his work to the international entertainment industry. Gaining foreign success may have been the goal for some filmmakers but not was necessarily for either Starewicz or Aleksandr Khanzhonkov. However, the added bonus that foreign fame brought to their careers did not go unwanted.
Starewicz went on to direct an adaption of Nikolai Gogol’s Noch pered Rozhdestvom (Christmas Eve). Starevich 's adaption of Nikolai Gogol’s book ran for approximately 41-minutes. Unlike the majority of the films Starevich directed, Christmas Eve is for the most part live-action. The film is considered to be one of the finest examples of early Russian cinema. Christmas Eve is what we would now consider to be a black comedy. The film has a satanic subject matter with various comedic folkloric twists. Christmas Eve is set in a Cossack stanitsa. On Christmas Eve, a demon visits a witch named Solokha. After visiting with the witch, the demon steals the Moon from the night’s sky and conceals it in an old rag. This film is significant because this is the first known adaptation of Christmas Eve that was filmed.
Film production in Russia increased at an extraordinary rate, going from 19 films in 1909 to 129 films in 1913. This is relatively tame in comparison to that of the United States but the political climate in what was then the Russian Empire is a significant factor. Nicolas II was still on the throne at this point. Nicolas’s authoritarianistic approach to governing coupled with an obtuse conservative attitude only served to exasperate the near-total isolation he placed himself in from reality.
In 1913, the Russian Empire saw the release of two significant films. The first of which was Kliuchischastia (The Keys to Happiness) is significant because it was one of the first Russian films to be made in two parts. This two part film was an instant success. The second film, Terrible Vengeance, directed by Starevich, won the Gold Medal at an international festival in Milan in 1914. There were 1005 films entered in the awards and Starevich’s film was one of five films to take home an award. Winning this award inspired Starewicz to continue working on feature length films.
A significant number of the films that were made in 1913 were short films by today’s standards. A substantial change to the Russian film industry came in 1914. Short films were the norm up until this point; however, filmmakers were constantly trying to push the limits of what could be done with film, and short films had limitations which did not lend themselves to telling a more complex story. The switch to full or feature length films can be seen with films made around this time. This is not to say that there weren’t directors already making feature length films. It just means the number of feature length films being produced started to increase whereas the production of short films was declining. The number of films made in the Russian Empire went from 230 in 1914 to 500 in 1916. It is clear from these figures that being at war had no effect on film production but there was an impact on the type of films being produced. Historical films were losing ground to more contemporary themed adaptations. The classics no longer had the appeal they once had. The reason for this is that audiences started to consider the classics as being “too sedate.”
This period in Russian film history not only saw an incredible increase in film production, but also a parallel increase in the number of studios producing said films. In 1913, Russia could boast 18 fully operational film studios. This is an impressive figure. Especially when you understand the Russian film industry, at this point, is less than a decade in existence. This figure ballooned to 47 by 1916. Many of these film companies were what one might consider “fly-by-night operations”. Companies disappeared almost as quickly as they had come into view. This was not that unusual. The same thing was happening in Europe and the United States.
Oscar Wilde’s classic The Picture of Dorian Gray is a popular novel; so much so, no one can blame filmmakers for wanting to capitalize on said popularity. One of these filmmakers, Vsevolod Meyerhold, directed an adaptation of Wilde’s novel in 1915. Meyerhold believed that theatre productions and film productions should be viewed as art but as distinct forms of art within themselves. This was not exactly a popular notion at the time. It has since gained ground over the years to become the school of thought within the Russian entertainment industry. Unfortunately, the 1915 adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray is now lost to history. Unfortunately, like many films made around this time, the Meyerhold adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray appears to only exist in reference form, a mere footnote in some obscure textbook. However, the same thing has been said many times regarding other productions which been thought lost but have since been found in some of the most obscure locations.
