Download The Red Screen: Politics, Society, Art in Soviet Cinema PDF

TitleThe Red Screen: Politics, Society, Art in Soviet Cinema
ISBN 139780203309919
CategoryArts - Film
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size2.3 MB
Total Pages373
Table of Contents
                            Book Cover
Half-Title
Title
Copyright
Contents
Introduction: An Interpretive Survey
	NOTES
CHAPTER 1 Government Policies and Practical Necessities in the Soviet Cinema of the 1920s
	THE CIVIL WAR PERIOD: 1918–21
	THE NEW ECONOMIC POLICY: THE GOVERNMENT AND THE FILM INDUSTRY
	THE NEW ECONOMIC POLICY: FOREIGN TRADE
	CONCLUSIONS
	NOTES
CHAPTER 2 Ideology and Popular Culture in Soviet Cinema: The Kiss of Mary Pickford
	ART WITHOUT A CAPITAL LETTER, A PEDESTAL OR A FIG-LEAF
	NOTES
CHAPTER 3 Cinema as Social Criticism: The Early Films of Fridrikh Ermler
	THE EARLY FILMS: KATKA THE
 APPLESELLER, THE PARISIAN COBBLER, HOUSE IN THE SNOWDRIFTS AND FRAGMENT OF AN EMPIRE
	FRIDRIKH ERMLER
	ERMLER AND NIKITIN
	THE KEY FILMS: THE PARISIAN COBBLER AND FRAGMENT OF AN EMPIRE
	CODA: COUNTERPLAN
	THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ERMLER AND HIS WORK
	NOTES
CHAPTER 4 Cinematic Abstraction as a Means of Conveying Ideological Messages in The Man with the Movie Camera
	NOTES
CHAPTER 5 The Kinetic Icon and the Work of Mourning: Prolegomena to the Analysis of a Textual System
	NOTES
CHAPTER 6 Mr Kuleshov in the Land of the Modernists
	NOTES
CHAPTER 7 Films of the Second World War
	THE COMPARATIVE CONTEXT
	DOCUMENTARIES
	MOBILIZING THE FILM INDUSTRY
	WAR FILMS
	NATIONALISM AND HISTORY
	NOTES
CHAPTER 8 The New Wave in Soviet Cinema
	DIFFICULT FILMS
	NOTES
CHAPTER 9 The War and Kozin tsev’s Films Hamlet and King Lear
	NOTES
CHAPTER 10 The Image of Women in Contemporary Soviet Cinema
	LIST OF FILMS
	NOTES
CHAPTER 11 Russian Nationalist Themes in Soviet Film of the 1970s
	VASILII SHUKSHIN’S KALINA KRASNAIA
	ANDREI MIKHALKOV-KONCHALOVSKY’S SIBERIADE
	VLADIMIR MEN’SHOV’S MOSCOW DOES NOT BELIEVE IN TEARS
	ANDREI TARKOVSKY’S THE MIRROR
	ELEM KLIMOV’S AGONY
	NOTES
CHAPTER 12 Socialist Realism and American Genre Film: The Mixing of Codes in Jazzman
	NOTES
CHAPTER 13 Art and Propaganda in the Soviet Union, 1980–5
	NOTES
CHAPTER 14 Alexei German, or the Form of Courage
CHAPTER 15 Scarecrow and Kindergarten: A Critical Analysis and Comparison
	NOTES
CHAPTER 16 The Cinema of the Transcaucasian and Central Asian Soviet Republics
CHAPTER 17 Historical Time in Russian, Armenian, Georgian and Kirghiz Cinema
	RUSSIAN FILMS AND HISTORY
	HISTORY IN NON-RUSSIAN CINEMA
	TRADITION—AN ALTERNATIVE TO OFFICIAL HISTORY?
	NOTES
CHAPTER 18 Does a Film Writing of History Exist? The Case of the Soviet Union
	SUPPLEMENTAL NOTE: PROPOSAL FOR A GLOBAL CLASSIFICATION OF FILMS IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO HISTORY
CHAPTER 19 The Anthill in the Year of the Dragon
	THE FIRST WAY
	THE CROSSROAD
	GLASNOST ITALIAN-STYLE
	CRITICISM IN LAW
	TO KILL THE DRAGON IN THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON
	THE NEW FACE OF THE “OLDEST PROFESSION”
CHAPTER 20 With Perestroika, without Tarkovsky
Notes on Contributors
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

