Vol 7, No 2, 2015


Roads of the War. On the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory

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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):6-6
pages 6-6 views


Eisenstein’s Aesthetics in Semiotic Perspective

Khrenov N.A.


The article is devoted to the semiotic interpretation of the theoretic heritage of the film director Sergey Eisenstein by Vyacheslav Ivanov whose jubilee has been recently celebrated. Sergey Eisenstein foresaw the structural methodology that became so popular after the 60s. Vyacheslav Ivanov is known for his vast range of academic interests. The present article is focused on his interest in cinema, in particular - the theoretic heritage of Eisenstein. This interest may be explained by Vyacheslav Ivanov’s assertion, that Eisenstein tended to see cinema as a language or, more specifically, a sign system. This fact couldn’t escape Vyacheslav Ivanov’s notice, since the formation of semiotic methodology in Russia is closely connected with Eisenstein. So it is quite natural that Vyacheslav Ivanov reflects on the prehistory of semiotics too. As for cinema, prehistory in question is closely connected with Sergey Eisenstein’s aesthetics. The author of the present article also touches upon applying semiotic methodology to cinema as a sign system in general. Due to this purpose, the author refers to the period, when Russian cinema theorists were involved in semiological analysis introduced with the influence of structuralist and post-modernist studies in humanities. Some theoreticians attacked semiotic approaches in favor of philosophical and, in particular, phenomenological one. Nevertheless though these approaches are appropriate and efficient, they do not replace the semiotic one. The author argues, that such attempts to refuse from the semiotic approach in the cinema field were ill-timed and superficial. Vyacheslav Ivanov’s semiotic works on cinema, especially his book Eisenstein’s Aesthetics, simultaneously affirm a philosophical approach to this topic. Interpreting the meaning of the title, the author of the present article argues, that the concept of semiotics was already created at the initial stage of the development of aesthetics as a branch of philosophy.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):8-19
pages 8-19 views

From Theory to Methodology of Cinema

Schtein S.Y.


The article aims at justification and description of transcendence from the object-oriented and conceptual-oriented theorizing in cinema studies resulting in the existing fragmentary theory of the cinema to the special methodological development as a framework of problematization of the existing knowledge-modified representations, for their de-objectivation, rationing and arranging according to the program of the cinema onthology, understood as a main constructive element of the cinema considered as system-of-activities. The author analyzes "turn" from classic to specific methodological work connected with transition from an activity problematization to problematization of object representations concerning cinema, replacement of a reflexive stage - process of a de-objectivation of problematization, and a stage of promotion of methodical provisions - rationing the de-objectivation knowledge. As one of initial conditions of the special methodological activity developed in article the notion of norm is defined in work of the methodologist of cinema ,connected with the fact, that the objectified parts of knowledge of a cinema received by it, have to be in relation to ontology of cinema to the scalable derivative expressed in the logical, structural and conceptual key set by theoretical model of ontology cinema. This condition does the received constructions within the described methodological work functionally jointed with each other without carrying out additional methodological work. Thus, methodology of cinema described in article as a specific form of activity, first, is the effective tool for work with any sort as object representations of a cinema, and, secondly, the subjert independent mechanism forming the objectified film theory. That ushers in essentially new stage in development of cinema studies. Summing up, personality of the new specific subject of cinema studies, that is the methodologist of cinema, intended to carry out this methodological work, is described. The functions of the methodologist in its framework are limited not only by its own strict norms, but also by a number of the ethical principles allowing it, being in an activity cinema system, to abstract from the situation and prevent from becoming a part of the system.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):20-30
pages 20-30 views


The Meat Grinder by K. Mintz and A. Razumovsky. Reconstruction and Analysis of the Oberiu's Film

Kiselev A.O.