The arrival of the Great War; otherwise known as the First World War had no lasting detrimental impact on Starewicz’s ability to make films, for he was able to work through the war with the blessing of the then tsar. During the war, Starewicz wrote scripts and directed films for several companies. He made approximately 60 live-action films during this period, most of which were fairly successful.
Starewicz saw many historical events which hindered his ability to make films; this includes the Great War, and the October Revolution of 1917. However, regardless of what history’s future had in store for Starewicz, he weathered the storm. He continued doing what filmmakers do. Starewicz made films. Starewicz made many films. Starewicz found that the majority of the Russian film community sided with the White Army. They moved from Moscow to the Black Sea. Starewicz took his family; they stayed briefly, but fled the area before the Red Army took the Crimea. The Starewicz family stopped for a short time in Italy before moving on to Paris, France. Their plan was to settle down and create a new company. Starewicz used the remains of Georges Méliès ' old studio. Starewicz made one short animated film, The Scarecrow, before the operation was wound up, and moving to the United States to work for the Hollywood studios.
Yakov Protazanov was directing around the same time Ladislas Starevich was. Between 1911 and 1918, Protazanov directed approximately 80 feature length films. These films included The Queen of Spades (1916) and Father Sergius (1917). The Queen of Spades is considered to be one of Protazanov most successful pre-revolutionary Russian animations.
The premise of The Queen of Spades is gambling. One could argue that, for the time period, making a film about gambling was pushing the boundaries of good taste. During a card game, Narumov tells his friends about grandmother, a Countess. She was most likely the reason he liked to play cards. As a young woman, she had ran-up a sizable gambling debt. She was apparently able to settle the debt by learning a secret system of playing cards. This system virtually guaranteed she could win by playing her cards in a specific order. One of Narumov’s friends becomes so obsessed with learning the secret that he goes to great lengths to uncovering what his grandmother did. The extent of his obsession was so great; he starts courting the young ward of the grandmother in the hopes that this would somehow gain him access to the Countess.
A surprising aspect of The Queen of Spades is the films lack of moralizing, especially given the period in which it was made. Nicholas II was still the tsar at this point. He was an absolutist. He believed in one language, one faith, and one tsar. Regardless of this fact, Protazanov was still able to make The Queen of Spades. This in itself is somewhat refreshing. The outcome of many Soviet and American films made around the same time depicted evildoers being punished for their crimes. Protazanov approach to filmmaking applied a different slant. In the real world, evildoers sometimes get away with what they have done.
Father Sergius is one of the last films made in what was the Russian Empire. Father Sergius, a short film based on a novel written by Lev Tolstoy. Lev Tolstoy, known as Leo Tolstoy in the West is better known for the epic novel, War & Peace. Father Sergiusis is one of a few pre-revolutionary Russian films to survive. The film adaption is considered to one of the best, all be it elaborate adaptations of a Tolstoy novel, ever made. The protagonist, a young, libertine officer played by Ivan Mozzhukin thinks little of committing casual sins whilst in the service of the Tsar. This is something he comes to regret as he grows older. He discovers the past may not always stay in the past. His past depravities begin to manifest themselves physically, in his shriveled face and desiccated body. He wanders up and down the countryside, searching for redemption. Protazanov’s film primarily emphasized the high and low points of life in the Russian Empire. This is something Protazanov achieved by filming in the actual locations described by Tolstoy in his novel. It is argued that the overall theme of corruption in high places was the causality of Father Sergius being automatically banned by the Tsarist censors. One might have thought that this would have been the end of Father Sergius, never to see the light of day again. Though the film was banned by the Tsarist censors, it found a more receptive audience after the Russian government passed into the hands of the revolutionaries.
