Vol 10, No 1, 2018


VGIK in the Dynamics of Creative Life

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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):6-6
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The Birth of Cinema in the Russian Empire and Film Censorship

Drubek N.


The second part of the article (for beginning see Issue # 4 (34) 2017) looks into the spiritual (religious) censorship and its relationship with the institute of the household censorship regulating the representation of the sacral in the Russian Empire. The author investigates the ways of controlling the content of the films and their demonstration. An attempt to limit the circulation of the Tzar’s moving image, the withdrawal of the Khodynka footage, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the success of the first Lumi.re films including the portrayal of the Russian Emperor starting the domestic production of Tzarist newsreels led to the emergence of Russain film censorship.



Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):8-19
pages 8-19 views


On «Pretty Young Lady», Dos Passos and the Textology of «Art»

Zabrodin V.V.


The presented text is a publication of archival materials from the Eisenstein’s Fund in the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI). The author of the publication reconstructed and commented some episodes from creative and personal biography of S.M. Eisenstein in the beginning of the 1930's. In particular, some fragments from private correspondence of Eisenstein and Esther Shub сut when published in the 1970s have been restored; the reasons for the reaction of the director to the of Shub’s suggestion to make a film based on the novel ‘‘Manhattan’’ by John Dos Passos have been elucidated. The details and features of the artistic life of Russia in the 1930s are reflected in the epistolary genre of Eisenstein's work. The text presented also dwells on some cases of ‘‘selective approach’’ towards publishing books in the Soviet era. The author, using comparative historical and textual analysis, restores the true picture of Eisenstein's relationship to the work of a number of representatives of Russian and foreign cinema and literature, and also explains the reasons for some important events in the creative life of the director.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):20-30
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Trends of the Song Genre Development in the Soviet/Russian Cinema in 1930-1960s years

Parfentyeva E.N.


The song is the most democratic and popular musical genre widely used in cinema art, beginning with the silent period. Due to its rhythmic-melodic and compositional characteristics, the song provides great opportunities for its various usage as a structural element of a film and in the creation of the unique sound-visual imagery. In Russian cinema the song reflected not only the artistic but also socio-historical features of its time, some of which have only recently been clarified, with the discovery and publication of previously inaccessible archival sources. A lot of documentary and archival materials, often labeled "top secret" which have been available only by the end of 1980s, reveals the dramatic and sometimes tragic confrontation between the ideologists of Socialist Realism and the supporters of the so-called Formalism, and those simply evading the "general line of the Party". The discovery of the inner world of an individual (as distinguished from the collectivist), shown in chamber wartime pictures, finds its continuation in the cinema of the late 1950s-1960s. Of particular importance are the text and even the single word of the song, and also the personality of the performer, expressed in a unique manner of singing, in a special intonation and timbre, which do not always presuppose presence of a professional strong voice. The song is an indicator of many processes taking place in Russian society, which is also relevant for the newest Russian cinema. The song in the modern film becomes, on the one hand, a sign of the hero's belonging to a certain subculture, and on the other hand - the expression of one’s otherness and inner loneliness. The article defines the important trends in the development of the song genre in Soviet-Russian cinema for several decades, which makes it possible to create a basis for analyzing new audiovisual phenomena in the newest Russian cinema.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):32-42
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Grief as a Cognitive Metaphore in “Manchester by the Sea”

Tsyrkun N.А.


The article is devoted to analysis of Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea (1916) through the category of so-called “cinema of grief” dealing with the problems of enduring trauma of loss of the dear ones. The gist of the topic is institutionalization of the concealed ego of the protagonist through the death of the Other. Thus the treatment concerns sorrows of the trauma which undergoes either positive dinamic of its overcoming, or a negative form of embedding into the loss. The author assumes, that in Lonergan’s film the second case is visually articulated, anyhow logically drawing to the positive vector disclosing the concealed identity of the protagonist. The arc of the hero is traced on three levels, that is the film composition, psychological discordance of the protagonist and the soundtrack as a certain subtext of the picture. The study is based on the sources discussing the problem in question: Ziegmund Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia, in which Freud argued that mourning comes to a decisive end when the subject severs its emotional attachment to the lost one, and on the works by Nicolas Abraham and Maria Török about mourning disorder (introjection versus incorporation). The composition of the film is structured around flashbacks explaining the reasons for a pervasive cloud of shame, sadness, and guilt that follows the protagonist in the mourning process. In his architecture of grieving the filmmaker actually describes the protagonist’s melancholia in Freudian terms as a painful depression without any concern towards the outside world. He is characterized by a loss of the ability to love, reticence in any activity and decreased self-criticism and craving for punishment. Anyhow the musical accompaniment not only illustrates the depressed protagonist state of mind but also - with Handel’s Messiah at the climax point predetermines the finale with his crucial changing.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):44-53
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Aesthetics of Interactivity: Between Game and Film. To Watch or to Play?

