The cinema in Russia today
THE CINEMA IN RUSSIA TODAY
Cinema is one of the most important means of entertainment and propaganda.
It is an ideological instrument of the political party at power in a
country. Cinema is a mirror reflection of the county rulers and their
If you want to go to the cinema in Russia today you will have to face
two problems. The first is to find a cinema in your locality which is still
showing films and which has not been turned into a disco, bar, amusement
arcade or a furniture salon-shop. The second is to find a film worth
The large industrial cities used to have five or six cinemas in the
centre and about thirty in the suburbs. Even small towns had several
cinemas. But since the advent (прибытие) of television, video and
perestroika, cinemas have been closing down at an alarming rate. Now if you
want to see a film there only few central cinema halls at your disposal.
There are several reasons why the film industry is losing audiences.
Many film makers put the blame on television and video, and this was
certainly a major cause at the beginning. But since television and video
audience figures have now passed their peak, while cinema audiences
continue to decline, part of the answer must be sought in the quality of
the films now being produced.
If some fifteen years ago under the socialism, our film industry aimed
to make better films filled with love, friendship, struggle for the cause
of peace and justice, nowadays many of the film tycoons (магнат; заправила;
шишка; воротила; «акула»; тайкун) in our country have found the exactly
opposite solution making stupid third-rate comedies and action films about
prostitutes and killers. Cinema in Russia has been gradually becoming
Americanised. Of course, Hollywood is a great film centre, but they on the
one hand try to lure the public back into the cinema with all sorts of
films with an accent on horror and the lowest kind of pornography and on
the other hand propagandise violence, promiscuity and individualism. The
most recent box-office successes combine all features in a blend of
savagery, racialism, anti-socialism, sexual degradation and violation! It
works for with a certain category of cinema-lovers typically teenagers and
spiritually sick people.
Another solution to make cinema popular again is the introduction of all
kinds of technical developments like wide-screen and cinemascope, 3-D,
Cinerama, Dolby surround sound, power-driven chairs, etc.; but despite the
advantages of improved techniques, the audiences continue to decline. It
only proves that cinema-goers very quickly get accustomed to these
technological advances and they want more from the point of view of the
film’s ideological content and message.
The present state of cinema leaves me no chance of going to see a corny
film in a dilapidating building with bad sound and picture quality. I’d
prefer to stay in and watch the good old Soviet “Twelve Chairs” or “The
Caucasus Prisoner”. Though some oversea productions are worth seeing, too.
There is only hope that our country regains its status of the world’s
highly spiritual and cultural film production centre.