Everyday Moscow Essay

Submitted By cliick_here
Words: 394
Pages: 2

Nahomy Lopez
Everyday Moscow 354

The cinema has always been subject to keen scrutiny by Russia's rulers. As early as the beginning of this century Russia's last czar to nationalize this new and threatening medium: "I have always insisted that these cinema-booths are dangerous institutions. Any number of bandits could commit crimes there, yet they say the people go in droves to watch all kinds of nonsense; I don't know what to do about these places." [1] The plan for a government monopoly over cinema, which would ensure control of production and consumption and thereby protect the Russian people from moral ruin, was passed along to the Duma not long before the February revolution of 1917. [2] However, it was ultimately carried out in 1919 by the same Bolsheviks who had executed Romanov, and Vladimir Lenin formulated one of the Communist Party's political postulates in regard to cinema by announcing it to be, in 1922, "the most important of all the arts." [3] Yet it was truly made the most important medium of the new society by Joseph Stalin, who expressed this almost metaphysical conviction in 1924: "Film is an illusion, but it dictates its laws to life." [4]
When cinema first came onto the scene at the turn of the century as a means to capture movement visually, and then rapidly grew into an industry producing story-telling pictures, it became one of the first global vehicles for expression, erasing national boundaries between cultures. The first recollections about this new technological phenomenon captured the shift in cultural patterns which defined the turn of the century: the eternal; the fleeting moment;