“Moscow text” in Russian cinema in the 1920s-1940s


In the article the Russian films of the period 1920-1940 are considered, the image of Moscow is analyzed in the context of the concept of “city text”. The concept “city text” sprang into being as a certain sample of the “supra text” concept, a complex set of semantically bound texts. This issue is underexplored in the Russian film studies. The urgency of the investigation is stipulated by the fact, that under cultural dissimilation reflection of the separate text integrity, the capital’s cityscape expressed in cinema terms in particular, will contribute to the perception of ways of urbanization on socio-cultural level as well as peculiarities of city culture shaping Three concepts of Moscow are specified: “Moscow as a Third Rome”, with prevaing symbols of power, “Moscow as a new Kitezh” with bi-worldness images, and “Moscow as a new Babylon” paralleling the Russian capital with the Bible city. Also such concepts as “Moscow as a female protagonist” and “festive Moscow”, rendering the mood of warm hospitality, friendship and cordiality are considered. Different manifestations of all three concepts are displayed in the 1920-s cinema: novelized images of Moscow as a reborn symbol of power, as a two-layered city and as a new Babylon. In the 1930-s the capital in the cinema is represented by comedies, showing Moscow as a dream-city, where all wishes come true, as a conflict-free space with the female protagonist delivering the key semantics of “festive Moscow”. In the 1940-s the continuation of the previous year’s tendency is traced - the war themes don’t emerge, but the idea of “dream city” is still popular, elaborated by the ideas of power and domination, materialized in the images of the parades. Next decades the idea of the Moscow as a “dream city” will be changed, but the power of its influence will reveal itself, whereas the idea of bi-worldness starts to develop in completely different facets.

About the authors

Nina Alexandrovna Boyarshinova


Author for correspondence.
Email: boyarshinova05@mail.ru

post-graduate student


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Copyright (c) 2014 Boyarshinova N.A.

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