Novikov V.N.


Abstract: According to recent research, video games are recognized as a new kind of art in the 21st century. Is it possible to distinguish the concepts of "entertainment" and "art" when dealing with this phenomenon? The purpose of this article is to analyze the significance of the game in contemporary society, to characterize the dominant features of "personal management" of a work of art, and to consider the influence of game aesthetics on the language of up-to-date cinema. The digital age, new technologies, computer modeling, and virtual aesthetics modernized the classical thesis of "life as a game" into a new philosophical concept. There are more and more attempts in succession to create a full-fledged virtual reality where a person could feel oneself be an individualized god, commanding over all the processes taking place with the one and one’s life. The ultimate goal is the creation of such a global "game world" in which every person would be able to try oneself in any social role or avatar, building relationships with anyone, playing and enjoying it. So this desire for an interactive fusion of game forms with the objective reality that we are accustomed to is forming a rich and multilayered cultural platform nourishing diverse areas of contemporary art. The game industry has gone a long way of its development as a form of art. Nowadays video games and movies “imitate” each other and combine mixed aesthetic trends - the boundary between the Game and the Film is being increasingly blurred. On the one hand, games tend to the cinema, using professional directing, scriptwriting and cast. On the other hand, mainstream fiction of gaming technologies attracts many filmmakers looking for new artistic forms, concepts and visual mechanics that are interesting and relevant for the contemporary mass audience.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):54-63
pages 54-63 views

Contribution of Artists Teaching at the Russian Federation S.A. Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography into Formation and Development of the Fine Arts in Mongolia in 20th century

Melekhova X.A.


The relevance of studying the contribution of artists and educators of Russian art for formation and development of the creative method of masters in Central Asian countries is due to the importance of this topic for solving the theoretical and practical problems of contemporary art history. Since the second half of the 20th century, the influence of Russian art school on art of the countries of the socialist community has increased. Russian universities have become base centers of higher art education. As a result, the main number of masters of art in Mongolia are graduates to Soviet and Russian art institutions. With appearance in 1935 of the studio "Mongolkino" in Ulan Bator, there was appear need for connoisseurs. Mongolian creators got the opportunity to obtain good education in the Soviet Union in VGIK. When learning students mastered programs aimed at comprehensive creative education. Priceless contribution to formation of the creative method of young masters was made by the artist-educators B.V. Dubrovsky-Eshke, F.S. Bogorodsky, Yu.I. Pimenov and others. Particular attention in pedagogical activity they drawn to the development and improvement of the creativity of the student. We were taught to think and feel images, constantly develop creative individuality, professionalism and at the same time preserve national roots. In the 50s, Mongolian painters Ochryn Myagmar and Purev Tsogzol were educated at VGIK. They passed the school of Soviet art and based on it stood at the origins of the Mongolian cinema. Artists work in various genres and techniques, in the mainstream of European artistic methods. Perfectly knowing how to draw, they write with oil and watercolor. For both artists, work on the nature is fundamental. With a perfect mastery of this creative approach, they remain deeply national masters. VGIK pedagogical school gave the basic footing for the development of cinema in Mongolia and further stimulated the creative potential of new generations of filmmakers. So the Mongolian visual and film art enriched with innovative artistic principles.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):64-74
pages 64-74 views


Maurice Maeterlinck’s Philosophy of Art

Mankovskaya N.B.


