Vol 6, No 4 (2014)

Articles
BIBLIOTEKA VGIK
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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):84-84
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BIBLIOTEKA VGIK
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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):96-96
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BIBLIOTEKA NII KINOISKUSSTVA
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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):124-124
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BIBLIOTEKA NII KINOISKUSSTVA
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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):147-147
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VGIK: Who are you, the future filmmaker?
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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):150-151
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CHRONICLE IN DETAIL | CURRENT EVENTS
VGIK: The Scientific Life in the Anniversary Year
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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):6-6
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VGIK: The Scientific Life in the Anniversary Year
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Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):148-149
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THEORY AND HISTORY OF CINEMA | AUDIOVISUAL ARTS
Film Studies As a Normative Academic Discipline
Nikitina I.P., Ivin A.A.
Abstract

In the article for the first time both in Russian and foreign investigation the concept of cinematology as film and arts studies in general as a normative academic discipline is introduced. The authors assert that the key feature of the normative science is the formulation of the mostly non-evident, though sometimes evident evaluations and norms. The authors argue against the assertion that cinema and arts studies are mainly a descriptive discipline that doesn’t contain any even obscure evaluations or recommendations. Cinema and arts studies take off actual experience of artistic perception, in particular the perception of the works of art, and attempt at description and generalization of this experience. The latter always contains both estimation of particular acts of artistic perception, art styles and trends, and recommendations concerning what may be evaluated ad “genuine tragedy”, “genuine beauty”, “film-masterpiece”. Assertions functioning as imperatives, where the predicate ‘is’ implies ‘ought to be, play the focus role in film studies. This ‘two-dimensional’ mode of thinking composes inner form of all normative sciences constantly switching from passive contemplative speech usage to active pragmatist one. Approaching empirically, the authors argue, that there always evaluation and ambiguous, descriptive statements become apparent in film studies. This fact gives reason to refer film studies to normative disciplines.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):8-24
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FILM LANGUAGE AND TIME | IMAGE GENESIS
Time - Backwards: Mayakovsky Quotes Vertov
Pronin A.A.
Abstract

The article is devoted to the problem of creative interaction of such significant figures of Russian revolutionary avant-garde of the 1920's, as Vladimir Mayakovsky and Dziga Vertov. The relevance of the study is determined by everlasting public interest in one of the most significant pages in the history of Russian cinema, and its novelty stems from the fact that the author has discovered and analyzed previously unnoticed evidence of citing of Vertov's “Kino-eye” (1924) in the screenplays by Mayakovsky “How are you?” (1927). In his article the mechanism of Vertov’s cinema texts incorporation into their own literary text script is thoroughly investigated, and a convincing proof for the reason why Mayakovsky resorted to this technique is provided. In addition, the article convincingly shows how the lyrical theme of the script changes the meaning of the quotation, which allows to arrive at the conclusion that “quotatione, demonstrated in the original that is the power of cinema over time (“negative of time”), in the script by Mayakovsky becomes a metaphor for the lack of it as such”. In the third script, the author shows bread’s way back from the shop counter to the peasant’s fields (frames 16-39), which fully corresponds to the action of the fourth part of the D. Vertov's documentary “Kino-eye” (32-40 minutes). The article advances the hypothesis that Mayakovsky was counting on “recognition of the twist”, and a possible D. Vertov’s response on this creative game, proposed by Mayakovsky, might be “Man with a Movie Camera” (1929), since according to the plan and the composition it resonates with the script by Mayakovsky being a likewise lyrical diary of the artist as “How are you?”. The author concludes that “Man with a Movie Camera” is probably a sort of intravitam “screen adaptation” of Mayakovsky’s script.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):26-32
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Time and Essence. Study of Cinema Product Temporal Analysis
Marievskaya N.Y.
Abstract

