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Soviet Parallel Cinema

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Soviet Parallel Cinema, often referred to simply as Parallel Cinema, was an underground film movement in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The films made as part of the movement were noted for embracing amateur aesthetics and for "deliberately [refusing] to conform to professional standards."[1]

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  • Russia's Underground Film Industry (Documentary | Part 1/3)
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Transcription

[MUSIC -- THE NORMAL, "WARM LEATHERETTE"] FILM NARRATOR: This May Day celebration in Moscow gives the Russians the opportunity to crow loud and long over the West. The face of a people whose leaders would wipe out democracy. SHANE SMITH: We all know the images of old Soviet Russia. But in the 1980s, as the walls in Eastern Europe were coming down, something really freaky happened-- Soviet parallel cinema. [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] PASHA: We don't like any movie. We close your screen. SHANE SMITH: No one overarching theme to parallel cinema, except that they're all anti-establishment. They are madness on film. So when we saw them, we realized we have to go Russia, and we have to meet them. [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [RUSSIAN MARCH] SHANE SMITH: So right after the Russian Revolution in the 1920s, there was a big creative explosion of experimental cinema in the new Soviet Union. Vertov, Eisenstein-- all the big boys were making their films. Lenin believed that film was the most important of artistic expression, because most of the people were illiterate. But then Stalin took over. And then you have 60 years of socialist realism-- workers going off to work, farmers going off to farms, soldiers going off to soldier, et cetera, et cetera. Until the 1980s, when the Soviet regime started to crumble and Gorbachev brought about Perestroika and Glasnost, which means restructuring and reforming. And for a tiny little window, there was a time when you think, maybe I could make something and the KBG won't put me in jail for the rest of my life. So this new experimental cinema started for the first time since the '20s. And it was called parallel cinema. [RUSSIAN MARCH] SHANE SMITH: The first person we met up with was Boris Yukhananov, one of the founding fathers of parallel cinema. We found him at Cine Fantom, which is now a theater but has been at various times a film festival, a magazine, and a meeting house where all the parallel cinema directors and actors would get together and make their films. [SPEAKING RUSSAN] SHANE SMITH: Next, we headed over to see another founding father of parallel cinema, Gleb Aleinikov. Gleb and his brother, Igor, made tons of films in the '80s and '90s. They're actually probably the most famous and prolific. [RUSSIAN MARCH] SHANE SMITH: Igor is dead. He died in a plane crash. But Gleb is running the second-largest TV station in Russia. So we went there and asked him, how were these crazy films received? Who watched them? And did they have any problems when they showed them to people? [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [RUSSIAN MUSIC] SHANE SMITH: The parallel cinema movement and the fine arts movement happened at the same time in Russia in the '80s. And when we were talking to the founding fathers of the cinema part, they kept on saying, you have to Oleg Kulik. You have to talk to Oleg Kulik. He's a performance artist that was really part of the initial burst of parallel cinema. Famously, he was the dog for a year, where he would go all around Europe and Russia naked, on a chain, attacking people. In fact, he got arrested. He got arrested in Germany, and Sweden, and France, and Russia. And now he's the Messiah. He's the Messiah of a new religion, the religion of nothing. So we went to go see him. And let me tell you, his bio and his reputation do not live up to meeting the man in person. Here he is putting his had up a cow's vagina. Here he is acting as a bird. Here he is with some pigs. Horse biting his nipple. Here he is with a buddy. [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SHANE SMITH: And they need a messiah for the new religion? [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SHANE SMITH: So the messiah spent the afternoon explaining his religion to me. And he showed me all kinds of images, and all kinds of supporting materials. And I didn't really get it. And I left at the end of the afternoon, really in dire need of a drink. We're here in Moscow. It's cold. But we're going to go meet Andre Silvestrov, who's one of followers of alcho cinema, which is cinema of the booze. Hello. How are you? Shane. Shane, hi. Pasha? Nice to meet you. PASHA: Now we start to shoot alcho cinema. Now, yes, immediately. SHANE SMITH: And so alcho cinema, is it a movement like parallel cinema? Or just defining films that have a lot of alcohol in it? [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SHANE SMITH: So can we make a film with you guys, a parallel cinema film? PASHA: OK. [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] PASHA: You must drink tomorrow. SHANE SMITH: OK. I have to go to bed now, then. PASHA: Good evening. SHANE SMITH: So we were drunk. And we were excited. Because the next day we were going to make some movies.

References

See also


This page was last edited on 6 August 2017, at 14:32
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