UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Russian Cinema Research Group

SSEES's Russian Cinema Research Group was founded in the autumn of 2002.

The Russian Cinema Research Group draws upon the holdings of the UCL SSEES Video and DVD collection and on the expertise of staff working on Russian film in SSEES, UCL and other British universities.

The research group holds regular work in progress seminars and welcomes visiting scholars working in the field. It has hosted over 100 speakers, from the UK, Russia, the USA, Kazakhstan, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Hungary, Norway and Ukraine.

Day/Time: Mondays, 18:00 - 19:00
Venue: Room 433, UCL SSEES, 16 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW (unless otherwise stated)


Upcoming Events

Spring Term 2017 Program

19 February 2018, 6-8pm, Room 433

Samuel Goff
Girls on the run: gender, emotion and spectatorship in 1930s fizkul'tura film

19 March 2018, 6-8pm, Room 433Natasha Poljakowa (Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften)
From Censorship to Exhibition: German Films and the Ideological Control over Foreign Film Repertoire in the Soviet Union during the 1920s
23 April 2018, 6-8pm, Room 433

Alex Graham (UCL SSEES)
Gennadii Shpalikov and the Cinema of Impossibility: Auteurism, Cinephilia and Politics from VGIK to Lenfil'm

Past Events

View past events including titles, summaries, speakers and podcasts.

Autumn Term 2017
16 Oct 2017, 6-8pm Room 433

Screening Soviet Nationalities - talk by Dr Oksana Sarkisova

17 Nov 2017, 5-7pm Room 433Stanislav Menzelevskyi (Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre, Kyiv) VUFKU: Lost and Found. The Forgotten History of Ukrainian Avant-garde Cinema in the 1920s and 1930s
20 Nov 2017, 6-8pm Room 433

Eleanor Rees (UCL SSEES)
Authenticity and Set Design in Early Russian and Soviet Fiction Film


Academic year 2016-17

19 September 2016
Peter Bagrov (Gosfilmofond of Russia)
Fridrikh Ermler’s Fragment of an Empire (Oblomok imperii, 1929): rediscovering and reconstructing a silent masterpiece
28 November 2016
Natascha Drubek A Matter of Light and Death: Evgenii Bauer's Svetotvorchestvo
12 December 2016
Lilya Kaganovsky Between detail and event: three versions of Three Songs of Lenin

20 February 2017, 6pm

  Åsne Ø. Høgetveit (University of Tromsø The Arctic University of Norway): A Saint-like Aviatrix and the Moral Vertical in Larisa Shepit´ko’s Wings (Kryl´ia, 1966)
13 March 2017, 6pmTom McLenachan (UCL SSEES): Red Experts Behind the Silver Screen: The Role of Scientific Consultants in Soviet Film Production During the Late-Stalinist Era
8 May 2017, 5.30pm
Masaryk Senior Common Room, UCL SSEES
 Book Launch: Dr Rachel Morley (UCL SSEES): Performing Femininity: Woman as Performer in Early Russian Cinema

Academic year 2015-16

1 January

Anna Toropova (Cambridge)
Probing the Heart and Mind of the Viewer: Scientific Studies of Film and Theatre Audiences in the Soviet Union, 1917-1938
Catriona Kelly (Oxford)
‘His Majesty the Working Class’: Iurii Klepikov and Vitalii Mel’nikov’s Mother’s Got Married, Lenfil’m, and the Aesthetics of ‘Contemporary Life’ in the Soviet Cinema, 1961-1970
1 FebruaryJulia Sutton-Mattocks (University of Bristol)
Cycles of Conflict and Suffering: Arsenal’s Roots in Dovzhenko’s Berlin Period
14 MarchVlad Strukov (University of Leeds)
Contemporary Russian Cinema's Afterlife: The Strange Case of Vasilii Sigarev
09 MayRound-table discussion of Aleksei German Sr's Trudno byt´ bogom (Hard to be a God, 2013)

Academic year 2014-15

Monday 13th October 2014
6pm, SSEES, room 433

The Evolution of Homo Sovieticus: The Representation of the Scientist in Post-war Soviet Film - Tom McLenachan (UCL SSEES)

Monday 17th November 2014
6pm, SSEES, room 433

From Sarafan to Flapper Dress and Beyond: Soviet Film Costumes, 1920s-1930s
Djurdja Bartlett, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London

