TV-Optics of Perestroika. The Soviet Cinema of 1985-1990 through the Prism of Television Motifs

Jour Fixe talk by Maria Zhukova on January 11, 2017

Maria Zhukova talk concerns the representation of television in films of the late socialism in Russia. The film as an audio-visual medium reacts rapidly to the transformation of the “small screen” caused by the transitional phase of perestroika. In the Russian cinema of this period, the new TV-tendencies like overflowing of information, interest in everyday life, discussing of  social problems (e.g. drugs, corruption, mafia activity etc.), previously excluded from the media discourse, are immediately reflected.

The goal of her talk was to display the changed attitude of film to its media rival in 1985-1990 compared to the period of 1960s - early 1980s. The stories told about television in films since the 1960s are opposed to the line of official politics which link television to propagating the socialist idea. The film as well as other arts (literature, painting) – so the main point of the lecture – show a special sensibility to television and discover its aesthetical and technical features like „instantaneousness“ and „total involvement in all-inclusive nowness“ (McLuhan) as incompatible for the communication of the Socialist ideology.