- Core Course: Moving images, technologies, forms, receptions
- Reading Films
- Ancient Rome on Film
- Film Exhibition
- The French New Wave
- Genre in Italian Cinema
- Hollywood Genres
- New Argentine Cinemas
- Russian Cinema: Epochs and Genres
- Theories and Practices of Film
- Weimar and Nazi Film
- Intercollegiate Modules (2013-14)
- Public Nightmares: Screening Cold War Anxieties
- Cinema and the British City
- Documentary Film and the Anthropological Eye
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Russian Cinema: Epochs and Genres
Course code: SEESGR61
Credit value: 30
Course convenor: Professor Julian Graffy
The first Russian feature film was released in October 1908. Over the last hundred years Russian film-makers have been praised for their dazzling formal innovations and savagely criticised for the overt ideological component of their films. This course looks at key Russian films in the dual framework of formal experiment and socio-historical context.
It considers pre-revolutionary melodrama; the drama of everyday Soviet life in the films of the 1920s; the coming of sound in the 1930s; the ‘revolutionary’ film; the Soviet musical; reflections of the “Thaw” in the films of the 1950s and 1960s; late Soviet auteur cinema; post-Soviet reflections on the Soviet experience; and the achievements of the “New Russian Cinema” of the 2000s.
Between them the films tell the complex history of Russian experience in the twentieth and early twenty first century.
Assessment: One 5,000 word essay
General Reading on Russian film:
Attwood, L. (ed.), Red Women on the Silver Screen: Soviet Women and cinema from the beginning to the end of the Communist era (London, 1993).
Beumers, B. (ed.), Russia on Reels: The Russian Idea in Post-Soviet Cinema (London, 1999).
Beumers, B. (ed.), The Cinema of Russian and the Former Soviet Union (London and New York, 2007).
Beumers, B. A History of Russian Cinema (Oxford and New York, 2009).
Cavendish, P. Soviet Mainstream Cinematography. The Silent Era (London, UCL Arts & Humanities Publications, 2008)
Cherchi Usai, P. et al. (eds), Silent Witnesses: Russian Films 1908-1919, research and co-ordination by Y. Tsivian (London, 1989).
Condee, N. The Imperial Trace. Recent Russian Cinema (New York, Oxford University Press, 2009).
Dobrenko, E. Stalinist Cinema and the Production of History. Museum of the Revolution (New Haven and London, Yale U.P. 2008).
Horton, A. and Brashinsky, M., The Zero Hour: Glasnost and Soviet Cinema in Transition, (Princeton, N.J., 1992).
Kenez, P., Cinema and Soviet Society, 1917-1953 (Cambridge, 1992).
Lawton, A. Kinoglasnost: Soviet cinema in our time, (Cambridge, 1992).
Leyda, J., Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Cinema (London, 1960; 1973, with additional introduction, pp. 11-16, and extension of filmography to 1971; 1983 with ‘A correction’, pp. 11-16, replacing 1973 introduction, ‘Looking back from 1983’, pp. 398-404, and additions to filmography from 1963 to 1982, pp. 461-75, 512-13).
Mayne, J., Kino and the Woman Question: Feminism and Soviet Silent Film (Columbus, Ohio, 1989).
Roberts, G., Forward, Soviet! History and Non-fiction film in the USSR (London, 1999).
Taylor, R., Film Propaganda: Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany (London, 1979; second, revised edition, London and New York, 1998).
Taylor, R., The Politics of the Soviet Cinema 1917-1929 (Cambridge, 1979).
Taylor, R. and Christie, I. (eds), The Film Factory: Russian and Soviet Cinema in Documents 1896-1939 (London, 1988; paperback 1994).