Arts Film & Photography in Russian
The development of Arts Film & Photography in Russia has a profound influence on American and European cinema, and is of significant historical interest. In the 1930s, 70% of the Russian population was illiterate, and films and heavily illustrated periodicals were considered more powerful propaganda tools than the written word. As a result, Vladimir Lenin recognized the importance of images and declared the camera to be a weapon in the class struggle. Thus, the arts were put to the service of the revolution.
Influence on American film
The Soviet Union's policy of nonrecognition of the United States created a unique opportunity for cultural exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union, especially in the medium of film. In 1930, Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein made his first visit to Hollywood, before the blacklist and McCarthyism began to affect the American film industry. After Eisenstein's visit, many US filmmakers sought out Soviet directors and produced films in the USSR.
The Soviet Union's role in the growth of US film industry is largely overlooked. Rather, US film studios were interested in entering the Soviet cinema market in order to broaden their distribution in Eastern Europe. The US studios wanted to establish a presence in Europe before the Soviets and the British did. In response, the US Department of State learned that London had agreed to allow Soviet cinema to open in Great Britain. However, the US State Department was unable to obtain a similar agreement with the Soviet Union for film exhibitions in Eastern Europe.
By the end of the 1940s, moviegoers had dropped by fifty percent in the United States, as the economic crisis was looming. In response to this, American filmmakers sought out foreign markets, and by 1948, Eric Johnston, the MPAA's president, visited Moscow to learn about the Soviet film industry. He began negotiations regarding American film supply to the Soviet Union. Johnston hoped that the quality of American films would ensure the MPAA's place in the market.
As the world's seventh-largest movie market, Russia's complaints against Hollywood may have a positive public relations effect. The Russian public relations impact of the Russian film industry may be outweighed by their negative public relations. And despite the public relations impact of the Russian protests against Hollywood, Russian film studios continue to use Russian villains as their favorites. This trend will continue. If Russia does not stop censorship, it could lead to a rise in online piracy.
Despite these challenges, the Soviet Union was a major destination for American films during the Cold War. During the period from 1948 to 1950, American film distributors and politicians invested considerable efforts in reinforcing their presence in the Soviet cinema market. Consequently, the Motion Picture Association of America and Sovexportfilm jointly published a report on the Russian film market and the USSR's cooperation in this field.
Influence on Uldus
A Russian photographer, artist, and film director, Uldus Bakhtiozina is renowned for her "Tatar baroque" style, using a bold aesthetic and century-old techniques to create elaborate costumes and headpieces. She has exhibited in many countries and is included in several museum collections. Her work is often described as whimsical and enchanted, allowing the viewer to picture the fairytale world in a new way.
Today, Uldus Bakhtiozina resides in her mother country, and opened a visual arts studio to foster and support a younger generation of Russian artists. Her art photography, film, and art installations challenge gender stereotypes and are praised in the art world. Her works have also been featured in prestigious publications such as BBC 100 Women, and CNN. The influence of Russian arts film & photography on Uldus is clear in her works.
Uldus has won numerous awards, including being named as one of the 100 women who are changing the world by 2020 by the BBC. She has also been named a finalist for the Leica + Vogue Italia exhibition in Milan. Her short fashion film, "The Perfect Couple," premiered at the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival in July 2019 and was nominated for six awards, including Best Filmmaking. Her works have been exhibited in the United States, Russia, Canada, and England.
The Slavic world of folklore is vast, full of paradoxical characters and plots. The artist Uldus Bakhtiozina reinterprets these stories through the medium of photography. Her photographs use chemical film to reveal the hidden meanings and symbolism of Russian fairy tales. Through her work, Uldus reinterprets traditional fairy tales and reinterprets them with a modern interpretation.
Influence on the Soviet Union
In the late 1950s, the Soviet Union re-engaged with the international cinema community. Films were imported and domesticized, and filmmakers were encouraged to participate in international festivals. Two films from the late 1950s achieved international acclaim. Letiat zhuravli, by Mikhail K. Kalatozov, won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Ballad of a Soldier won prizes at Venice and Cannes.
During this period, Soviet cinema underwent major changes and began to incorporate sound. During the transition period, cinema was mandated to adopt a uniform style called Socialist Realism. Soviet cinema began incorporating the Hollywood model of continuity editing, which was widely available and had an excellent track record with Soviet audiences. As a result, Soviet Socialist Realism, which featured tidy storytelling and positive heroes, evolved into a modern aesthetic and helped the USSR achieve its goals of democratization.
In early 1918, the Bolshevik regime organized governmental agencies to manage cinema affairs, hoping to use films as political persuasion. The Commissariat of Education was given responsibility for the cinema industry, and Lunacharsky served as its head from 1917 to 1929. The Commissariat found that the Russian film industry had fallen on hard times, as theaters had closed and many veteran film personnel had fled the country with their films and assets.
Lenin deemed cinema the most important of the arts, and he gave the Soviet film industry a high priority. In August 1919, the film industry was nationalized and put under the direct authority of Lenin's wife. These films were intended to inform the illiterate masses about socialism and the principles of the Bolshevik movement. They were made by people who believed in socialism, and Lenin believed that film could reinforce the Bolshevik values and principles.
The rebirth of contact with the West led to the rise of young Soviet filmmakers, such as Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) and Vasily Shukshin (1929-1974). They became prominent in post-World War II Russian cinema, helping it to make the transition from party control to democratization and privatization. The films they made often ran afoul of the party's censorship, but their reform movement pushed for the end of party-controlled art.