On the 24th of Janurary 1928 the Oberiu art-community (Daniil Kharms, Alexander Vvedensky, Nicholay Zabolotsky, Igor Bakhterev et al) performed its famous theatrical soiree, the last public act of the Russian avant- garde, Three left hours in the Leningrad Publishing House. After a series of poetic performances and an avant-garde performance Elizaveta Bam there was demonstrated the first and only Oberiu's film - The Meat Grinder. This result of Klimentiy Mintz and Alexandr Razumovsky’s screen debut was shown just once and wasn't preserved. But judging by the memoirs left after this theatrical evening, one is able to restore a conditional explication of the film, as well as determine its position in the context of avant-garde experimental era of the “montage cinema”. The author concludes that the audience watched a rare example of a feature compilation of a war movie with an absent story and rhythm as major means of expression. The article correlates the phenomenon of The Meat Grinder to the compilation works by Esfir Shub, while the formal method of Oberiu's cinema looks like inspired by famous films by Sergey Eisenstein and Vsevolod Pudovkin. The special attention is drawn to a fragment of Oberiu's Declaration, which refers to the ways of the new cinema and new tasks for film directors of modern, radically changing times. Here could be found some straight rhymes with the manifestations of the French film avant-guard - Fernand Leger, Jean Cocteau and Paul Valery. However, the author finds the identifying category of shaping ideology and of film language of Oberiu's filmmakers not just in the space of theory with abundance of manifestos, but also in a particular place and particular social-group, that is the leftist center of radical art, paintings of Filonov’s adherents, and community of young poets, who call for recognition of the intrinsic value of any object in the artwork.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):32-40
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Stylistic Features Of Russian Arthouse

Poznin V.F.


The article analyzes stylistic features of Russian arthouse films of the last decade. Contrary to mainstream these movies are designed for narrow, aesthetically advanced audience. It is commonly known, that the style of any film is primarily determined by interpretation of screen space, formed first of all through visual images. Every fresh artistic cinema current differs from others by the method of interpretation of artistic space. Proven practices show that most of the art films of the last decade have one thing in common. This is the mode of interpretation of the art space, characterized by realistic, but in the same time conventional environment, in which the characters act. Interpretation of spatial and temporal space in Russian arthouse is close to conventional theatrical style. This phenomenon is explained by the dominance of parabolic plots with abundance of symbols and allegories. Russian art films are also marked with negative perception of reality. Their action mostly takes place in the middle of nowhere with the minimum civilizational and cultural properties. The choice of location, conventional environment, slow-paced action, unambiguous characters are the dominant features defining the style of majority of art films.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):41-51
pages 41-51 views

Synthesis of National and Transnational in A. Konchalovsky's American Movies

Kurdiaev G.I.


In September 2014 Andrey Konchalovskiy's White Nights of Postman Alexey Tryapitsyn won “Silver Lion” for the Best Director at the Venice Film Festival. European critics and advanced public have regularly marked endowments of the Soviet and Russian film director. Throughout his career he has received numerous awards at prestigious European film festivals. There are Crystal Globe in Karlovy Vary for the “Romance for Lovers” (1974), Grand Prix at Cannes for “Sibiriada” (1979), the main prizes of San Sebastian for “Uncle Vanya” (1971) and “Homer and Eddie” (1989). Meanwhile, Konchalovsky's success among American mass audience and critics has been much more modest, though Andrey Konchalovsky was the first in the early 1980s, since the time of the first wave of Russian 1910-20's emigration, who attempted to connect deeply national, “Russian” spirit with Hollywood production technology-oriented international strategy in his works. Being established in the Soviet Union as an esteemed author, Konchalovskiy decided to change the film industry to start over his career. Nowadays, in the context of the festival success in the European and Soviet/Russian cinema circles and the lack of attention in the United States, a question arises, if one can consider this attempt as successful one. In this article the author tries identify Russian national motives, which the filmmaker has introduced into Hollywood culture through his creative method, and those originally Hollywood themes and topics that have appeared for the first time in the works of the recognized Soviet director. Basing on Konchalovsky’s American works the author tries to elicit creative value in their national and transnational synthesis and expose the extent of their productivity and sensemaking.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):52-60
pages 52-60 views


From Greek Tragedy To Opera-Film

Kropova D.S.