In the article the key ideas of Maurice Maeterlinck’s philosophy of art, inspired by the spirit of German idealism, European Romanticism and also mysticism and occultism are considered. On this basis his own original philosophical-aesthetic and artistic views which have laid down in a basis of philosophy of art of symbolism crystallize. The main problems interesting for Maeterlinck in this sphere are metaphysics of art and its philosophical-aesthetic aspects: silence, hidden, destiny, external and internal, madness, mystical ecstasy; essence of artistic image and symbol in art; aesthetic categories of beauty, sublime, tragical, comic; aesthetic ideal; nature of art novelty; relations between aesthetics and ethics. Artisticity, symbolization in art, suggestion, idealization, spirituality as the main attributes of authentic art, stylized poetic generalizations, laconism of a plot - these are the basis of Maeterlinck’s poetic world and his art-aesthetic principles which have become the art base for symbolist philosophy. Maeterlinck paid special attention to the art-aesthetic aspects of the art of theatre connected with creative credo of the playwright, his skill. He was also deeply engaged into exploration of the art influencing power as well as questions of aesthetic perception, empathies, and art hermeneutics. The major thrust of his philosophical-aesthetic research was that of an expectance of the approaching era of great spirituality and supreme mission of the artist-theurgist in it - in this respect Maeterlinck going his way, had a lot of common with the ideas of Paul Claudel, let alone representatives of Russian theourgistic aesthetics. In his poeticized meditations over the future of artistic culture Maeterlinck quite often acts as a teacher of life and, like described by him bees, collecting honey of hopes.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):76-90
pages 76-90 views


The Influence of Cultural Traditions on Sound Design Techniques in Japanese Cinema. Sound Effects and Music

Rusinova E.A., Habchuk E.M.


For a long time, Japanese cinema has been developing separately, mastering the specifics of the new art, which came from the West, and at the same time trying to solve within its framework the problem of "national identity". However, since the 1950s, Japanese cinema has become widely known abroad and is gaining recognition in the West. The present day no one doubts the huge contribution of Japanese filmmakers to the history of world cinema. Nevertheless, the study of Japanese cinema in Russian cinema theory still remains the prerogative of a few professionals who know the Japanese language and are closely acquainted with the Japanese mentality, culture and art, which exert a great influence on the artistic features of Japanese screen art. But in order to even more imbued with the originality of the approach to creating an artistic image in Japanese cinema, it is necessary to draw attention to one of the most important components of its structure, namely, the sound aspect, insufficiently studied in film theory. The novelty of the article is that it analyzes and classifies the sound features of some Japanese movies created in the second half of the 20th - beginning of the 21st centuries, in which the influence of traditional culture manifests itself quite clearly, but at the same time the presence of elements of the Western musical tradition is also noticeable, which reflects to a certain extent the process of transculturalism in cinema that is actual nowadays.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):92-105
pages 92-105 views

The Transformation of the Jesse James’ Myth in Contemporary American Cinema

Zakharov D.V.


American historiography puts forward a theory which looks upon the US history as consisting of a row of cycles. The pattern was detected by thinkers and historians like Ralph W. Emerson, Henry B. Adams, Arthur M. Schlesinger and others. A cycle includes two contradicting phases lasting approximately 15-20 years each. Their character and content are defined differently - by social interest/personal interest, liberalism/conservatism, democracy/capitalism. The common ground between all the oppositions is the vision of the cyclic regularity nature. During the “social anxiety” periods the energy breaks out, the nation stirs to action (“Progressive Era” (1890s-1910s), “New Deal” (30s), turbulent years (60s). When the social organism gets tired it demands a break to recover. The “social rest” time begins (“Roaring Twenties”, presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961), “Me” Decade” (80s)). The article takes as a premise that cinema reflects the rythmic variations - at the level of ideas, themes, types of characters, genres, plots, a visual style. The theory is tested by means of examination of the western - the oldest national American genre. The article analyses the western subgenre - films telling of legendary frontier outlaws, namely Jesse James regarded as American Robin Hood. The “theory of cycles” optics enables to track the transformation of James myth and his image. The main part of the article is devoted to the landmark film of the contemporary “social anxiety” phase The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007, dir. Andrew Dominik). A thorough review of the polyphonic text demostrates that whichever interpretation is prefered the intention of the authors to a radical reconsideration of the well known myth is obvious. Correlations and contrasts with the other Jesse James’ films reveal that the view on the criminal number one directly corresponds with the historical phase.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):106-118
pages 106-118 views

The Origins of the First Sound Animation: Songs Series by the Fleischer Brothers

Krivulya N.G.