As mentioned, 1917 saw the making of Father Sergius but it also saw the end of the Great War for the Russian Empire and the empire itself. The revolution had finally arrived. The Russian Empire had ceased to exist; however, the Russian film industry survived the fall of Nicolas II. The revolution had just as much effect of the Russian film industry as the beginning of the war had. Regardless of the change of government, the entertainment industry thrived. The new regime actually liked films. The provisional government saw great potential in filmmaking. Where Western countries saw a market for filmmaking as entertainment; the newly formed Russian provisional government saw an opportunity to educate the masses, which in itself, is an admirable concept. Creating educational films may not have been everyone’s cup of tea. Filmmakers toed the party line, making a few educational films here and there. Filmmakers saw the money in making films for purely entertainment reasons. Educating the masses is one thing; entertainment is something completely different.
The mid 20s were considered by many to be the golden age of cinema. It was during the late 1920s that director Dziga Vertov produced newsreels titled Kino-Pravda (Cinema Truth). Vertov used rapid-fire-editing typically only seen in feature length films. Vertov integrated this approach with a combination of multi-camera shooting and a wide range of “bizarre camera angles. Vertov continued using this same approach to make Chelovek s kino-apparatom (The Man with a Movie Camera).
Sergei M. Eisenstein directed several films during this time period; three of which stand out for not only having “a fusion of theatre and powerful intellect” but also being some of the “most original silent films to come out of Russia: The Battleship Potemkin, Oktober and Old and New.” The Battleship Potemkin is possibly the most famous of the three films mentioned here. Renowned film critic Roger Ebert writes, “’The Battleship Potemkin’ has been so famous for so long that it is almost impossible to come to it with a fresh eye.” It is difficult to look at anything this old with fresh set of eyes. The Battleship Potemkin, influenced in part by D. W. Griffith, is a testament to Eisenstein as a creative genius. The fact that the film continues to be an effective example of early film on some levels is an indication of said genius. If this were not the case, Eisenstein’s work would no longer be incorporated into film-television-digital-media degree programs.
Although some of the themes depicted in the film The Battleship Potemkin are to a certain extent melodramatic. This is hardly surprising given how dated the techniques have become. This is an inevitable but tragic truth that all films have to face during the lifetimes. New techniques are implemented virtually every day. This is true of the way filmmakers edit material together. The editing techniques used to create the film were revolutionary at the time. This in itself makes the film historically relevant to film historians. The use of what is now known as Soviet montage is unmistakable. Nowhere does this montage have greater effect than in the incredible Odessa steps sequence. The numerous disconcerting bewildering jump cuts represent how chaotic terror of the situation had become. The rapid editing of the entire sequence was pure genius. Nothing like this had ever been seen before. The attacking militia is often shown by only a line of marching boots advancing upon the citizens. This is argued to be a cinematic technique that emphasizes not only the impersonal nature of the military but how oppressive it could be. It isn’t until we get to the end of the sequence do we see a close-up of one of the Cossacks. He is shown in close up as he brutally slashes an old woman begging for her life. Eisenstein clearly gives evil an identity; an identity which is plain for all to see, for this form of evil still exists today.
