The Imperial Trace: Recent Russian Cinema
The collapse of the USSR seemed to spell the end of the empire, yet it by no means foreclosed on Russia's enduring imperial preoccupations, which had extended from the reign of Ivan IV over four and a half centuries. Examining a host of films from contemporary Russian cinema, Nancy Condee argues that we cannot make sense of current Russian culture without accounting for the region's habits of imperial identification. But is this something made legible through narrative alone-Chechen wars at the periphery, costume dramas set in the capital-or could an imperial trace be sought in other, more embedded qualities, such as the structure of representation, the conditions of production, or the preoccupations of its filmmakers? This expansive study takes up this complex question through a commanding analysis of the late Soviet and post-Soviet period auteurists, Kira Muratova, Vadim Abdrashitov, Nikita Mikhalkov, Aleksei German, Aleksandr Sokurov and Aleksei Balabanov.
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Abdrashitov Abdrashitov-Mindadze’s Aleksandr Aleksandr Sokurov Aleksei Balabanov Aleksei German Andrei argue Arkus Armavir artistic Asthenic Syndrome audience Balabanov’s Barber of Siberia Beumers Brother Burnt camera characters Chekhov chernukha collapse contemporary critics Dancer Danila death director documentary Dondurei early Elegy elite empire ethnic example father feature films figure Film Festival Film Studio film’s filmmakers Freaks and Men function Gor’kii Goskino historical Hitler human identity ideological imperial industry intelligentsia Iurii Ivan Khrustalev Kino Kinotavr Kira Muratova Lapshin Lenfil’m Lenin Leningrad Lipkov lyric Man’s Mariia Mechanical Piano melodrama Mikhail Mikhalkov’s military million modern Moscow Mosfil’m narrative Nikita Mikhalkov Nikolai Oblomov orientation percent perestroika period periphery Petersburg play political production Proverka quoted released Russian Ark Russian cinema Russian culture scene screen script Sergei shot Slave of Love social Sokurov Stalin structure suggests television theater Three Stories tion Union VGIK viewer Viktor visual Vladimir Western writes