There are some common features between opera (film-opera and theater-opera) and the Greek tragedy. Hereafter a question arises: why theoreticians and artists try “to revive” tragedy - what is so important in ancient drama that remains actual up to date? The author argues, that musical drama (opera) is the successor to the Greek tragedy, whereas cinema exposes musical and ancient nature of the opera clearer, than theater. The author dwells upon new possibilities of opera: different ways ofcooperation between musical and visual constituents, differences between stage and screen operas; advantages of the film-opera. The screen adaptation of opera is very actual and has special aspects. It is obvious, that opera enriches cinema language and cinema reforms traditional theatrical musical drama. There is a number of works, which are devoted to the problem of the opera- film (mostly written by music experts), but there are no special research on the part of cinema theoreticians. Cinema-opera differs from theater-opera. Cooperation between image and music is defined by specific features of the camera. The opportunities of cinema are wider in some aspects and may advance reform of stage. Integration of arts in opera-film is connected with integration of arts in the Greek tragedy. The Athenian drama, grown up from ancient cults, is connected with ancient rituals. Since the ancient sources of drama find their reflection in film-opera, the latter reaches out these cults.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):62-72
pages 62-72 views

Sound Editing in Screen Works

Efimova N.N.


The article pinpoints peculiarities of sound editing in movies basing on analysis of partitions of popular films of40-90s; the most frequent principles of sound track arrangement are examined for the first time. The stuff selection is conditioned by measure of popularity of screen works in question. Due to talent of such famous composers as I. Dunaevsky, S. Prokofiev, A. Khachaturian, A. Pakhmutova, A. Petrov et al and their ability “to hear” plastic imagery, to comprehend filmic atmosphere music plays an extremely important part in these films. Many songs from these films are still in circulation even now. Thorough sound design and editing are of great significance in film production. The author comes to conclusion, that rondo as a musical form and leit-motif as a principle of musical stuff development form a dominant principle of sound stuff arrangement. The two fundamentally tighten the structure of the film. Since original music affords to accentuate sound effects in the most adequate way, it seems perfect to call to a composer for creating original music. The author assumes, that the choice of sound arrangement principle in cinema depends on deliberate conception of the film, wrought out by the helmer, composer, and supervising sound editor. The screen work’s property is closely bound with attentive partition editing.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):73-81
pages 73-81 views


L.S. Vygotsky On Psychological Properties of Art Form Organization

Sveshnikov A.V.


The article discusses central concepts of artistic perception and creativity theory as presented in L.S. Vygotsky’s treatise “The Psychology of art” which focuses primarily on artistic feeling and catharsis as distinct psychological phenomena. Unlike a widely accepted view, Vygotsky’s work shows that form and content in art do not necessarily need to correspond. The perceptual conflict staged by contradictory relationship between the original artistic premises within these two categories is an essential requirement for, and is resolved by, the resulting integrated aesthetic experience. Based on Vygotsky’s reasoning, the current article suggests a set of criteria that identify the main characteristics of the compositional organization of a piece of art. The psychological aspects of artistic perception described by Vygotsky argue for objective existence of aesthetic values. Vygotsky’s reasoning emphasizes true aesthetic value of a piece of art and thus provides the foundation for sound argumentation against evaluation approaches based mainly on its worth on the collector’s market. This article highlights the parts of his theory that describe the psychological patterns used to resolve perceptive inconsistencies and harmonize personal value systems. The concepts discussed in Vygotsky’s works, in particular his theory of catharsis, reveal deep psychological mechanisms of artistic perception. Such mechanisms reflect the organisational complexity of an art form which may at first glance seem to only be a means of pleasure and entertainment.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):84-96
pages 84-96 views

Interaction of Artistic Culture of Russia and Scandinavian Countries at the turn of the 19th-20th Centuries

Kharitonova N.S.