Most of the destruction depicted in Eisenstein’s film is shown through citizen’s eyes. Interestingly, The Battleship Potemkin seems to be one of the earliest examples Russian films where the director instructs one of the actresses to break the fourth wall. Breaking the fourth wall is where a character appears or actually acknowledges the audience in some way. This can be done by speaking directly to the audience or by merely looking directly into the camera. The scene in The Battleship Potemkin depicts a woman carrying child. She is walking up steps towards a line of heavily armed soldiers. The scene cuts to a close up of the women. It is in this part of the film were she appears to be not only looking at but actually speaking directly into the camera. This is a perfect example of breaking the fourth wall. This suggests the woman is not only pleading the militia to stop the massacre but also petitioning the audience for support.
The audience like all audiences at a cinema is unable to change the course of events in the film. The audience most likely becomes enraged at the guards gunning down the helpless woman and child. This is possibly the desired reaction. This is possibly what the director wanted to elicit in his audience. Breaking the fourth wall is just as effective today as it was when The Battleship Potemkin was made.
Western intellectuals viewed Russian filmmakers as creators of genuinely “revolutionary cinema.” Intellectuals were not fazed by Russia’s filmmakers supporting a communist regime. The reputation of the Russian film industry, like that of the American film industry, was based on the work of a handful of directors. Directors produced work that achieved “classic status” before anyone knew what a “classic film” was. A case in point is the 1929 film Novyy Vavilon (The New Babylon), a film directed by Grigori Mikhailovich Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg. “This took place in a remarkably short space of time.” Prior to this point, Russian cinema was noted for how commercially bland the productions were. The Bolshevik Revolution changed that perception forever.
Time marches on and so too does innovation in this business we call show. The 1930s brought with it the most significant innovation in cinema since the birth of the silent film era. Sound had made it to the big screen. Talkies had arrived in the Soviet Union. Talkies would end many acting careers but allow many other careers to begin. 1931 saw the premier of the Soviet Union’s first talking film, Putevka v zhizn (A Road to Life). A Road to Life, directed by Nikolai Vladimirovich Ekk, was an instant success. People flocked to the cinema to hear more than see what the excitement was about this modern marvel that was talking films. Talking films had been around since 1927. The Jazz Singer is considered to be the world’s first talking film; however, A Road to Life was something really special for Soviet Union. This was the Soviet Union’s contribution to talking films. The success of Ekk’s first film inspired him to go on to direct three more. It seems oddly strange that Ekk would not continue making films after his initial success. Ekk only directed four films; however, his name will be forever tied to the first Russian talking film.
If you thought musicals were only made in Hollywood; you would be mistaken, for the Soviet Union had its fair share of musical talent. The Soviet Union is well known for musical comedy. Enter Grigorii Aleksandrov. Veselye Rebiata (Happy Guys), a musical comedy directed by Aleksandrov, was made in 1934. The reaction of the international film community was somewhat mixed to say the least. Happy Guys was not exactly a film without its fair share of controversy. Popular opinion from the West was that the film had not reached the standards which the international film community expected from directors of such films. Aleksandr Bezymenskii publically accused Grigorii Aleksandrov and Isaak Dunaevskii of plagiarizing the song March of the Happy Guys from a Mexican song. The controversy took on a new dynamic when Stalin entered the fray. Stalin ultimately sided with Aleksandrov and Dunaevskii. Stalin’s reasoning was that Happy Guys was “the first happy Soviet film”. This seems somewhat illogical but then this is Stalin.