THE RED SCREEN

Page 186

eyes to its partial conquest.”21 But he notes that “Here is where
the quarrel begins and it isn’t a question of just giving good
advice.”22 In this connection he quotes an aphorism of Neils Bohr
that “a proposal for the revision of a theory was not sufficiently
crazy in order to be true”.23 This applies to art as well as to
science, for even sympathizers of Paradjanov have said that he was
“a bit crazy!”

Bleiman also addresses the question of why this school has
concentrated on the painting aspects of the history of culture and
has seemed to neglect its literary aspects, because their
soundtracks, though often verbal, are quite often as unrelated to
the words as to the images. Yet at the same time they use great
literary resources, the works of classic masters like Gogol, the
Georgian poet Pshavela, the Armenian poet Sayat-Nova, and the
Ukrainian writer Kotsiubinskii. But in their works the school
ignores the variety of literary genres and reduces them all to a
simple epic form. The poetics of their film scores are oriented only
toward legends and parables. Bleiman contends this is a revolt
against the naturalism that has filled the screen in the Soviet Union
for twenty-five years. He adds that a parable points to a moral and
that is exactly what the films of the new “archaic” school do.

Bleiman avers that the tendency to use the form of legend, parable
and fable is also characteristic of contemporary art outside the
Soviet Union. He gives examples of the drama of Brecht, Frisch,
Dürrenmatt and the Soviet dramatist Volodin.24 “When they
reduce the editing of their films to a series of sequences of static
pictures they ignore the teaching of Eisenstein on montage as
dialectical conflict in artistic form.”25 According to Bleiman, the
films of the “archaic” school use editing and cutting only for
comparison and for bringing out static details. He says that it is not
accidental that the characteristics of the school are particularly
visible in its passion for ethnographic and exotic historical
material. This may well be because contemporary themes are
complex, dynamic and burdened by many meanings, thus making
it difficult to reduce them to an abstract subject. In the case of
historic parables or legends, on the contrary, it is a simple
matter to reduce them to the opposing forces of good and evil.
This is true in Prayer, in Life and Death and in The Color of the
Pomegranate. “But one cannot say that today there isn’t real life in
the films of this school, though it is presented in a static stylized
form, in an illustrative form.”26

THE NEW WAVE IN SOVIET CINEMA 179

Page 187

Bleiman then raises the key question of how it can be that the
authors of such films, who strive to express the artistic image of
contemporary actuality, at the same time insist on their canon and
their poetics, which the contemporary image is unable to
incarnate. Here is a contradiction.

Bleiman presents an analysis of the style they use, which
involves allegory and the allegorical form of metaphor, here
defined as the expression of an abstract conception in the form of
concrete images. But allegory demands a certain perception; its
language is stylized and limited by the members of the school who
insist on the principle of allegory. He says their poetics demand
“between-the-lines” allegory (he uses a Russian word inoskazanie,
which really means “subtext”), saying indirectly what is meant
through allegory and not directly stating the message. In the end
the language of their films becomes a cipher, the key of which is
known only to the artist himself.

He gives an example from The Color of the Pomegranate by
Paradjanov. The very first shot of this film begins with a nature
morte: on a white tablecloth lies a dagger and a cut pomegranate
that is oozing its red juice. This representation is allegorical; you
can understand it only with difficulty. The dagger means war,
death, enmity, ruin; the pomegranate symbolizes life, growth,
fruitfulness. The juice of the pomegranate is simultaneously the
juice or sap of life and blood. And even here blood represents both
life and death.