Is the ingenuous inquiry “What is the film about?” so simple, for the response to that thing which sometimes causes confusion not only for a common audience, but for an experienced critic. The issue for unveiling film essence through its artistic time analysis has been declared. Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac” has been considered as an example for temporal analysis, algorithm of motion towards cinema product’s essence core being given. Through analysis of time forms constituting film parts, genuine essence has been brought to light what the author has really had in mind - probably even contrary to his aims and against his statements. The conclusion reads that causal relationship has been found as temporal relationship. Hence, film story and artistic time within cinema product is declared to be substantially valid. Looking into horizontal time of “Nymphomaniac” made the author's idea of logics deployment and its general outline clear. For this purpose temporal forms that include plot-making essence, first of all cyclic and non-linear time, have been taken into consideration. Film temporal construction reveals itself at once through the heroine’s realized procedure of remembrance of her own life circumstances that led to a catastrophe occured at that very evening when Seligman found her covered with sewage and in an extremely bad state. The above mentioned procedure supposes convergence towards the truth that a hero confirms in relation to himself. So that does happen in Lars von Trier’s film. The inner film cycle ends with that. The question still remains why Joe for whom a person’s life is the highest value that nobody can make an attempt on, pulls the trigger and kills the man who provides her with a lodge and became her speaker during that long tormented night. What does these two heroes’ conflict content consist of? For the purpose of answering the question it has been studied how time for both heroes is constructed. It has been shown that characters’ conflict is an unsolvable conflict of two different value systems connected with different types of culture.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):33-46
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PERFORMANCE | ART OF PRESENTATION
Strategies of Audiovisual Translation
Bakulev G.P.
Abstract

The issue of audiovisual translation (AVT) seems particularly important in contemporary cinema. As argued, translation is delivered between cultures rather than words. The text is seen as an integral part of the world, but not as its separate fragment. Therefore the translation process is regarded as a crosscultural transfer, defined by the level of the prestige of a source and target cultures, as well as their relationships. The article discusses two main strategies of translation in cinema - dubbing and subtitling, which differ in the degree of interference in the original text. On the one hand, dubbing modifies the original text to a greater degree, making it more comprehensible for the audience. Whereas subtitling, i.e. presenting the dialogue in the target language in the form of synchronous subtitles, makes the least changes in the source text. The choice of a translation strategy generally depends on the view of the target culture and is often influenced by the political factors. Dubbing and subtitling represent two extreme points on the translation range, defined by two opposite types of cultural systems - domestication and foreignization. To suppress or to accept the “foreign” nature of imported films is the key to how a country regards itself in relation to the others and how it realizes the importance of its own culture and language. Fast changes characteristic of our time exert a considerable impact on audiovisual translation. One of the consequences of globalization-localization process is growing diversification of audiovisual production. Scientific and technological progress forms the basis to develop new methods of AVT and means of its realization. Such tendencies testify to huge potential capabilities of amelioration of the translation quality and specialization, providing more universal access to mass media for all social categories thereby accelerating their social integration into modern society.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):48-60
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Character’s Imagery in Russian Animation of 1990s
Prikhod’ko V.V.
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The article deals with the character’s imagery evolution in Russian animation from 1992 to 1998. The imagery transformations are connected with sociocultural changes. This makes investigation of character’s imagery evolution under transition from Soviet to Russian animation highly interesting. The chosen screen stuff is justified by the films’s genre and duration. The animations are classified according to the target audienc’s age, production technology, the studio, where the film was created. These aspects’ influence on the characters imagery is explained on the basis not only of practical observation, but also of cinema theoreticians and practisers’ works. Such properties as the type of a character, one’s gender, age, function in the plot are analyzed. Five concepts of character’s type classification are introduced: a human, an anthropomorph, a zoomorph, an objectified and fantasy character. These characteristics are described theoretically and examplified by the animation films considered. Such concepts as the gender role, character’s age and one’s function in the plot are also illustrated with the examples from the animation films. The dynamics of characters’ transformations in these criteria, the ratio of character types in different years have been researched. The paper shows, how the character transforms in accordance with the type, how the dominating gender identity changes. The main trends in the dynamics of characters’ changes are singled out. The main relations between different features of this period’s films hero, for example, between the production technology and the characters’ type, or between the target audiences’ age and the protagonists’ function in the plot, are drawn out . The author defines the dominated type of a character at certain studios, working most actively in the period in question, and for Russian animation environment in general. The general conclusion about the most accepted character’s type of the period is drawn.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):61-71
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The Art of Opera: Variability of Artistic Languages of Screen Forms
Mesyanzhinova A.V.
Abstract