Aleksandrov remained in favor with Stalin long after Happy Guys. The 1938 comedy Volga-Volga was apparently Stalin’s favorite film, proving the soviet leader could recognize a good laugh when he saw one. Volga-Volga is certainly that. The acting is so comical it is absurd. The sets were flat. There were some catchy tunes. One could even make the argument that Volga-Volga could have been the inspiration for the 1962 British film Carry on Cruising. Both Volga-Volga and Carry on Cruising have the same campy style of humor. But that is pure opinion. What makes Volga-Volga funny is the acting. The acting is hilarious. The cast appear to not only be totally aware of how exaggerated their performances are but go to great lengths to make each scene that much funny because of it. This makes one long for the days when film could unapologetically wallow in artifice! This seems to be an art form that appears to have been lift to languish on the shelves of antiquity.
Igor Ilyinsky, a highly successful actor with Moscow’s Maly Theatre, made a name for himself in such Soviet comedies as the previously mentioned Volga-Volga. However, the success of Volga-Volga couldn’t prevent a slump in Ilyinsky’s career. He took a 12-year-hiatus from film in which he focused on stage acting. Ilyinsky returned to the big screen in 1952 with Volki i ovtsy (Wolves and Sheep). An adaptation of a stage play written by Aleksandr Ostrovsky, Volki i ovtsy is considered to be one of the finest examples of Russian satirical comedy.
Chapaev was directed by Georgi Vasilyev and Sergei Vasilyev. This was a collaboration of great minds. Produced in1935, Chapaev was not only a success for the directors but also Boris Babochkin, the lead actor. Chapaev boosted Babochkin’s career so much that the actor worked nonstop for the next 40 years. Babochkin averaged a film a year in his early career, peaking in 1943 with no less than four productions. Babochkin died in 1975 of a heart attack. The heart attack occurred within mere hours of wrapping on his last film, Begstvo mistera Mak-Kinli.
Begstvo mistera Mak-Kinli is science fiction fantasy, the basis of which, a man dissatisfied with his current situation decides to flee into the future by the way of hibernation. This is by no means an original idea. There have been numerous variations of this story made time and again ad infinitum. One might argue that the concept is similar to H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine. Even Wells’ story wasn’t exactly original. The protagonist of this particular tale is brought out of hibernation to find himself in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic waste land. He suddenly wakes up! It was all apparently a dream! Or was it?
Begstvo mistera Mak-Kinli, made during the height of the Cold War emphasized the lukewarm relationship the Soviet Union had with Western countries. This film suggested a possible future. Fortunately, out of many possible futures, there can only be one. The future which was depicted in Begstvo mistera Mak-Kinli did not come to pass. At least not yet!
Igor Ilyinsky went on to appear in the 1976 film Dom, kotoryy postroil Dzhek. Directed by Andrey Khrzhanovskiy, Dom, kotoryy postroil Dzhek was expected to receive a lukewarm reception. Khrzhanovskiy found a highly favorable audience for her work. Dom, kotoryy postroil Dzhek was seen as being a refreshing change from traditional Russian folklore films.
"This is the house that Jack built! This is the malt that lay in the house that
Jack built. This is the rat that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built."
Dom, kotoryy postroil Dzhek, otherwise known as The House that Jack Built was nominated for numerous awards.
Ya k vam lechu vospominanem is considered to be one of the best examples of Russian animation of the twentieth century. Directed by Khrzhanovskiy, Ya k vam lechu vospominanem is a 30-minute animated short, a film based on film based Alexander Pushkin’s drawings and hundreds of which the poet scribbled in the margins of his notebooks saw moderate success. Despite the level of the success of the animated film, Khrzhanovsky successfully captured the poet’s handwriting and drawings in the animated film. This however didn’t stop Khrzhanovskiy from achieving great things. Russian film came a long way in the 70 years we covered in this paper. It is now 2012. There is another 35 years of Russian film history. This will have to wait for another paper. There is only so much one can cover in a 15-page-paper. We have delved into what was pre-revolutionary Russian film. We have discovered that Russian films were just as diverse as that seen in Western countries. We have also seen that innovations adopted by Russian filmmakers have become the standard and remained that way to present day. The power of the film industry will surely continue to captivate audiences just as much as it did at its birth.

