Alexander Sedov (alek_morse) wrote,
Alexander Sedov
alek_morse

Английская пресса о советском кино в 1983 г.

В 1983 году английская газета «Гардиан» опубликовала серию очерков и репортажей, посвящённых текущему моменту в жизни Советского Союза. Каждая статья фокусировала внимание на какой-то одной общественной сфере: искусство, кино, телевидение и т.д. Было очевидно, что после кончины генерального секретаря ЦК КПСС Леонида Ильича Брежнева, 18 лет управлявшего крупнейшей в мире страной, грядут перемены. Но какие именно – никто в точности предсказать не мог. Серия обзоров в «Гардиан» как бы приподнимала завесу над современным состоянием советской державы. Сегодня, по прошествии почти сорока лет, особенно любопытно взглянуть на то, какие оценки и прогнозы давали западные обозреватели, глядя на СССР со стороны.
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Ранее я уже предлагал вашему вниманию из этой серии обзорный репортаж газеты «Гардиан», посвящённый советскому телевидению – его перевод можно прочесть здесь. Теперь очередь за советским кинематографом, каким он представлялся на текущий 1983 год?
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Также рекомендую тем, кто интересуется этой темой, большую обзорную статью о советском кино (в моём переводе), напечатанную годом ранее, в 1982 г., в американской газете «Нью-Йорк Таймс». И ещё – американский взгляд на советское ТВ в 1984 г.
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1983_Вокзал_для_двоих
Окно в Россию
Британский журналист о советском кинематографе
автор – Ян Кристи (Ian Christie), специально для газеты The Guardian – 21 июля 1983 г.
перевод - А.С.
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…К кинематографу в Советском Союзе до сих пор относятся очень серьезно – в соответствии со знаменитой ленинской фразой, где говорится о «важнейшем из искусств». Важнейшее – потому что оно преодолевает национальные границы – не только международные, но и внутри обширного многонационального СССР, отражая неповторимый образ общества.
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Западным людям до сих пор трудно понять, как советское кино может быть чем-то иным, кроме памятника государству, которое является его единственным производителем, дистрибьютором, представителем и экспортёром. Спорные фильмы, которые, согласно современному эвфемизму, “арестованы", получают широкую огласку на Западе, однако, возможно, более существенным является то, что они вообще были созданы. Большинство из них в конечном итоге выходят и попадают на зарубежный кинорынок: «Пастораль», «Цвет граната» и «Агония», – все они теперь доступны. В то же время таким картинам, как «Трясина» Чухрая и «Тема» Панфилова (о которой сообщалось в The Guardian в 1981 г.), несомненно, ещё только предстоит выйти на экран.
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читать полностью на Яндекс-дзен
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английский текст статьи:

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1983_Гардиан_21_июля_Советское_кино
A window on Russia: Ian Christie on the current state of Soviet cinema
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Ian Christie – The Guardian – Jul 21, 1983
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THE MOSCOW Film Festival’s last-minute decision to drop Local Hero as the British entry, because David Puttnam had also produced Red Monarch, may have provoked more mirth here than did Puttnam and Gold’s misjudged Carry-on Stalin, But it also serves as a reminder that cinema in the Soviet Union is still taken very seriously as, in Lenin’s famous phrase: “the most important art.” Important because it crosses national boundaries – not only internationally, but within the sprawling multi-national USSR – and conveys a unique self-image of a society.
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What Westerners still find hard to understand is how Soviet cinema can be other than a monument to the state which is its sole producer, distributor, exhibitor and exporter. Controversial films which are, in the current euphemism, “arrested” receive widespread publicity in the West, but perhaps more significant is that they get made in the first place. And most are eventually released and offered for sale abroad: Pastoral, The Colour of Pomegranates, and Agonia are all now available, while even Chukrai’s Quicksand and Panfilov’s The Theme (reported in the Guardian in 1981) will no doubt appear in due course.
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As a Soviet film watcher, I am increasingly interested in the way Russians actually view their own cinema. On a recent visit to Moscow, everywhere I went people asked if I had seen Flights In Dreams And Reality, a new film by Roman Balayan, When I finally managed to track it down in a suburban cinema, the experience was distinctly underwhelming, Even Oleg Yankovsky (soon to be seen in Tarkovsky’s Nostalgia) was distinctly irritating as the restless 40 year-old unable to accept his lot as he flitted from wife to ex-mistress, and from his office to the inevitable drunken evening of confession.
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But this is an extreme and highly valued example of the “coding” which governs much of cultural life in the Soviet Union. Phrases, gestures, a fragment of a song, all create a dense network of references that give the film great pathos for audiences of 40 and over who, like the hero, where children of the Thaw, Flights In Dreams And Reality is deeply provocative, but at a level which is unlikely to excite most foreigners.
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By contrast, another film by a relative newcomer, Abdrashitov’s The Train Has Stopped, should pose no problems of decoding for foreigner when it opens a season of new Soviet films at the National Film Theatre next week. Indeed its frontal attack on the national habit of bureaucratic evasion and buck-passing is so direct that it seems to have disconcerted Soviet audiences.
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The film shows how a small town draws together to resist a magistrate’s probing in the aftermath of a train crash. Everyone has their  reasons for wanting a simple verdict that the train driver died heroically trying to save his passengers; any hint of scandal will damage local tourism and may even lose the widow her pension. As the film ends, a monument to the gallant driver is being ceremonially dedicated while no-one wants to know what the investigator has discovered.
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So controversial was The Train Has Stopped that a Soviet film magazine ran a special survey of Muscovites’ reactions: there ranged from distaste at the investigator’s “uncouthness” to praise for the film’s extreme “honesty”. What apparently disconcerted many was the lack of the familiar, clear moral resolution.
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Few Soviet film makers are likely to go as far as Abdrashitov is questioning the everyday standards of Soviet officialdom, but there is high-level backing for films that tackle urgent social problems. A recent article in Pravda cited Private Life and Station For Two as models of how the Socialist artist, unlike his Western counterpart, responsibly analyses the ills of his society instead of sensationalizing or trivializing them.
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As it happens, both these (also to be seen in the NFT season) are good examples of how a national cinema can provide a critical, yet acceptable, image of itself which will at least support a movement for change. Neither film will strike Western audiences as daringly outspoken but yet again it is the coding that counts.
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The pitfalls of opportunistic Western coverage were demonstrated earlier this year when foreign correspondents in Moscow excitedly reported that Station For Two was an expose of Soviet labour camps. True, the hero does end up in prison, although for a traffic offence he didn’t commit, but what really struck Soviet audiences was the film’s remarkable frankness about profiteering as a feature of everyday life and the gloating display of a bootleg video.
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Ryazanov, the master satirist who directed Station For Two, has no wish to preach through his characters, but know exactly how to balance a string of outrageously candid “revelations” with a rather old-fashioned screwball romance between two of life’s casualties, played by highly attractive actors. When I saw the film at a private screening in Moscow, everyone from the projectionist to my interpreter found it painfully hilarious; but several months later the world’s press at Cannes saw little to write home about.
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The problem of context becomes even greater when films refer to a literary tradition that is unknown in the West. When Mikhalkov’s Oblomov was released here several years ago, few scented to notice that it amounted to a dramatic reversal of the conventional balance of sympathy between Oblomov, the passive dreamer, and Stolz, his go getting westernised friend. Mikhalkov’s sympathetic casting of Oleg Tabakov as the well-meaning Oblomov effectively reinforced the appeal of his traditional Russian virtues and linked the film with a growing antagonism to Western technocratic values.
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This tendency has become more marked in recent films: Vasily and Vasilisa is based on a story of bitter hardship in rural Siberia by the most widely respected of the village writers, Valentin Rasputin. And Klimov’s long-awaited Farewell, also based on Rasputin, should soon appear, bearing a defiantly environmentalist message.
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It would be foolish to predict a drastic change of tack in Soviet cinema. Films continue to be “arrested” and the bulk of Soviet production – like mass-produced cinema and television throughout the world – shows little concern for reality or the criticism of it. But Soviet cinema remains a fascinating window on Russia – to borrow the phrase that Edmund Wilson adapted from Pushkin – and there is more to be seen through it than we are often encouraged to believe.
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Private Lives: Seven New Soviet Films, runs at the National Film Theatre from Monday to Thursday, and will be touring BFI-supported cinemas around the country throughout 1983.
Tags: link, movie, russian movie on western eye, Вадим Абдрашитов, архивы, кино, кинопрокат
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