“I cannot deny the extraordinary power of the visual images
created by Paradjanov; their composition is so expressive that one
could imagine even Chagal himself would be envious”;27 but
nevertheless “the metaphor is complex and the editing cannot be
understood until the end. For example: incomprehensible is the
appearance of the white chicken, a symbol of life which at the
same time is headless. The allegory can be read only with difficulty
and only towards the end.”28 The author provides no guidance for
the perceptions and feelings of the spectator and instead gives us a
code—a cipher.

In order to be fair one must say it isn’t always like that, for
example: there is a very powerful scene just before the death
of Sayat-Nova, when he is inspecting the cathedral being
built by the masons. In order to increase the acoustics, they
place clay pots in the wall (this was done in olden times). The

180 PART TWO: FROM THE THAW TO THE NEW MODEL

Page 372

Treumann-Larsen-Film 33
Trial on the Road 8, 10, 264, 275,

279
Triangle, The 308
Triumph of the Will 61
Trotsky, Leon 25, 54
truth:

attitudes to 285, 288, 328;
Film-Truth principle 90;
kinopravda 113, 116, 117

Tsfasman, Alexander (“Bob”) 248
Tumanishvili, M. 266
Tumarkin, Nina 119
Turbin, V. 175
Turn, A 338
Tvardovsky (poet) 173
Twenty Days Without War 273,

277, 279, 304
Two Soldiers 158
Two Versions of One Accident 9

Ufa 21, 30
Ukraine 175
Unfinished Piece for Piano Player

305
“underground” 323
Union of Filmmakers 238, 268,

289;
Congress 9, 13, 337

urbanization 231
Urusevskii (cameraman) 261
United States see America
Ushakov, Simon 119
Utesov, Leonid 251
utilitarianism 282

Valentina 222
Variety 336
Varlamov, Leonid 4, 150
Vasil’ev, Sergei 72
Vasil’ev brothers 158, 165, 184,

258
Vazha-Pshavela 173, 176, 178,

182

Vertov, Dziga 2, 4, 183;
Cine-Eye group 53, 55;
montage 98, 130, 174;
Enthusiasm 59, 62, 93, 99,
113, 114;
The Man With the Movie
Camera 2, 90, 114, 117, 130,
319;
Three Songs of Lenin 2, 59,
112, 123, 128

VFKO 19, 22, 24, 25
VGIK 299
Victory 266, 267, 269
Victory Will be Ours 155
“village prose” 8
Vinogradskaia, Katerina 72
Virgin Hodegetria, The 119
Visconti, L, 185, 317, 319
Vogne broda net 173
Voice, The 264
Voight, Jon 235
Volga-Volga 62
Volkov, N. 70, 71
Volodin 178
voluntarism 258
VUFKU 33

wailers/wailing 124
war films 3;

Kozintsev 190;
made in wartime 157;
see also Second World War films

War and Peace (Tolstoy) 164
Wartime Romance 264, 265
We 300
Weinstein, Pierre 24, 33
Weld 325
Wells, H.G. 115
Western Church 122
What If It’s Love? 5
Sideburns 13
White Bird with Black Marking,

The 175
White Boat, The 309

INDEX 365

Page 373

Without Witnesses 264, 271, 326
Wilde, Oscar 47
women (image) 8;

emancipation 217, 223;
—men relations 212, 223, 236;
mourners/wailers 124;
partisan warfare 158;
profiles 209;
sexual taboos 221;
status 208

Women are Better Diplomats 62
Woodrow Wilson Center vi
working class 93
World War II see Second World

War films

Yakovlev, Alexander 9
Yevtushenko, Evgeni 287;

Kinder-garten 11, 221, 283,
288

Young, Deborah 336
Young Communist League 334
Youth of Maxim, The 53
Yukhananov, Boris 340
Yutkevich, Sergei 51, 59, 81, 156,

177, 183, 217, 220

Zakharov, Mark 327, 328
Zalygin, Sergei 337
Zamiatin, Evgenii 71
Zarkhi, A. 211
Zero City 13, 325
Zetkin, Clara 116
Zhdanov 177
Zoia 160

366 INDEX

Similer Documents