Initiation by Fear as a Model of Soviet Film Tales of the 1960s

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The article deals with the transformation and interpretation of the initiation process with reference to the Soviet fairy-tale film genre, more precisely with the trial by fear of young heroes as an important stage of their getting to be truly Soviet people. The research is based upon the study of the archetype of an ideal hero in the fairy tale genre which has its roots in the socialist realism of the 1930s. In Soviet film tales of the 1960s (like the classic «Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors» by A.Rowe and «The Tale of Time Lost» by A.Ptushko) telling about the modern life of pioneers such ideology-driven symbols of the past came to be some kind of human ideal for young heroes in search of role models. Hence the necessity of initiation and the importance of trial by fear for the preparation of
youngsters for becoming ideal Soviet people.

With the collapse of Soviet mythology the fear in film tales evolved from a metaphysical designation of the process of transition into the anxiety about the current changes in real life which was getting ever less fairy. It became apparent in the transient tales of the post-thaw period like «Adventures of the Yellow Suitcase» by I.Frez who still kept on working with contemporary medium. The study of initiation of young fairy-tale heroes by means of trial by fear in terms of its changing sense brings out that the transformation of the Soviet fairy tale universe followed the general flow of thought in Soviet cinema at that turn of the decade.

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Zernova Polina

студент 4 курса сценарно-киноведческого факультета ВГИК им. С.А.Герасимова (творческая мастерской – кандидата искусствоведения, профессора Яковлевой Т.В.)

S.A.Gerasimov Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK)
, 3, Wilhelm Pik street, 129226 Moscow, Russia

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