The Contemporary Russian Cinema Reader: 2005-2016

The Contemporary Russian Cinema Reader: 2005-2016

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Edited by Rimgaila Salys

Series: Film and Media Studies
ISBN: 9781618119636 (hardcover) / 9781618119643 (paper)
Pages: 404 pp.; 54 illus
Publication Date: April 2019

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The early years of the twenty-first century have been an exciting transitional period in Russian cinema, as the industry recovered from the crises of the late 1990s and again stepped onto the global stage. During these years four generations, from the late Soviet directors through post-Soviet and New Russian filmmakers to the Russian millennials, have worked in varying visual styles and with diverse narrative strategies, while searching for a new cinematic language. Financing and distribution models have evolved, along with conservative politics driving Ministry of Culture regulation. This reader is intended both for contemporary Russian cinema courses and for modern Russian culture courses that emphasize film. It does not attempt to establish a canon for the period but seeks to provide undergraduate students with an introduction to significant Russian films released between 2005 and 2016 that are also available with English subtitles. The twenty-one essays on individual films provide background information on directors’ careers, detailed analyses of selected films, along with suggested further readings both in English and Russian.

Rimgaila Salys is Professor of Russian Studies Emerita at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a specialist in twentieth-century film, literature, and art, and the author of the catalogue raisonné of Leonid Pasternak’s Russian works (OUP) and a study of the musical comedy films of Grigorii Aleksandrov (Intellect Press and NLO). She is also the editor of a collection on Iurii Olesha’s Envy (Northwestern University Press) and the memoirs of Josephine Pasternak (Slavica). Most recently, she has edited and contributed to the two volume Russian Cinema Reader for Academic Studies Press.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Russian Cinema in the Era of Globalization
Vlad Strukov

Dead Man’s Bluff (Aleksei Balabanov, 2005)
Aleksandr Prokhorov

The Sun (dir. Aleksandr Sokurov, 2005)
Denise J. Youngblood

Cargo 200 (dir. Aleksei Balabanov, 2007)
Anthony Anemone

Mermaid (dir. Anna Melikian, 2007)
Helena Goscilo

Hipsters (dir. Valery Todorovsky, 2008)
Rimgaila Salys

Silent Souls (dir. Aleksei Fedorchenko, 2010)
Imaginary Documents: Inventing Traditions in Aleksei Fedorchenko’s Cinema
Serguey Oushakine

The Smoke of the Fatherland: Body as Territory, Sexuality as Identity in Silent Souls
Tatiana Mikhailova

My Joy (dir. Sergei Loznitsa, 2010)
Justin Wilmes

Elena (dir. Andrei Zviagintsev, 2011)
Andrei Zviagintsev: Unblinking Chronicler of Family Crisis and Human Frailty
Julian Graffy

Crime without Punishment? Andrei Zviagintsev’s Elena between Art Cinema and Social
Elena Prokhorova

The Target (dir. Aleksandr Zel′dovich, 2011)
Ilya Kukulin

The Horde (dir. Andrei Proshkin, 2012)
Tomhomas Roberts

Short Stories (dir. Mikhail Segal, 2012)
Lost in Translation
Mark Lipovetsky

Tell Me What You Know about Russia?
Liliia Nemchenko

Legend Number 17 (dir. Nikolai Lebedev, 2013)
Greg Dolgopolov

Hard to be a God (dir. Aleksei German, 2013)
God Complex
Anton Dolin

Aleksei German. From Realism to Modernism
Elena Stishova

Leviathan (dir. Andrei Zviagintsev, 2014)
Julian Graffy

The Land of Oz (dir. Vasily Sigarev, 2015)
Liliia Nemchenko

My Good Hans (dir. Aleksandr Mindadze, 2015)
Steve Norris

Paradise (dir. Andrei Konchalovsky, 2016)
Jeremy Hicks