Dervan, Michael. 2012. The irish times: Musical horizons that keep on expanding.
Irish Times (Dublin, Ireland).

Dixon, Wheeler W and Gwndolyn A. Foster. 1993. A Short History of Film. New
Brunswick: Rutgers University Press

Ebert, Roger. Chicago Sun: The Battleship Potemkin Date published unknown. Kenez, Peter. 1993. Cinema and Soviet Society: From the Revolution to the Death of
Stalin. New York: St. Martin 's Press

Kepley Jr., Vance. 1996. The first "perestroika": Soviet cinema under the first five year plan. Cinema Journal 35, no. 4: pp. 31-53.

Lawton, Anna. 1993. Imaging Russia 2000. Washington DC: New Academia

Leyda, Jay. 1983 Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film. Princeton: Princeton
University Press

Salys, Rimgaila. 1993. The Musical Comedy Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.

Sheehan, Thomas W. 2006. Montage joyce: Sergei eisenstein, dziga vertov, and
"ulysses". James Joyce Quarterly 42/43, no. 1/4: pp. 69-86.

Stollery, Martin. 2002. Eisenstein, shub and the gender of the author as producer. Film History 14, no. 1, Film/Music: pp. 87-99.

Taylor, Richard and Ian Christie. 1988. The Film Factory: Russian and Soviet Cinema in Documents. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

Terras, Victor. 1995 Handbook of Russian Literature. New haven: Yale University

Thompson, Kristin. 1993. Early alternatives to the hollywood mode of production:
Implications for europe 's avant-gardes. Film History 5, no. 4, Institutional
Histories: pp. 386-404.

Youngblood, Denise J. 1993. The Magic Mirror: Moviemaking in Russia, 1908 –
1918, Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press

[ 1 ]. Taylor, Richard and Ian Christie. 1988 The Film Factory: Russian and Soviet Cinema in Documents, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press), pg. 19
[ 2 ]. Leyda, Jay. 1983. Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film. (Princeton: Princeton University Press), pg. 67
[ 3 ]. Leyda, pg. 67
[ 4 ]. Youngblood, Denise J. 1993. The Magic Mirror: Moviemaking in Russia, 1908 – 1918. (Madison: The University of Wisconsin
Press), pg. 113
[ 5 ]. Youngblood, The Magic Mirror, pg. 113
[ 6 ]. Ibid, pg. 3
[ 7 ]. Ibid, pg. 4
[ 8 ]. Ibid, pg. 9
[ 9 ]. Ibid, pg. 11
[ 10 ]. Ibid, pg. 11
[ 11 ]. Ibid, pg. 12
[ 12 ]. Ibid, pg. 12
[ 13 ]. Ibid, pg. 22
[ 14 ]. Taylor, Richard and Ian Christie, The Film Factor, pg. 21
[ 15 ]. Ibid, pg. 40
[ 16 ]. Kenez, Peter. 1993. Cinema and Soviet Society: From the Revolution to the Death of Stalin. (New York: St. Martin 's Press), pg. 10
[ 17 ]. Taylor, Richard and Ian Christie, The Film Factor, pg. 20
[ 18 ]. Kenez, Cinema and Soviet Society,pg. 19
[ 19 ]. Ibid, pg. 19
[ 20 ]. Dixon, Wheeler W. and Gwndolyn A. Foster. 1993. A Short History of Film. (New
Brunswick: Rutgers University Press), pg. 71.
[ 21 ]. Dickinson, Thorold and Catherine De le Roche. 1972. Soviet Cinema, (New York: Arno Press; The New York Times), pg. 32
[ 22 ]. Ebert, Roger. Publication date unknown Chicago Sun: The Battleship Potemkin [ 23 ]. Leyda, Kino, pg. 205
[ 24 ]. Ibid, pg. 207
[ 25 ]. Ibid, pg. 209
[ 26 ]. Kenez, Cinema and Soviet Society, pg. 47
[ 27 ]. Ibid, pg. 47
[ 28 ]. Lawton, Anna. 1993. Imaging Russia 2000, (Washington DC: New Academia Publishing), pg. 111
[ 29 ]. Dixon and Foster, A Short History of Film, pg. 70
[ 30 ]. Leyda, Kino, pg. 75
[ 31 ]. Ibid, pg. 284
[ 32 ]. Salys, Rimgaila. 1993. The Musical Comedy Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), pg. 22.
[ 33 ]. Salys, The Musical Comedy Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov, pg. 69
[ 34 ]. Ibid, pg. 71
[ 35 ]. Ibid, pg. 95
[ 36 ]. Ibid, pg. 96
[ 37 ]. Terras, Victor. 1985. Handbook of Russian Literature (New haven: Yale University Press), pg. 88
[ 38 ]. Lawton, Imaging Russia 2000, pg. 155
[ 39 ]. Terras, Handbook of Russian Literature, pg. 89
[ 40 ]. Dixon and Foster, A Short History of Film, pg. 98
[ 41 ]. Lawton, Imaging Russia 2000, pg. 156