Monday 8th December 2014​6pm, SSEES, room 433

Round-table discussion of Andrei Zviagintsev’s Leviafan (Leviathan, 2014)
Led by Philip Cavendish (UCL SSEES), Julian Graffy (UCL SSEES) and Vlad Strukov (University of Leeds)

26 January 2015, 6pm, UCL SSEES Room 433

 The Cinema of Gesture Between Body and Language: Kira Muratova and Alexei Balabanov - Irina Schulzki (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich)

9 February 2015, 5:15pm, UCL SSEES Room 433

Not a film, but some kind of nightmare!”: Re-reading Stalin Reading Eizenshtein’s Ivan the Terrible, Part II  - Joan Neuberger (University of Texas at Austin)

2 March 2015, 5:15pm, UCL SSEES Room 433

Aesthetic Innovation and the Politics of Film Production at Lenfil′m, 1968-1991 - Alex Graham (UCL SSEES)

16 March 2015, 5:15pm, UCL SSEES Room 433

Musical Ghosts: Chapiteau–Show and the New Inauthenticity - Susan Larsen (University of Cambridge) 

8 June 2015, 5:15pm, UCL SSEES Room 433Expressive Movement in Early Soviet Film: the Juncture of Avant-Garde Performance and Physiological Psychology
Ana Hedberg Olenina (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Academic year 2013-14

14 October 2013

Dr Dmitri Zakharine (King’s College London): The Politics of Voice and Noise: Film Sound Design and Acoustic Community in the Early Soviet Union

11 November 2013

Professor Birgit Beumers (Aberystwyth University): No "Soviet Mickey Mouse", or How Soviet Animators Avoided the Mousetrap: Experimentation of the 1920s and 1930s

9 December 2013

Dr Philip Cavendish (UCL SSEES): Half-crazed Fruit Drops (vzbesivshiisia landrin): Experiments in Soviet Colour Technology, 1929-1945

20 January 2014

Dr John Haynes, University of Essex

Stalinist Cinema and the Search for Audiences: Liubov' Orlova and the Case for Star Studies

10 February 2014

Dr Seth Graham, UCL SSEES

A Comedy of Eras: the Genealogies of Comic Film in Post-Soviet Russia

3 March 2014

Alissa Timoshkina, King's College London

Invisible Victims: Jewish Children and Holocaust in the Cinema of Stagnation

17 March 2014

Claire Knight, University of Cambridge

Tarzan, Nazi Songstresses and Stalin: Trophy Films, 1946-52

12 May 2014

Marlen Khutsiev

In Conversation with the Russian Cinema Research Group


Academic year 2012-13

08 October 2012

The Tarkovskii scholar José Manuel Mouriño presented his film The Bright Days. Notes about the Filming of Nostalghia, by Andrei Tarkovsky (60 minutes) followed by discussion

22 October 2012 Justine Waddell: 'Working on Target - A foreigner's take on Zel´dovich and Sorokin.'
 The renowned British actress talks about her starring role in Aleksandr Zel´dovich's film Mishen´ (2011).
12 November 2012 Dr Julia Vassilieva (Monash University, Melbourne): "Everybody Dies But Me": Female authorship, youth culture and marginality in the New Russian Cinema
26 November 2012 Dr Anna Toropova (UCL SSEES): 'An Inexpiable Debt: Stalinist Cinema and the Discourse of Happiness'
03 December 2012 Raisa Sidenova (Yale University): 'Robert Flaherty and Soviet Documentary'
28 January 2013 Dr Jeremy Hicks (Queen Mary, University of London) presented his new book First Films of the Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and the Genocide of the Jews, 1938-1946, Pittsburgh University Press, followed by discussion
04 February 2013 Gogol and the Gauchos: Film screening of 'Cossacks in Argentina' (2010) and conversation with director, Federico Windhausen
 (A collaboration of the UCL Centre for Transnational History and the Russian Cinema Research Group.)
18 February 2013 Maria Pasholok (Oxford University): 'Moving House: Representing Interior Spaces in Early Russian Cinema (Bauer, Barnet, Room)'.
04 March 2013 Rosie Bainbridge (Cambridge University): 'The Role of Intertitles in Soviet Silent Film: the case of Aleksandr Granovskii's Evreiskoe schast´e (1925)'
11 March 2013 Lida Oukaderova (Rice University, Houston): 'The Cinematic Spaces of the Soviet Thaw: From Panoramic Vistas to Gendered Screens'



