Utopian Ideals and the Soviet Film Industry
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This essay explores what state the film industry was in before the Russuan Revolution. It looks at the ways in which the Bolsheviks planned on bringing Soviet Russia into the modern age and how this policy was conceived and brought about during and after the Revolution. It also explores the practical implications of these policies and how when Stalin came to power these policies changed. In this overview of the golden age of Soviet filmmaking, the writer focuses on specific policies and trends in filmmaking and production. The writer gives an understanding of the way the government controlled the means of production and distribution of film and how this affected the filmmakers in content and style. It provides an in depth look at the way the Soviet filmmakers had their films received domestically and what the peasantry actually thought and saw of the films that were made under these revolutionary policies. The writer refers to the Bolshevik policies as being utopian, or unrealistic. Despite their lofty ambitions or intentions they were unable to be fulfilled in practice.
From the Paper:"The first Russian feature film was Boris Godunov (Drankov, 1907) and in making it the filmmakers realised many of the potential problems of working with this new medium. In the early films the Russians had already initiated their own style, "film story" . This was in opposition to the American and European styles which glorified drama over psychology. This marked difference in approach to film set out clearly that the Russians were able to move away from mimicry of overseas material early on in their filmmaking history. Traditional cinematic movement was replaced with "the psychological pauses of the Moscow Art Theatre" . However, despite this experimentation, the film industry in Russia before the 1917 revolution was indeed very small. Distribution of these films facilitated only to main urban centres, with the focus of the industry being in Moscow . In these early times for the film industry the hands controlling the distribution of films in Russia were foreigners, namely the French. The French cornered the market around the world, and Russia was no exception and because of their size they were able to "undersell domestic businessmen" . The French even initiated local productions to ensure that the viewing public would remain interested by seeing their own people and country on screen. Business was strong and very profitable for those who had a stake in the industry. By 1913 the Russian Empire had 1043 movie theatres much of these were concentrated in urban centres. The appetite for this new medium was very strong and its appeal was wide. Efforts were also made to take the films out into the country to the small villages, but these were always difficult undertakings. However there was money to be made, and many cashed in on the opportunities that cinema afforded."
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Utopian Ideals and the Soviet Film Industry (2003, September 21) Retrieved November 28, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/research-paper/utopian-ideals-and-the-soviet-film-industry-45184/
"Utopian Ideals and the Soviet Film Industry" 21 September 2003. Web. 28 November. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/research-paper/utopian-ideals-and-the-soviet-film-industry-45184/>