Alexander Sedov (alek_morse) wrote,
Alexander Sedov
alek_morse

Советское ТВ в 1983 году - взгляд из Англии

После смерти Леонида Ильича Брежнева бразды правления в партии и стране перешли Ю. В. Андропову. Новый лидер был на восемь лет младше предшественника, и, стоя на Мавзолее, как и другие члены Политбюро, носил шапку-пирожок и тёмное пальто, но, по слухам, любил джаз и вообще заметно отличался стилем мышления. Чего было ожидать от сверхдержавы в главе с новым генсеком? Серьёзной смены курса или, наоборот, сохранение status quo? Английские журналисты прощупывали пульс общественных процессов.
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Отправимся вместе с журналистом Питером Фиддиком в Москву и взглянем его глазами на то, что показывали в советском телевизоре образца 1983 года. Небезынтересно узнать, как в этот переломный для британского телевидения момент (об этом – в моей статье «Англия, которую мы потеряли») островная пресса смотрела на телевидение советское. Критиковала? Отвергала? А, может, завидовала? В этот год газета «Гардиан» заказала своим обозревателям серию развёрнутых статей, посвящённых культуре и искусству Советского Союза. Авторам была поставлена задача проанализировать общее состояние дел в подведомственной каждому из них области – в телевидении, в кинематографе, в изобразительном искусстве…
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1984_Время_004
Ленинская электронная газета
Неделя в Москве
Автор: Питер Фиддик / The Guardian, 12 апреля 1983 г.
перевод alek-morse (А.С.)
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Главный вечерний выпуск новостей смотрят 170 миллионов русских – и в нём не бывает железнодорожных аварий или грабежей. Питер Фиддик отмечает сходства и различия между телевидением в Москве и Лондоне.
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Отдел телевизоров в ГУМе, в магазине расположенном напротив Красной площади…Здесь на удивление знакомая атмосфера. Покупатели среднего возраста настраивают изображение на двух дюжинах экранов. Молодые люди оживленно объясняют достоинства того или иного кнопочного, широкоэкранного, цветного телеприемника или его черно-белого портативного аналога. Музыка гремит из одного телевизора, но большинство из нас смотрит картинки на другом…
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Трудно определить с виду, каков статус клиентуры, особенно если все закутаны по снежной мартовской непогоде, но коренастый человек лет пятидесяти, судя по его пальто и сапогам, работает на заводе или на ферме. Молодой продавец-консультант, наконец, убеждают его. Теперь его отправляют к кассе, он вынимает пачку денег, а в это время выбранный им телевизор запаковывают в картонную коробку и несут за ним.
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Невозможно сказать насколько сильно бьёт по кошельку эта цена, но согласно обменному курсу, который является фиксированным, это все 700 фунтов, то есть эквивалент целой чёртовой прорвы пальто или мясных изделий, которые продаются в других отделах того же магазина.
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Телевидение пришло в Советский Союз, как и в остальной мир. Согласно официальным данным, в 1965 году только одна четверть домохозяйств имела телевизор, а вот уже в восьмидесятые годы нация вошла с показателем в 75 процентов и эта цифра растёт.
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полностью читать в Яндекс-дзен
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фрагмент оригинальной английской статьи:
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Lenin’s electronic newspaper
Author: Peter Fiddick
The Guardian, Apr 12, 1983
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A week in Moscow
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The main evening news is watched by 170 millions Russians – and they don’t show rail crashes or robberies. Peter Fiddick looks at the differences and similarities between television in Moscow and London
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THE TELEVISION department at the Gum store off Red Square is no more a temple of bourgeois consumer values than, the rest of this antiquated double-tier of indoor market stalls. Its allotted space allows no fripperies of presentation even if anyone saw the need for them. The sets are lined up around the walls and the central pillar, their cardboard cartoons on the bare floor, cash-and-carry style, with not so much as a glossy leaflet to influence your choir of Soviet-made model. (...)
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(...)
In 1983, Soviet broadcasters make no bones about the purpose and the emphasis. Even before we left London, one example the Novosti press agency offered as preparation for the differences was that the television news would lead with reports of economic and industrial achievement, not rail crashes or robberies. And so it was: no need for language, really, come 9 pm, as the image of coal mines, construction sites, applauding workers, lengthily-interviewed managers, unroll.
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This 35-minute nightly programme, Vremia, is the flagship of the television system, a national noticeboard that now fits longside Pravda or Izvestia. The Western community swells its audience because it was here, by a touch of black solemnity, that the first big hint was given to prepare the people for next day’s announcement of the death of Brezhnev.
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The authoritative commentator Bovin, during the Falklands war, mentioned the repressive nature of the Argentine regime in a way the press did not. From Vremia, while we were there, came the first bald announcement of Gromyko’s promotion to deputy premier, and Kremlin-watchers spent the rest of the evening asking each other. “What does it mean?” I there is a mission to explain, Jay-style, it does not extend to this sort of television journalism.
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And they have ways of making you watch. The head of television news claimed nightly audiences of 170 millions, some 90 per cent of the viewing population, a gigantic figure. Only next morning did it occur to me to look up the listings in Pravda: 21.00 – Vremia . . .  on all three channels. And just in case you missed it, Channel 1 opens up next morning with a fresh 5-minute headline bulletin, then runs last night’s programme right through again.
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One begins quite quickly to see some point in the approach. Back home, in front of News At Ten, you wonder a little more insistently than before in Glasgow the effects of a domestic fire in North London, tragic though the deaths be.