Academic year 2011-12

10 October 2011 Looking back at classic Soviet film, 1 - Dr Anke Hennig (Free University of Berlin): 'History of Today: Esfir´ Shub's Segodnia (1929-1930)
31 October 2011 Looking back at classic Soviet film, 2 - Dr Robert Robertson (independent researcher, the author of Eisenstein on the Audiovisual: The Montage of Music, Image and Sound in Cinema, 2010): 'A Flame with Protruding Fibres: Eisenstein on Synaesthesia'
03 December 2011 Symposium: 'The Cinema of Aleksandr Sokurov'
12 December 2011 Looking back at classic Soviet film, 3 - Professor Lilya Kaganovsky (University of Illinois): 'Electric Speech: Dziga Vertov, Esfir´ Shub and the Technologies of Sound'
06 February 2012 Soviet Science Fiction and Russian film, 1 - Dr Muireann Maguire (Wadham College Oxford): 'Konstantin Lopushanskii directs the Strugatskiis: The Ugly Swans and Letters of a Dead Man'
05 March 2012 Soviet Science Fiction and Russian film, 2 - Dr Andrei Rogatchevski (University of Glasgow): 'The Strugatskii Brothers' 'Khromaia sud´ba' and Arkadii Sirenko's Iskushenie B'
12 March 2012 Dr Alastair Renfrew (University of Durham): 'Attack of the Soviet Bs: Corman, Cosmos, and the American Mainstream.'



Academic year 2010-11

18 October 2010 Andrei Shcherbenok (Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies, University of Sheffield): 'Suturing Zoya's Wounds: Visual Space in Stalinist and Thaw WWII Cinema'
08 November 2010 Sergei Kapterev (Nauchno-Issledovatel´skii Institut Kinoiskusstva, Moscow): 'Kalatozov. The Beginnings'
06 December 2010 Milena Michalski (King's College, London): 'More Than Merely Molecules of Enthusiasm: Iuliia Solntseva's 'Poema o more' (Poem of the Sea, 1958) in the Context of 1930s Construction Films'
24 January 2011JJ Gurga (UCL SSEES): 'Remembering (in) the Dovzhenko Studio Films of the 1960s: The Case of 'Bili khmary' ('Belye tuchi'), Rolan Serhiienko, 1968'
14 March 2011Eugenie Zvonkine (Université de Paris, 8): 'The Unpublished Scripts and the Unfinished Projects of Kira Muratova: Reconstructing the Coherence of an Oeuvre'
09 May 2011Muireann Maguire (Wadham College Oxford): 'The Warped Woof: The Guard Dog Archetype in Soviet Cinema'



Academic year 2009-10

26 October 2009 Claire Knight (Emmanuel College, Cambridge): 'Soviet Reviews and Questions of Spectatorship: re-viewing The Fall of Berlin (1949)'
16 November 2009 Anna Toropova (UCL SSEES): 'Educating the Emotions: Affect and Stylistic Excess in the Stalinist Melodrama'
18 November 2009 Showing of Light from the East, a 2008 documentary feature by Amy Grappell, followed by discussion with the director.
30 November 2009 JJ Gurga (UCL SSEES): 'Re-thinking Ethnographic Film: The Kyiv Film Studio in the 1960s'
18 January 2010Dr Jamie Miller (Queen Mary, University of London): 'Politics and the Mezhrabpom Studio, 1924-36'
01 February 2010 The Retro Impulse in Contemporary Russian Cinema, 1 - Dr Vlad Strukov (University of Leeds): 'The 1940s: Sergei Ursuliak's Likvidatsiia (2007). Fashioning Mascu-drama: Utility Clothing and Rationing of Morals'
01 March 2010 The Retro Impulse in Contemporary Russian Cinema, 2 - Dr Susan Larsen (Fitzwilliam College Cambridge) and Professor Julian Graffy (UCL SSEES) '1956: Valerii Todorovskii's Stiliagi (2008)'
15 March 2010 The Retro Impulse in Contemporary Russian Cinema, 3 - Dr Philip Cavendish (UCL SSEES) and Dr Seth Graham (UCL SSEES): 'The Case of Balabanov - Gruz 200 (2007) and Morfii (2008)'

Academic year 2008-09

Ten Seminars on 100 years of Russian Cinema 1908-2008
29 September 2008

Russian Cinema. The First Decade
Rachel Morley (UCL SSEES)