Specifics of an artistic language of screen forms of opera and its variations (movies, TV performances, live broadcasts in movie theatres) could be explicated successfully using a case study of different interpretations of the same work. The article retrospectively illustrates variability of an artistic language of the operatic screen forms using a case study of screen adaptations of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata (1853). The article analyzes a film-opera by Franco Zeffirelli (1982), a film-opera by Mario Lanfranchi (1968), TV-broadcast of Adrian Marthaler’s staging of La Traviata at Zurich Central station (2008), and the live broadcast in movie theaters of Willy Decker’s production at the Metropolitan Opera (2012). The author presumes that the format of an opera-film through interacting with the audience primarily on emotional and symbolic levels appears as “static”. TV live broadcasts of opera productions, which have replaced filmed opera, convey the “completeness” and “stasis” of what is happening on screen thus allowing the viewer to feel the spontaneity of theatrical action and actually ushering the spectator into the space of each frame. Live broadcasts of opera performances in movie theatres create a unique symbiosis of arts: a “live”, devoid of stasis and predetermination, feature film emerges. Nowadays, when theatres are increasingly offering live broadcasts of their performances in Internet, it is possible to state that the operatic art is not just oriented towards the screen arts but is searching new opportunities to “adapt” itself to the screen format, and can no longer exist independently off the screen. All this affects the artistic language of screen and theatrical forms of the operatic art. Although the operatic art interacts well with the multimedia technologies, the issues of interpretation and transformation of the artistic forms, which arise when recordings of elapsed performances are converted to digital format and viewed on modern devices, require a very delicate approach. Tablet computers and other media devices, which are able to reproduce nearly every recording, in a certain sense, allow customization of the technical and aesthetic forms of an art piece according to the user’s preferences, thus introducing personalized artistic accents of a viewer.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):72-83
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SCREEN CULTURE | CULTURAL STUDIES. PHILOSOPHY
Silver Age. Interference of the Russian and German Cultures
Kharitonova N.S.
Abstract

The author explores the specific interaction of Russian and German art, their differences, forces of attraction and direct contact. Only conscious and meaningful differences could have reveal the strength and true value of each culture and, most importantly, become a pretext for new and creative quest for one’s own way in art. Two-sided interest of Russian and German cultures implies a two-way process mutually contributed and enriched on both parts. The fact that Russian and German art at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries was developing under different conditions does not mean that the exchange of spiritual values was proceeding in only one direction. The facts indicate to intensive relationships and mutual enrichment between the two cultures. Despite restrained relation towards Russian fine art until the mid-1890s, the preconditions for closer attention to it were gradually evolving in Germany. A very important role was played in this province by Russian literature, which since the mid-80s had started to agitate the minds both in Germany and Europe in general. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky became well-known in Germany in 1880s, when the first translations of their works appeared. The next two decades showed an uninterrupted flow of reprints. But the point is not merely in the fact, that the achievements of Russian literature suggested the existence of fine arts of the same quality. Rather, as many critics state, Russian literature became a special key to the 19th century arts. The exhibitions of the Russian artists, including solo exhibitions of Ivan K. Aivazovsky and Vasily Vereshchagin, used to be arranged more and more often in German cities. Relations between Russian and German culture in the late 19th - early 20th were fairly stable and fruitful, enriching and inspiring art in both countries. By late 1910s the European public had accepted Russian art as an equal and very significant phenomenon in world culture, with much spiritual and creative potential deserving an elaborate study.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):86-95
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WORLD CINEMA | ANALYSIS
Phenomenon of Political Biopic in the English-Language Cinema
Morozova I.V.
Abstract

The English-language historical and biographical films are booming currently. Every year large number of biopics appears on the screen. Films devoted to political figures' biographies rank special place among them. The author treats American and British traditions of political biopic, examines their origins, singles out evolution stages of biographical genre in the English-language cinema as well as political biopic's characteristics. The article also contains the brief overview of Western scholarly literature devoted to historical and biographical genres in cinema. Main conclusions: Political biopic is a special phenomenon in the English-language cinema. Its origins are rooted in the traditions of Western historiography and literature, basing on corresponding traditions of antiquity. Political biopic always attracts different filmmakers' attention and enjoys great popularity of the audience as providing fascinating world art plots, that is outstanding individual's biographical path. The success of such films can be also explained by the fact that for the majority of spectators the interest to the past is realized primarily on the level of historical personalities, since common knowledge of the past is by and large personified in connection to individual historical figures. American and British traditions of political biopic share the same general framework, and differences can be reduced to the choice of biographical material and stylistic peculiarities of narration.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):98-109
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TELEVISION | DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT
TV- Show: From the Audience Habits To Principles of Dramaturgy
Kemarskaya I.N.
Abstract

