The illustrated history of the Soviet cinema /
Neya Zorkaya.
New York : Hippocrene Books, c1989.
320 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
0870525603 :
More Details
New York : Hippocrene Books, c1989.
0870525603 :
general note
"Published by arrangement with Novosti Press Agency Publishing House, Moscow, U.S.S.R."--T.p. verso
Spine title: Soviet cinema.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1989-07:
As stated at the beginning of Zorkaya's book, most of the major studies of the Soviet cinema are multivolume works largely designed for the seasoned scholar. Yet this attempt to produce a concise, single-volume introduction to the subject is, at best, superficial. Although the book was written primarily for the American reader, and presumably in the spirit of glasnost, Zorkaya carefully avoids any meaningful political or historical material. The greater political context of the Soviet Union (and the immense power this history had in shaping the cinema) is reduced to a mere stringing of banalities. For example, in the chapter on the 1930s, Zorkaya neglects to mention that purges were used to redirect the Soviet cinema toward Socialist Realism, purges that nearly devoured such artists as Sergi Eisenstein and stunted the career of V.I. Pudovkin. These convenient "gaps" in history are hardly rectified when, in writing about the 1970s, Zorkaya admits that there have been previous restrictions on certain types of subject matter. The rich intellectual and theoretical basis of the Soviet cinema fares no better as Zorkaya turns this legacy into a few, and largely inaccurate, assessments. The current state of openness in the Soviet Union offers a unique opportunity for a major critical review of its powerful cinema. Zorkaya delivers pretty photographs instead. -D. Toth, Columbus Museum of Art
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 1989
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