References: Dervan, Michael. 2012. The irish times: Musical horizons that keep on expanding. Irish Times (Dublin, Ireland). Dixon, Wheeler W and Gwndolyn A. Foster. 1993. A Short History of Film. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press Kenez, Peter. 1993. Cinema and Soviet Society: From the Revolution to the Death of Stalin Kepley Jr., Vance. 1996. The first "perestroika": Soviet cinema under the first five year plan Lawton, Anna. 1993. Imaging Russia 2000. Washington DC: New Academia Publishing Leyda, Jay. 1983 Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film. Princeton: Princeton University Press Salys, Rimgaila. 1993. The Musical Comedy Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Sheehan, Thomas W. 2006. Montage joyce: Sergei eisenstein, dziga vertov, and "ulysses" Stollery, Martin. 2002. Eisenstein, shub and the gender of the author as producer. Film History 14, no. 1, Film/Music: pp. 87-99. Taylor, Richard and Ian Christie Youngblood, Denise J. 1993. The Magic Mirror: Moviemaking in Russia, 1908 – 1918, Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press [ 2 ]. Leyda, Jay. 1983. Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film. (Princeton: Princeton University Press), pg. 67 [ 3 ] [ 4 ]. Youngblood, Denise J. 1993. The Magic Mirror: Moviemaking in Russia, 1908 – 1918. (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press), pg [ 20 ]. Dixon, Wheeler W. and Gwndolyn A. Foster. 1993. A Short History of Film. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press), pg [ 21 ]. Dickinson, Thorold and Catherine De le Roche. 1972. Soviet Cinema, (New York: Arno Press; The New York Times), pg. 32 [ 22 ] [ 28 ]. Lawton, Anna. 1993. Imaging Russia 2000, (Washington DC: New Academia Publishing), pg. 111 [ 29 ] [ 32 ]. Salys, Rimgaila. 1993. The Musical Comedy Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), pg. 22. [ 37 ]. Terras, Victor. 1985. Handbook of Russian Literature (New haven: Yale University Press), pg. 88 [ 38 ]

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    In this dissertation, I intend to explore how East European drawing and animation styles can be successfully incorporated into Western cinema, as there have not been too many animations or live-action movies that liberate themselves from the conventions of Hollywood. The ones that do subvert Hollywood conventions may either stand out with praise from critics or alienate the audience. This dissertation will examine a few of the most influential European animation artists, including Pyetrovich Ivanov–Vano, a Soviet animator and Russian animation director, sometimes called the "patriarch of Soviet animation"; and Lev Konstantinovich Atamanov, one of the foremost Soviet animation film directors and one of the founders of Soviet animation art. I will be discussing how these animators ' artistic styles translate into animations different to what Western culture is used to seeing and how this difference enriches the look and feel of the characters and landscape and how this different look can add to or take away from the storytelling of the animation.…

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    Soviet Cinema

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    A certain kind of inspiration must be born of a time in which one's country is heading into a brave new world. Nothing should ever be as it was and the future is as expansive as all of Russia itself. In the time of revolution - the late teens and early twenties - Soviet cinema established itself as a unique entity in the mass of national cinemas. Its innovation was stepping away from common narrative structure and adapting what has come to be called "Soviet Montage". This new theory of editing was invented by Sergei Eisenstein and then adopted by a slew of other Russian filmmakers. Eisenstein, however, was the one who realized its potential and first put it to work to make the people in the audience think whatever he wanted them to think.…

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    E. Katz, The Film encyclopedia: The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of World Cinema in a Single…

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    Vsevolod Meyerhold and Vladimir Mayakovsky are two legendary names in the realm of Russian and international art frequently associated with the most turbulent period in Russian history, the beginning of the twentieth century, during which Russian society underwent a profound social and political change. This period (1900 – 1930) saw the October Revolution, the First World War, the Russian Civil War, and the beginnings of Stalinism. It is precisely during these times of turmoil that Russian Avant-garde flourished. It marked a clear break from the traditional naturalist theatre and moved towards a new and unprecedented development that came to be known as “leftist art.” The Soviet historian Vadim Kozhinov wrote in an article published in 1976, that Russian Avant-garde was closely associated with Russian Marxist aesthetics.…