The article is devoted to the scriptwriting of TV shows and the role of the social practices of TV-viewing in the creation of script plot of periodical programs. Script construction of contemporary TV shows differs greatly from the classical film screenwriting due to its primarily focusing on predicted audience reactions in every single moment of broadcasting. The show creators are directed by the intention of giving the viewer the opportunities to feel the emotions he/she anticipates watching every new issue of the program. In order to attract the audience to the screen, hold it, to ensure its return to the favorite show the TV creators are obliged to imagine the established rituals and social practices of screen viewing. The paper covers the historical aspects of the social TV viewing practices, their formation and dynamics, from the Soviet "collective viewing" in a communal apartments with a sole TV-set up to a contemporary tendency of individual “binge-watching” of full ser seasons through internet services. The author specially emphasizes gender, generational, socio-demographic differences in TV watching and their influence on different creative techniques and discoveries. As to the gender habits of audiovisual information perception, the author pays attention to the so called "female" way of TV watching, characteristic of empathy, emotional involvement in the perception of the show, against the "male" choice of action, spectacle dynamics and often simultaneous viewing of different channels. Changes in common practices of TV watching cause the script decisions, adapted to the habitual behavior of different audience groups (shortening of audiovisual elements within programs, clip cutting, priority of emotion over logic-screen narration, etc.). Resume: rapid changes of screen watching social practices challenge the well-known creative technologies, turning the familiar TV shows into the part of the hypertext with different logic of reading and understanding.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):126-136
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Reconstruction As a Show In Contemporary Historical TV-research
Ekimova A.V.
Abstract

The article investigates numerous methods of representation of the past in contemporary TV-mocumentary exemplified by the series about British farming (British Farm). Despite the apparent authenticity of the television image, the attraction of the authors to usage of the on-screen real historical objects and documents reinforcing the narrative by opinions of noted experts, one cannot admit authenticity of the realm represented. The information in such historical series is often presented as a phenomenon, the task of which is rather to hide the true reality, than to represent it. Instead of reconstructing history through artistic means of docudrama, the TV-series mostly create it. For this purpose, effective techniques of artificial dramatization as a synthesis of live sound, vivid images, voiceover and an unusual angle are employed. The author considers the level of relations in contemporary screen document of historical data and “pseudo” household facts, interesting for the “average” viewer; knowledge of professional historians, based on authentic sources and documents, and the attraction of mass audience to myth and speculation, taking up science as entertainment. The relevance of this work is sustained by the growing influence of mass culture on contemporary TV, including documentary projects, which leads to the standardization of the screen document. The novelty of the article consists in the analysis of juxtaposition of the techniques of journalism and feature cinema in TV-series, and the impact of these combinations on the balance between the educational and entertaining components in the TV historic series.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):137-146
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PERSONIFICATION IN FOREIGN FILM | CREATIVE PORTRAIT
James Mangold is “a jewel of a man” in American Cinema
Zvegintseva I.A.
Abstract

James Mangold is an American director, screenwriter, actor and producer. He graduated from California Institute of the Arts and Columbia University.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):110-112
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SCIENCE LABORATORY | YOUNG SCIENTISTS’ RESEARCH
Video Art: “A White Cube” or “A Black Box”?
Staruseva-Persheeva A.D.
Abstract

Video art is a hybrid, combining features of both contemporary art as well as screen arts. It brings together different ways of perception working both in a manner of a movie which transfers the viewer into virtual daydreaming (Matthew Barney, Steeve McQueen), and in a manner of a painting or sculpture which gives a viewer some intense corporal experience (Tony Oursler). Accordingly, there are two ways of presenting video art: in “a white cube” and “a black box”. In 1970-s video art used to be presented in “white cubes” of contemporary art galleries where they nailed the screens right to the wall. In “a white cube” video comes into the viewer’s sight together with other items in display, therefore a show-piece comes into contact with other ones in a spectator’s mind’s eye. Moreover, “a white cube” gives visitors an opportunity to be in charge of their time of viewing, which implies, that the “white cube” perception appears rather chaotic and the “final cut” of a video in the spectator’s mind becomes unpredictable, what is characteristic of video. In 2000-s when both video and film technologies got replaced by the digital one, all the moving pictures started to resemble one another. A well-lit room of “a white cube” was not appropriate for high definition videos, whereas “a black box” is usually associated with a cinema hall and consequently a video presented in such a “cinematic” manner makes a viewer unconsciously expect to see a “cinematic” piece of art. Video today is an indispensable figurant of any significant exhibition of contemporary art and it is defined as an artistic (not cinematic) media. Traditionally video is being exhibited in “a white cube” of a gallery; however, there is now a distinct tendency to present video art in “a black box”, that is in a “cinematic” way. As a result it’s getting harder and harder to distinguish video art from experimental cinema. Nowadays the very strategy of presentation of video may help this media to retain identity or to lose it.

Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies. 2014;6(4):114-123
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