‘The First Steps towards the Creation of a New Art. Vladimir Romashkov - Sten´ka Razin, 1908’

20 October 2008

Russian Cinema. The Second Decade
Dr Philip Cavendish (UCL SSEES)

‘From “Lost” to “Found”: the “Rediscovery” of Sergei Eizenshtein’s Dnevnik Glumova (Glumov’s Diary), 1923’

10 November 2008

Russian Cinema. The Third Decade
Professor Julian Graffy (UCL SSEES)

‘Borderline Obsessive. A Soviet Cinematic Preoccupation of the 1930s. Vasilii Zhuravlev – Granitsa na zamke (The Border is Locked), 1937’

November 24 2008

Russian Cinema. The Fourth Decade
Dr Jeremy Hicks (Queen Mary, University of London)

‘Soviet Representations of Nazi Atrocity. Mark Donskoi - Raduga (The Rainbow), 1944’

12 January 2009

Russian Cinema. The Fifth Decade - Professor Stephen Hutchings (University of Manchester): 'Metatextuality, Ekranizatsiia and Post-Stalinism. Aleksandr Alov and Vladimir Naumov - Pavel Korchagin, 1956'

26 January 2009 Russian Cinema. The Sixth Decade - Professor Susan Larsen (University of Chicago): 'New Waves and New Realisms in Soviet Film. Marlen Khutsiev - Iul´skii dozhd´ (July Rain), 1966'
02 March 2009 Russian Cinema. The Seventh Decade - Dr Stephen Lovell (King's College London): 'Soviet Cinema in the TV Age: Tat´iana Lioznova, Semnadtsat´ mgnovenii vesny (Seventeen Moments of Spring), 1973'
16 March 2009 Russian Cinema. The Eighth Decade - Dr Birgit Beumers (University of Bristol): 'Films about Young People. Sergei Solov´ev - ASSA, 1987'
27 April 2009 Russian Cinema. The Ninth Decade - Dr Seth Graham (UCL SSEES): 'Death, Teleology, and the Death of Teleology. Petr Lutsik - Okraina (Outskirts), 1998'
11 May 2009 Russian Cinema. The Tenth Decade - Dr Vlad Strukov (University of Leeds): 'The Value of Failure. Andrei Zviagintsev - Izgnanie (The Banishment), 2007'



Academic year 2007-08

15 October 2007 Candyce Veal (UCL SSEES): 'Intrigan, Letchiki, Nebesnyi Tikhokhod: Levels of Flight in Three Stalinist Films'
19 November 2007 Daniel Levitsky (UCL SSEES): 'Screening the Revolution after Stalin: old "myths" meet "new truths"''
05 February 2007 Professor Alim Sabitov, (Kazakh Academy of Architecture and Construction): "Building a new national mythology in Kazakhstan. The Nomad and The Hunter"
26 February 2007 Nariman Skakov (University College, Oxford): 'Andrzej Wajda's "Nastazja": Distorting Dostoevskii's The Idiot?'
12 March 2007 Dr Birgit Beumers (University of Bristol): 'Euphoria on Stage and Screen: Ivan Vyrypaev'



Academic year 2006-07

20 November 2006 Dr Seth Graham (UCL SSEES): 'Russian Cinema since 1991: The Search for a Post-Soviet Other'
05 February 2007 Professor Alim Sabitov, (Kazakh Academy of Architecture and Construction): "Building a new national mythology in Kazakhstan. The Nomad and The Hunter"
26 February 2007 Nariman Skakov (University College, Oxford): 'Andrzej Wajda's "Nastazja": Distorting Dostoevskii's The Idiot?'
12 March 2007 Dr Birgit Beumers (University of Bristol): 'Euphoria on Stage and Screen: Ivan Vyrypaev'



Academic year 2005-06

10 October 2005 Dr Jeremy Hicks (Queen Mary, University of London): '"Caught unawares?" Performance in Dziga Vertov'
21 November 2005 Dr Alastair Renfrew (Exeter University): 'Against adaptation: the strange case of (Pod) poruchik Kizhe'
23 January 2006 '"Svoi?". The return of World War Two in recent Russian cinema' (Round table led by Dr Philip Cavendish and Professor Julian Graffy, UCL SSEES)
06 February 2006 New readings of Tarkovskii. Postgraduate work in progress seminar: Chiara Meyer-Rieckh (UCL SSEES): 'Life's journey: a theme and its variations in Tarkovskii's films' and Terence McSweeney (University of Essex): 'Memories of a Crystal Image: Nostalgia in the films of Andrei Tarkovskii'
06 March 2006 Vlad Strukov (London): 'Digital Imagery and the New Russian Cinema: The case of Nochnoi Dozor'
13 March 2006