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    Man with movie camera

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    Andre Bazin, a film critic, once said, “Photography does not create eternity, as art does; it embalms time, rescuing it simply from its proper corruption.”1 Like photography, film captures different moments in time and in many cases, it captures, or attempts to capture, real life. Vertov’s film, Man with a Movie Camera (1929), is widely considered to present a recording of ‘life-facts’ or the truth of daily life in the Soviet Union. It is considered a great realist film as it tries to reproduce reality and it tends to be audience centered. Realist films strive to reveal truth about the world, or to show its beauty by imitating of its surface appearance. It attempts to be natural, life-like, and to make it seem like the events could have actually happened in real life. This essay will prove that Vertov’s film, Man with a Movie Camera (1929), in light with Bazin’s view, without any actors, script and an uninterrupted flow does reveal truth about the world.…

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    Film, is a powerful and global language. It could be as influential as the state or as simple as a comedy. For example, it represented the voice of the state of USSR under revolution in 1910-1930s. However, in Buster Keaton’s movie---‘Sherlock, Jr.’, it is just an entertainment, a simple reflection on life, and a playground for filmmakers to exercise their imagination.…

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    Lucy Walker’s documentary Wasteland (2010) is an artist’s biopic of Vik Muniz with a strong underlying theme of perspective. Walker’s contention, in a way similar to Dziga Vertov’s while he lived, is to change the reader’s perspective on the ideas and issues presented in the documentary by using a colourful variety of documentary techniques. This changing of perspectives was integral to Dziga Vertov’s work, as it led to his ultimate goal of seeking film truth or cinéma vérité. In seeking this film truth, he walked the said path to a fresh perception of the world through his documentary making. He was a Soviet film director in the first half of the 20th century so he saw the world through the lens of that particular facticity and seeking film…

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    Shortly after the liberation of Belgrade in 1944 followed by of Yugoslavia in 1945, a Committee for Cinematography was established with Aleksandar Vučo as its leader. He was the figure behind the manifesto of the partisan cinema, document that is of utmost importance if we are to understand the development of the genre. First of the four key points advises the filmmakers to base their movies on the principles of socialist realism i.e. there should be a certain pattern which the movies should follow in portraying the war heroes.…

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    Bibliography: Bordwell, D and Thompson, K, Film Art, An Introduction. Seventh Edition (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004)…

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    Hoop Dreams Analysis

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    Bibliography: Bellour, Raymond, and Constance Penley. The Analysis of Film. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2000. Print.…

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    Odessa Steps Sequence

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    The soviet montage style of film came around with the 1917 Russian Revolution. Before this time most films had been made copying the narrative films of other countries. Russians believed that cinema was a true art that could be used to aid their cause. The problem was that they lacked film and equipment because of war torn Europe (Mast and Kawin 120). This is where montage truly began because each shot had to have meaning and impact. The film makers could not waste what little film they did have. One Russian director during this time period was Sergei M. Eisenstein. One of his most famous films is Battleship Potemkin filmed in 1925. This film is about the uprising of the working class in the 1905 revolution, mainly the revolt on the Potemkin and the attack on the citizens of Odessa. One of the most powerful scenes in this film is the Odessa Steps Sequence.…

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    Although Soviet Union was communist at that era it is fascinating how they had film industry. Mass production of films in Soviet Union was possible from the new leadership announced a “cultural revolution” during late 1920s and early 1930s. The movie “The Man with a Movie Camera (1929)” directed by Dziga Vertoya is a unique film at that era. This film would be in the category of documentary film because it has realistic form in the film by showing ordinary Soviet Union citizen life. However the film contains numerous amount of editing and camera technique, which some technique could not be seen in United States of America at that time. The difference with Soviet Union and United States of America is the way of editing and story telling from seeing the movie “The Man with a Movie Camera”…

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    Soviet Montage

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    RTitle: Trace some of the relationships between film aesthetics and the social / political / economic contexts in which they are located.…

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