The author examines similarity of historical and cultural development of Russia and Scandinavian countries. Cultural ties between the two domains evolved over many centuries. The most intensive period of development of Russian-Scandinavian artistic contacts stretched from mid-1880s-1890s up to the end of the first decade of the 20th century. In 1890s Russian painters considered achievements of Scandinavian colleagues as an example of a quest for progress, a creative approach to finding one’s way in development of fine arts. At the same period in Russia a number of major international art exhibitions were arranged with active northern painters’ participation. The Russian interest in the art of Scandinavian countries in the late 19th - early 20th c. was anything but accidental. The development of artistic culture in Nordic countries was in tune with the Russian artists’ quest for other ways of creative expression. Northern culture attracted sympathy of Russian painters, black-and-white artists and art critics of diverse, often opposing groups and movements. For example, among the admirers of Scandinavian fine arts were V.V. Stasov and A.N. Benoit, I.E. Repin, V.A. Serov, F.A.Malyavin, the artists of the "Mir iskusstva” group, and representatives of Moscow School of Painting (K. Korovin, A. Arkhipov, V. Perepletchikov etc.). By mid-1890s relations of Russian and Scandinavian art schools had become very intense and productive. This interaction coincided with significant events that influenced further development of artistic and other forms of culture on both sides. It manifested itself in publications of works of A. Strinberg and K. Hamsun in Russian, in staging of H. Ibsen’s plays at the Moscow Art Theater, exhibitions (especially of A.Tsorn’s works), and other activities that served to cross-fertilisation of cultures of Russia and Scandinavian countries.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):97-104
pages 97-104 views


World War II in the Cinema of Green Continent

Zvegintseva I.A.


Despite its remote location from the major theatre of operations, Australia participated in the war siding with the Anti-German Coalition from the outbreak of World War II up to it’s end. Naturally, this impacted upon economic, social and cultural life of the country. The war was broadly covered by the Australian filmmakers and took a significant place in Australian cinema. For Australia World War II began on September 3rd, 1939. A million of Australian men and women fought against Germany in 19391945. Talking of the war theme in the Australian cinema, one should firstly pay tribute to the memory of dozens of Australian cameramen sent to the World War front alongside with soldiers, who covered the events in the newsreels. As for feature filmmakers, they were not able to cover the war due to poor production funding. Only after “resuscitation” of the national filmmaking in 1970s Australian filmmakers got an opportunity of shooting a number of interesting films dedicated to the events that had taken place seventy years ago. The theme of World War II was covered in many films. A lot of the best national filmmakers paid tribute to it, ranging from Brendan Maher’s Sisters of War (2010) with its unprecedented harsh and truthful depiction of the role of Australian women in the war, to Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man (2013), based on the bestselling autobiography of Eric Lomax (co-produced with Great Britain). The relevance of this article and its innovative contribution comes down to proof, that, although the number of films dedicated to World War II is relatively limited, their quality is extremely high and noteworthy. It’s also noteworthy, that Australian filmmakers have brought back in the viewers’ minds the heroism of their fathers and forefathers, thus paying tribute to the memory of those who saved the world from Nazism seventy years ago.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):106-114
pages 106-114 views

Pirjo Honkasalo’s World of Thoughts and Symbols in Russia: Sample of Statistical Analysis

Ivannikova K.O.


The article deals with creation of Pirjo Honkasalo (b. 1947), one of the most talented and interesting filmmakers in contemporary Finnish cinema. Her films have gained certain recognition in Europe but are hardly known among Russian viewers - despite the fact that the subjects of a number of her documentaries are directly related to Russia. Pirjo Honkasalo is internationally known as the author of poetic documentaries marked with profound philosophical and religious issues. It was Honkasalo’s documentary Three rooms melancholia (Melancholian 3 huonetta, 2004), that lent eclat to her. The director debuted as an independent filmmaker with the low-budget picture Mysterion (Mysterion, 1991), and further on brightly developed her personal manner of cinematography and cutting. To better understand the method of her direction some passages from her recent interview with the Russian journalist M. Kuvshinova are included, where Honkasalo tells of her opinion on difference between documentary and feature helmer work. Special attention is paid to the feature films by Honkasalo focusing on the problems of a dysfunctional family (single mother with two children negligent). It is important to note that though Fire-eater (Tulennielija, 1998) and Concrete Night (Betoniyo, 2013) were filmed with an interval of 15 years, the similarity between them is traced both in a storyline, as well as in an aesthetic approach. Having considered creation of Pirjo Honkasalo, the author assumes, that the director, staying within genre of drama, richly varies her manner, presenting multifaceted experience in different directions, marked with a dialogue with the audience held in the language of ideas and symbols.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):115-124
pages 115-124 views


Propaganda: Unity of Polemic Forms and Documentary Images in Russian TV

Malkova L.Y.


