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By David Gillespie

Early Soviet Cinema: Innovation, Ideology and Propaganda examines the aesthetics of Soviet cinema in the course of its "golden age" of the Twenties, opposed to a historical past of cultural ferment and the development of a brand new socialist society. Separate chapters are dedicated to the paintings of Sergei Eisenstein, Lev Kuleshov, Vsevolod Pudovkin, Dziga Vertov and Alexander Dovzhenko. different significant administrators also are mentioned at size. David Gillespie areas fundamental specialise in the textual content, with research targeting the creative traits, instead of the political implications, of every movie. the result's not just a dialogue of every director's contribution to the "golden age" and to global cinema but in addition an exploration in their personal specified poetics.

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Sample text

29 SHORT CUTS The new world belongs to the dynamic forces that Mr West sees before him in the final reel, culminating in a parade of thousands of soldiers on Red Square. Mr West is shown the real Moscow by the policeman who rescues him, including the University and the Bolshoi Theatre that Zhban had asserted were destroyed. He then rushes off to the telegraph office to instruct his secretary to hang up a picture of Lenin in his office. The film's final shot is of Mr West's eyes, happy and smiling, finally opened to the new reality of the Soviet Union.

In the 1920S Soviet filmmakers had been able to portray reality as they saw it; in the 1930S they had to portray reality as the Party saw it. Reality as it really was yielded to reality as it ought to be, and that new reality was called 'Socialist Realism'. Soviet cinema emerged from the chaos of Revolution and Civil War, and the future practitioners of its golden age came from a variety of occupations: Vertov considered becoming a doctor, Kuleshov had been a theatrical designer, Eisenstein had trained as an engineer, Pudovkin could have been a scientist, Dovzhenko a schoolteacher.

Kuleshov has also taken the original story and adapted it to include clear references to Dostoevsky, in particular Crime and Punishment. Kuleshov's film made enemies because it concentrated on people, not caricatures or ideological stereotypes, and explored a situation pregnant with moral and ethical issues without recourse to ideological platitudes. Lev Kuleshov can be called the father of Soviet cinema for his theoretical innovations which inspired others, such as Eisenstein and Pudovkin, and for the realism and humanity of his films of the 1920S.

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