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Unformatted text preview: Worksheet 9 - Film History Professor Rohdie (UCF) Part One: Soviet Cinema Russia (later the Soviet Union after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917-1918 and for much of the 1920s while State Power was still being consolidated and the new State was in the midst of civil war and extreme economic hardship), was a leading centre, along with France, Italy, Spain and Germany (but also Poland and Czechoslovakia) of modernist and avant-garde art (Constructivism, Suprematism, Futurism, Cubo-Futurism). The best known Russian artists of the period in lm, were Aleksander Dovzhenko, Sergei Eisenstein, Lev Kuleshov, Vsevolod Pu- dovkin and Dziga Vertov; in painting, were Natalia Goncharova, Vassily Kandinsky, El Lissitsky, Kasimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin; in literature, were Isaac Babel and Vladimir Mayakovsky; in theatre, were Vsevolod Meyerhold and also Eisenstein; in dance, were Sergei Diaghilev, Gy- orgy Balanchine; in music, were Sergei Proko ev, Alexander Scriabin, Dimitri Shostakovich and Igor Stravinsky; in criticism, were Mikhail Bakhtin, Osip Brik, Roman Jakobson and Viktor Schlovsky. Some artists left the Soviet Union principally for France (Paris) and the United States (New York), some were shot (Babel, Meyerhold) for supposed treason, and some remained, though in the 1930s and later until the death of Stalin, their works were suppressed or censured or revised (Eisenstein and Vertov) in accord with views (concerning content and style) de- manded by the State. The o cial art of the 1930s and 1940s, well into the 1950s in the Soviet Union was Sot Realism echoed in other countries by artists on the Left who supported the Soviet Revolution and their national Communist parties. The o cial art of the Soviet Un- ion was not unlike the State art sponsored by Nazi Germany and what would be the art of the Peoples Republic of China after the Communist victory in 1948. In the 1930s, the Soviet State and Communist parties in the West, and Nazi Germany rejected modern and avant-garde art, substituting for it a realism, politically nominated: Sot Realism or National Sot Real- ism, a blend of idealised, easily accessible representations that combined a naturalism with the unreality of a cartoon-like generalised happiness and prosperity quite at odds with the reality of actual conditions. Some American art of the period especially in lm, popular litera- ture and large circulation magazines like Look were not free from this kind of idealisation. Avant-garde art was a new art that questioned past history and its forms. It tended to be anti- representational, anti-narrative, critical, interrogative and experimental. Above all, di cult, because it rejected not simply received conventions but familiar expectations and percep- tions, for example, Cubism and its simultaneities of di erent points of view, its dismantling and fragmentation of objects and gures, its collage juxtapositions of heterogeneous material...
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- Fall '09