Summary of Как Сталин изменил советское кино

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This video discusses how the films produced during the Stalinist era were focused on promoting the government's ideology. These films were light-hearted and accessible to the general public, and helped to keep the population happy during a time of war and repression. After Stalin's death, however, directors began to explore more political themes, which eventually led to the banning of many films.

  • 00:00:00 During the Stalinist period, Soviet filmmakers made light-hearted musical comedies, patriotic biopics, and comedies about everyday people living in the Soviet Union. These films promoted the government's ideology and helped to keep the population happy during a time of war and repression. The main genres of Stalinist cinema were musical comedies and comedies about everyday people. Musical comedies depicted the Soviet Union as a utopian, happy place, while comedies about everyday people showed the positive effects of the Soviet system on the lives of its citizens. These genres were accessible to millions of viewers and helped to promote government ideology.
  • 00:05:00 This video discusses how Stalin changed Soviet cinema, which was originally focused on simple, everyday characters who demonstrated exemplary values to the general public. After Stalin's death, however, directors began to explore themes of the past, specifically the Russian Revolution and the Civil War. However, these films were eventually banned for their political incorrectness.
  • 00:10:00 The Second World War was a time of great innovation in the Soviet Union, with the restoration of the cult of pre-revolutionary rulers and the use of defense cinema to mobilize the population and create an image of the state surrounded by the opponents. Among the genres popular during this time were children's cinema, fairy tale films, and spy thrillers. One of the most significant developments was the use of intra-frame editing and deep mise-en-scène, which were several years ahead of Orson Welles's experiments in Citizen Kane.
  • 00:15:00 During the Stalin era, Soviet cinema underwent a transformation from melodramatic music and visuals to more realistic depictions of war and patriotism. Songs were important in this transformation, with particular attention paid to the use of music to match the figurative and visual movement of the film. Soviet cinema reached its height during the 1930s with the productions of Sergei Eisenstein, Sergei Prokofiev, and others. After WWII, these films were pulled from theaters due to the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, but were re-introduced after the invasion of the USSR in 1941.
  • 00:20:00 This video discusses how the reality of the war differed from the patriotic propaganda films made during the war. The first months of the war saw the evacuation of Mosfilm and Lenfilm studios to Kazakhstan, where they were transformed into the Central United Film Studio. Other studios were also moved to the cities of Central Asia. Due to the lack of financing, the first things directors did was make Combat Films Collections, short films on a military theme designed to raise morale and inspire confidence in an impending victory. One of the short films made during this time was "Good Soldier Švejk", which showed how the fictional character could defeat the Germans. The documentary films played an important role in the early years of the war, recording the course of the war and the consequences of the bombing. Moscow strikes back, directed by Ilya Kopalin and Leonid Varlamov, was the first film in Russian history to be awarded with an Oscar for the best documentary. The war years were a kind of liberating time for Soviet directors, who focused on private dramas, stories of love and companionship.
  • 00:25:00 In 1944, Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible received the approval of the chief censor, yet the second part, depicting the revelry of the oprichnina and the moral torment of the monarch, was sent for processing. Eisenstein's use of color in the film was seen as an innovation, and the plot of the film was criticized for being melodramatic. After the war, Stalin issued a resolution banning films that portrayed real people and real difficulties. In 1946, the minor wartime thaw ended and Stalin issued a resolution requiring directors to produce cheerful, collective portraits of the townsfolk.
  • 00:30:00 The post-war era in Soviet cinema was characterized by a decreased number of films released, stricter censorship, and a focus on biographical films about Soviet leaders and the victory in the war. The trend of the late 1930s was twisted to the maximum, with films becoming glorified propaganda pieces.
  • 00:35:00 The Stalinist era in Soviet cinema is generally considered to be less talented than the preceding era, but it does have its classics. One of the most famous films from this era is The Fall of Berlin, which is considered to be a monument to the Stalinist personality cult in cinema. With the death of Stalin, the era of Stalinist cinema came to an end, and films became more truthful and realistic.

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