In 2014 the term «propaganda» came back into turn of speech of political talk-shows losing its negative connotations which had been supported by journalistic discourse in the second half of the 20th century. Talk-shows were filled up with sharp contents, live discussion transgressing the course prescribed by the script, foreign challenges forced to bring up some questions of domestic policy which had been avoided on TV till yesterday. The rigid binding of polemic programs to the news agenda allows to create on TV an intertext based on indwelling mental forms. Their visual filling and daily updating is assigned to news program. Discussion makes them abstract and verbally rationalized, allowing thought to develop, but the binding to news forces it to return to a topical event and serves as the polemic limiter in the hands of the anchor. The news transformed as well. Not only Sunday, but also weekday programs «Vremya» and «Vesti» in 2014 turned into analytical programs presenting news penetrated by figurativeness. Their broadcasters and reporters tend to metaphoric speech, the editing together of film shots and thematic blocks aims to provide a highly organized sensual image, expressive montage pervades the entire structure including composition. The news form exploded from within by the power of its content which dictated it to continue against the archaic half hourly time limit. The issues are often taken from the global screen context. Not only an extract from press but foreign TV news may be quoted in long original sequences combining shots with speech and then debated verbally and negated by the whole montage system of the program. Talk shows revealed the difference of ideologies and the ability of their protagonists to come to some sort of ideological consensus, dictated by political notions. Tied with the news agenda, they come as a component of propaganda. The basis of propaganda is repetition. The ideas expressed by the leadership of the country in live transmission get repeated again in record, reduced to a variable extent in newscasts the same day, next day, in Sunday news and analytical programs. Talk show hides the growing frequency of occurrence of these ideas in polemic disguise.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):126-141
pages 126-141 views

Screen Communications As a Form of Socialization and Individualization

Urazova S.L.


Common exposure to various kinds of mobile and stationary devices based on screen technologies produce substantiation for the term «screen communications». The relevancy of it’s usage is specified, also the principles of functioning in context of updating social practices and multimedia informational space are substantiated in the article. The issue is due to the fact that the term «screen communications» has not yet been put into academic usage, unlike such terms as «communication», «mass communication» and «social communication». Nevertheless contemporary social practices for using the screen (cell phone, e-book, tablet, etc.) have turned into a daily routine and even demonstrate screen-phobia. The evolution of the technologies, new media (multimedia, multi-platforms), growth of information flows, form and content diversity of informational products, socialization effect and accumulation of empirical experience urge society to resort to the screen for receiving information (film-, video-, TV-production, Internet sites, social networks, computers, cell phones, tablets, e-books, electronic billboards, videoinformational systems, etc.). The article analyzes characteristics of well-known communication’s forms and types when superimposed to the term «screen communications». The problem raised a need for thorough analysis of screen communications which different strata of society master; moreover, a great significance of studying peculiarities of screen culture in the digital era is emphasized. The article cites information about the emergence of Generation C, formed by social networks (a lecture on Nielsen «Consumer 360 Conference»). The «Connected Collective Consumer» has a distinguished identity and is ready for self-expression (ideas, cultural projects, etc.) within the group. As a conclusion it substantiates the nonlinearity of the social systems development, including social networks which are exposed to both the socialization effect and diversification and disintegration processes, which leads to a communication connection’s collapse.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):142-149
pages 142-149 views



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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):82-82
pages 82-82 views



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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2015;7(2):158-160
pages 158-160 views

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