Communication and Culture | National Cinemas (Topic: Soviet Film and Culture of the 1920s)
C398 | 13159 | Malitsky, J.


MW, 9:30 AM-10:45 AM, SY 200
Required film screening: Tu, 7:15 PM-10:15 PM, LH 102

Meets with REEI-R 500

Fulfills College A&H Requirement

Professor: Joshua Malitsky
Email: jmalitsk@indiana.edu
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 217
Phone: 856-0405

The history of early Soviet cinema is often told by celebrating
four “great masters,” (Eisenstein, Vertov, Dovzhenko, and Pudovkin)
whose innovations in film form and commitment to radical leftist
politics flourished for a brief period only to be shut off by the
imposition of a doctrinaire Socialist Realism.  This course will
interrogate and complicate that story.  We will situate not only the
works of those four directors, but more commercially popular
directors such as Iakov Protazanov, Boris Barnet, and Abram Room in
relation to a set of 1920s-specific conditions.  We will consider
the industrial, political, and bureaucratic pressures on these
filmmakers but pay particular attention to the vibrant artistic
movements (futurism, suprematism, constructivism, formalism, etc…)
of the period.  We will read textual analyses of films, studies of
contemporary audiences, work on industrial contexts, and an array of
artists’ own statements.

Neither extensive knowledge of Russian/Soviet history nor fluency
with Russian language is required for participation in this course.

• The course is a combination of class lecture and discussion.
Attendance is taken.
• There is a required screening apart from the two scheduled class
periods.
• Assignments include two short papers, an in-class presentation,
and a 10-12 pp. research paper.