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Whether you view the USSR as one nation that is ten hours across, its time-zones breached only by a sophisticated satellite relay system, or as a disparate conglomeration of peoples whose central government must still struggle to weld them together, with television as a potent tool, the case for reporting economic nuts and bolts from Azerbaijan rather than holiday traffic in Georgia is compelling. As to quite how the economy is reported, that is a different matter.
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It is also my distinct impression that Soviet television news is more aware of the outside world than one might expert. The second half of Vremia, when I watched it, had a high proportion of foreign subjects, and later in the evening comes a short bulletin, simply a rip-and-read service with a presenter, a sheaf of Tass and other reports, and few visuals, that nevertheless can take in the French government re-shuffle, the West German stand-off between Chancellor Kohl and Herr Strauss, Nicaragua, Washington, Yugoslavia, Portugal, and more. Whatever the criteria for selection – and no country’s media are neutral – the notion that a wide television audience might be interested in such a service would be novel enough in Britain.
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But though the news is the sensitive indicator of television’s role in the Soviet order, it is not everything, It happened I saw on Russian television set was the classic stereotype: a military gent with medal ribbons from nipple to navel detailing the threat of US and Nato missiles. He was aided by an animated map – and the world looks significantly different when the Soviet Union is in the middle and the arrows zoom in from south, west, and across the North Pole. His analysis was intercut with action footage of the Red Army deploying its skills and hardware. The message and style were unmistakable. So was the contrast with the homily on peace delivery by our Intourist guide. This was early peak-time, in what we might think of as the Panorama slot.
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Yet that proved to be not at all typical of my general impression. Even without the language, you can tell something of how a television system views its viewers by the sorts of programmes they offer, when, and in what manner. For whatever purpose the Russians chose to use theirs, there is every reason to expect them to do it well: they traditions of story-telling, drama, filmmaking, music, are deep-rooted.
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A tour of the Ostankino television centre reveals an organisation matching the BBC in the number of employees – some 22,000 – and outstripping it in the number of studios in one place, boasting about 30 of varied sizes, including some dedicated to news, some to five-camera drama production, and one 900-scat concert studio being re-equipped with electronic scoring devices for the audience and more cameras than Match of The Day. The sheer quantity of hardware, mightily boosted for the Olympic Games, is impressive.
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Whether the money shows on the screen – the golden precept of budget accountants the world over – is another matter. I asked how much time, on average, would be allowed to make a 100-hour drama in the studio, a simple rule-of-thumb test of pressure on resources, and was astonished to be told that most studio drama is recorded in a continuous take as though it were live. It was as if the computerised video-editing suites did not exist, like buying a Rolls-Royce to do the shopping.
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Back in front of the telly, my dipstick viewing does not dispel the notions. This does not look like a system making the most of itself, for whatever purpose. Some popular drama clearly comes from the theatre and is less than skilfully shot. There is a great amount of music, especially of young talent, but often in programme formats that simply put the performances end to end with little effort at graceful editing or presentation. And between the programmes, the presentation announcers, ladies well groomed but not to the point of catching the eye, betray little enthusiasm for what follows, no urge to get you to watch. Radio 3 sells itself harder.
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And there are accidents. At least, I supposed it to do be an accident: coming in from a tour on which our guide had denounced the tide of pornography and child abuse sweeping the West, I found the tea-time television immersed in a scene of attempted rape in a peasant bedroom, fully clothed but so physical and long drawn out that I doubt a British director would have offered it, even for late-night viewing.
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Children, indeed, get a lot of time devoted to them, but apparently no continuous daily segment such as both BBC and ITV now offer, nor the same range of discourse. I admit it came as a shock, as a parent of state-school children, to see the lace-and-bright-buttoned formality of their Soviet equivalents on the screen, but I think it is not mere culture shock that make me feel that Blue Peter or Superstore informality would convey more, to more young minds, than the speech-day stiffness of the encounter I watched between young group and their sporting heroines.
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Just as odd, on the other hand, are the similarities. Soviet television, the book says, shows about 1,400 feature films a years, 160 of them being first screenings. One of the most carefully crafted peaktime shows I saw was the one in which the pop singer does her numbers on location, by the lake at night, in the brightly-lit store full of shoppers by the film editor – you know the sort of thing.
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“This,” I predicted to my neighbour, as the programme changed on the set in the Intourist bar, “is going to be the gardening programme about pruning.” The whole world over, there is a way of shooting a naked fruit tree that declares a programme about pruning. And if you don’t want to watch last night’s Vremia over breakfast, the other channel offers not a Green Goddess, but a red one (male) and a blue one (female) doing their calisthenics with a cricket ball by a grand piano.
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Bread and circuses. Economic achievement, national security, the official worldview – and pop-songs, soap opera, old movies, folk dancing, pioneers of Soviet aviation. And circuses. If there is a master-plan behind it, and if the planner were some Big Brother, my superficial impression is that our own Auntie could teach him a trick or three about reaching the hearts and minds of the people. My own working thesis, for the moment, is that television is as much the opiate of the people in the USSR as in most other places.
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Back in the hotel, with the sound turned up, I found myself watching The Young Karl Marx, their latest big film series, shot on location – London included – by the Gorki film studios, who certainly make the money show on the screen.
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In Moscow, The Young Karl Marx provoked genuine blockbuster scheduling, run every night on Channel 1 that week, with a repeat next morning. How much it influenced The Gum Shopper to part with his roubles, and whether he thought it was worth it, we shall never know. That I should consider it worth showing in Britain is probably a compliment they could forgo. Yet for us not to welcome the best from the East, as from the West, says as much about the limits of our own perceptions as about theirs.
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TOMORROW: Waldemar Januszak on the state of Soviet art.
Tags: movie, russian movie on western eye, television, tv, анимация, кино
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