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Cinematicity in Media History$
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Jeffrey Geiger and Karin Littau

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748676118

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676118.001.0001

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Cinematicity of Speech and Visibility of Literature: The Poetics of Soviet Film Scripts of the Early Sound Film Era

Cinematicity of Speech and Visibility of Literature: The Poetics of Soviet Film Scripts of the Early Sound Film Era

Chapter:
(p.118) (p.119) Chapter 7 Cinematicity of Speech and Visibility of Literature: The Poetics of Soviet Film Scripts of the Early Sound Film Era
Source:
Cinematicity in Media History
Author(s):

Anke Hennig

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676118.003.0008

This chapter, written by Anke Hennig, offers an account of scriptwriting in the Soviet film culture of the 1930s. It locates an instance of cinematicity during this period in the political and aesthetic struggle to identify and establish the genre of the film script in relation to the literary arts from which it borrowed its medium, on the one hand, and the properly cinematic narrative it sought to embody in that medium, on the other. Taking Mikhail Bleiman as her main point of reference, she shows how his script for The Great Citizen does not attempt to express the filmic by literary means, or to show the filmic in the literary, but rather to create a showing that remains inexpressible in the latter. Drawing on a range of contextual documentation, Hennig demonstrates how critics and avatars of the film script thus sought instances where the new genre (which they regarded as a ‘fourth’ genre alongside epic, drama, poetry) surpassed its literary precursors. On the basis of the historical vicissitudes of the film script, Hennig argues for the irreducibly multimedial basis of cinematicity.

Keywords:   Russian cinema, Screenwriting, Genre, Soviet Union, Mikhail Bleiman, Film and Literature

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