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The Filmmaker's PhilosopherMerab Mamardashvili and Russian Cinema$
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Alyssa DeBlasio

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474444484

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474444484.001.0001

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Alexander Sokurov’s Demoted (1980): Consciousness as Celebration

Alexander Sokurov’s Demoted (1980): Consciousness as Celebration

(p.30) Chapter 1 Alexander Sokurov’s Demoted (1980): Consciousness as Celebration
The Filmmaker's Philosopher

Alyssa DeBlasio

Edinburgh University Press

Between 1976 and 1980, Mamardashvili lectured at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow—the oldest and most prestigious film school in the Soviet Union. A common thread among the lectures he delivered there, and all his philosophical work, was his emphasis on the problem of consciousness and its role in the existential, transcendental, and moral lives of human beings. This chapter looks at the earliest direct cinematic nod to Mamardashvili, Sokurov’s short film Demoted, within the broader narrative of Mamardashvili’s philosophy of consciousness and the political discourse of the late Soviet period. I show how Demoted can serve as a cinematic portrait of Mamardashvili’s paradoxical, but ultimately celebratory, view of human consciousness experience and the struggles that being human entails. The structure of this chapter serves as a model for the remaining chapters, in which I read one or more films side-by-side an idea that was important to Mamardashvili’s philosophical project.

Keywords:   Alexander Sokurov, VGIK, Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, All-Union State Institute of Cinematography

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