Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film

By Jay Leyda

This background of the turbulent future of Kino ("film" in Russian) files the inventive improvement of the Russian and Soviet cinema and strains its development from 1896 to the dying of Sergei Eisenstein in 1948. the recent Postscript surveys the instructions taken through Soviet cinema because the finish of worldwide battle II. starting with the Lumiere filming of the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, Jay Leyda hyperlinks Russia's pre-Revolutionary earlier with its Communist current during the statement of an incredible cultural phenomenon: the evolution of the Soviet movie as an inventive and political tool. The booklet comprises one hundred fifty drawings and pictures and 5 appendices, together with an inventory of chosen Russian and Soviet motion pictures from 1907 to the present.

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In St Petersburg on my own twenty-two theatres have been opened in 1910, which, subtracting the 10 theatres destroyed by way of hearth in the course of that 12 months, introduced St Petersburg's movie theatre companies to a complete of eighty-four. however it has to be remembered that none of those was once particularly outfitted for cinema reasons. The showing used to be nonetheless in a position to arrange store in nearly whatever with a roof over it to maintain the rain and snow off the shoppers. the extra gear was once little costlier than within the days of the 1st theatres. It used to be enough to shop for, along with the projection gear and a publication of tickets, fifty second-hand chairs and an indication to hold outside-now lit with crimson and eco-friendly and yellow electrical bulbs. And, except you have been surprisingly unfortunate, you had a very good enterprise in hand. Altogether, by means of 1910, there have been fifteen 'studios' for the construction of Russian motion pictures. those incorporated the branches of international businesses, resembling Pathe, Gaumont, and others, which really occupied the most important position. in this yr Ambrosio, the biggest of the Italian organizations, entered an alliance with Thiemann & Reinhardt, which supplied Italian technicians in trade for Russian background and exotica. 90 consistent with cent of this 'Russian' movie was once situated in Moscow, the enterprise capital of the Russian Empire. overseas movies ruled theatre programmes all around the state. regardless of how popularly Stenka Razin used to be acquired, Cines' Sack of Rome or Pathe's Cleopatra attracted greater Russian audiences. The keystone of overseas movie creation at present was once the Holy Bible, which supplied the movie company with an endless resource of matters and plots. those holy motion pictures have been staunchly supported by way of the Russian audiencejamming the theatres that have been exhibiting The Resurrection of Lazarus (Pathe) or Daniel within the Lion's Den (Eclair). The Orthodox Church inspired attendance at those 'tableaux' till Les movies Esthetiques went too a ways, generating Our Genesis and a lifetime of Christ, whereupon the Synod revived its strictures opposed to the blasphemous cinematograph. however the international businesses had lots of novelties to resist any attack on their profits-Pathe confirmed its first eastern movie, The Punishment of the Samurai; the English enterprise, Kinemacolor, opened a winning Moscow office*; and not more blasphemous historic chapters and literary classics have been seriously drawn upon by means of all-influencing an imitative flood of 'classical diversifications' within the Russian the subsequent 12 months. on the finish of 1910, the Danish enterprise, Nordisk, despatched into Russia a two-reel movie known as The A_byss, with a brand new younger actress named Asta Nielsen. t inside of years this and next * One Russian testimonial of Kinemacolor used to be that of the Dowager Empress, writing to her son, Nikolai, from London (April 29, 1912): ' •. • we're lunching at the present time with Georgie and will at Buckingham Palace. They either ship you greetings. final evening we observed their trip to India. Kinemacolor is splendidly attention-grabbing and intensely attractive and provides one the impact of getting obvious all of it in reality....

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