With the invention of moving pictures, the creators sought to supplement them with sound. Even before the invention of cinemat, E. Reynaud in the optical theatre gave performances in which moving images were combined with sound. It was pre-cinema experience, which represented the theatre model of audiovisual show. The attempts to synchronize the dynamic images and sound were taken by T. Edison, S. Meshes, L. Gaumont, O. Kellum, E.Tigerstedt, J. Engel, G. Phocht and J. Massol. However, the systems suggested by these inventors were not perfect. An important step towards creation of a sound film was the appearance of the optical sound recording system Phonofilm designed by Lee de Forest. In 1923, he became acquainted with Brothers Fleischer, outstanding American animators. Together with H. Riesenfeld and E. Fadiman they organized Red Seal Pictures Corporation and began to shoot Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes, which consisted of a series of animated shots Sing-alongs (featuring the famous «bouncing ball»). It was a kind of multimedia shots, as there was no plot, no character and no narrative structure. They were created basing on popular songs, but did not illustrate them. The Sing-alongs shots were produced for the audience to sing their favorite songs before the session, while reading the text of the songs from the screen. The animated ball bouncing on the syllables helped them to follow the rhythm of the melody. These films became the prototype of the modern karaoke and music animated shows. The series were released from May 1924 till September 1927. The Fleshers created more than 45 shots, more than 19 of which using the Phonofilm. The first sound animated shots where the images were synchronized with the sound and recorded on the same media, were released in 1925. The film Come to Travel on My Airship was the first where the speech was heard, and in the shot My Old House in Kentucky the Fleischers managed to synchronize the speech with the facial expressions of cartoon characters as they were speaking. When the animating and shooting technology changed, the film structure underwent changes too. Detailed animation parts with the story content appeared. The text animation became variable as well. Since the 1930s, the shots have included scenes with singers and jazz-bands. The animated film series Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes shot by the Brothers Fleischer established the principle of movement and sound synchronism in the animation. They not only out paced the sound films by P. Terry and W. Disney, which were considered to be the first sound animation films for a long time, but also proved that the sound animation had been possible and the thirty-year era of the silent animation came to an end.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):119-131
pages 119-131 views



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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):132-132
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The Science of the History of Media: Approaches and Concepts

Bakulev G.P.


The article examines media studies from a historical perspective, proving the necessity of using an interdisciplinary approach including media evolution, history, anthropology, and archeology. There are a lot of versions of media development presented in various formats and contexts — from listing the names of inventors and technological devices to describing economic, cultural and social practices — but each contains presumptions, arguments in favor of the significance of media for people’s communication and the reasons for historical changes. The author also analyses the interpretation of the term ‘media history’ proposed by Lisa Gitelman, one of the most respected experts in this area.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):134-140
pages 134-140 views

The Media Image as a Motivator for the Humanization of Society

Vazhenina O.A.


The author studies the modern media environment, which reflects the problem of people with personality disorders of the autistic spectrum. The relevance of the article is determined by the severity of the social problems of the categories of «deviant people» in society and the insufficient degree of study of this context in contemporary media space. The novelty of the research consists in the author's attempt to investigate the role and importance of the media environment in the positioning of the phenomenon of social autism and humanization of society basing on cinema . Among the most socially important issues which are being reflected in contemporary media space the problems of disabled and deviant people take a major place. Contemporary cinema promotes the penetration and dissemination of socially significant ideas in society: responsibility, differentiation, humanism. Films about people with autism spectrum disorders are included in many films about the problem of sick people, people with disabilities and people with developmental features. The key idea of this large thematic group is to overcome the existing life circumstances and attempts to «live a full life». The ideological features of films about autistics, as the author assumes, differ from the conceptual field of films of the general thematic group. These features are: projection into society of the image of the savant - a highly functional autist and the fact that such people are «better» (more honest, naive, more moral) than «ordinary people». Proceeding from the increase in the total number of films devoted to this problem and their ideological homogeneity and uniqueness, the conclusion follows that a trend is being formed in society to humanize the social attitude to people with autism spectrum disorders.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):141-149
pages 141-149 views


Sergey Eisenstein. A Look into Eternity

Palshkova M.


For the 120th anniversary of S. M. Eisenstein, the Department of interdisciplinary research of the Institute of cinematography of VGIK held a seminar " Sergei Eisenstein. A look from 2018." His task was to discuss with the student audience the specifics of the representation of the image of the great Director and his films in the latest literature. The seminar was conducted By V. V. Zabrodin, one of the main specialists-researchers of life and creativity of S. M. Eisenstein.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):150-151
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Editorial article

edition J.



Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):152-157
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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2018;10(1):158-160
pages 158-160 views

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