Literary adaptations in the Khrushchev Thaw: "ekranizatsiia" or "pasterizatsiia"?:

Dr Polly Jones (UCL SSEES): 'Screening the Terror: Iurii Bondarev's Tishina, 1961-64' and Professor Julian Graffy (UCL SSEES): 'Georgii Vladimov, Bol'shaia ruda, 1961 to Vasilii Ordynskii, Bol'shaia ruda, 1964' (Joint seminar with the Thaw research group.)



Academic year 2004-05

25 October 2004 Round table on Andrei Zviagintsev's film Vozvrashchenie chaired by Dr Philip Cavendish (UCL SSEES). Other contributors - Mr Martin Dewhirst, Dr Milena Michalski, Dr Amy Sargeant, Mr Evgenii Tsymbal.
7-12 November 2004

Kira Muratova at 70: events held in Cambridge:

Sunday 7 - Thursday 11 November: films shown at the Picture House Cinema, including the British premiere of Nastroishchik on 11 November.

10.00 Opening remarks. Showing of the documentary film Kira (2003), directed by Vladimir Nepevnyi, followed by discussion.

11.45 Pis´mo v Ameriku - a Muratova compendium. Showing of this 20 minute film, made by Muratova in 1999, and an analysis by Professor Julian Graffy (UCL SSEES)

12.30 Discussion of Muratova's film Nastroishchik

2.00: Case studies:

  • Eugénie Zvonkine (Université de Paris 8): Semantic structure of the fairy tale in Chuvstvitel´nyi militsioner
  • Helen Ferguson (UCL SSEES): The structure of space in Tri istorii

4.00: Muratova writ large:

Professor Jane Taubman (Amherst): Muratova on Muratova

Dr Philip Cavendish (UCL SSEES): Kira Muratova and Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty: some comparisons

29 November 2004 Dr Milena Michalski (UCL SSEES): Seeing sites: Russia and Russian in Construction Images of the 1930s
24 January 2005 Natalia Chernyshova (King's College London): Social vice or hallmark of the new generation? Public discourse on the materialism of Soviet man in Soviet cinema, 1965-1985
23 February 2005 Daniel Levitsky (UCL SSEES): Stalinism in Thaw Cinema.



Academic year 2003-04

21 October 2003 Professor Julian Graffy (UCL SSEES): 'Paradzhanov before "Paradzhanov"'. Paradzhanov's films Pervyi paren´ (1958) and Tsvetok na kamne (1962)'
11 November 2003 Professor Dragan Kujundzic (University of California at Irvine): 'Arkive Fever of Aleksandr Sokurov'
01 December 2003 Nicholas Sturdee (UCL SSEES): 'The Unbearable Physicality of Male Heroism. Vulnerability and the Search for Meaning in recent Russian Cinema'
09 December 2003 Evgenii Tsymbal (Moscow): Dziga i ego brat´ia (showing of the documentary film and discussion with the director)
16 March 2004 Dr Peter Barta (University of Surrey): 'Troping Africa in post-Soviet post-modern cinema'
22 March 2004 Professor Julian Graffy (UCL SSEES): 'Chekhov for the twenty-first century: Kira Muratova's Chekhovskie motivy'



Academic year 2002-03

18 November 2002 Dr Philip Cavendish (UCL SSEES): 'Stepping out of the limelight: Evgenii Bauer and the poetics of the "fourth wall"'
10 December 2002 Rashit Yangirov (Moscow): 'Russian Pre-Revolutionary cinema: Researching Velikii kinemo'
26 March 2003 Professor David MacFadyen (UCLA): 'Lacan, Laughter and Socialist Lovers: the Films of El´dar Riazanov'
06 May 2003 Round table on Aleksandr Sokurov's film Russkii kovcheg, led by Dr Philip Cavendish, Professor Julian Graffy and Professor Lindsey Hughes (UCL SSEES)
10 June 2003

Candyce Veal (UCL SSEES): 'The "eagle" defines his space - images of flight and dance in film of the Stalin period'