Kino and the Woman Question: Feminism and Soviet Silent Film

Kino and the Woman Question: Feminism and Soviet Silent Film

Judith Mayne

Language: English

Pages: 169

ISBN: 0814204813

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Book by Mayne, Judith

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the­ atre."40 T h e duality of activity and passivity also would be evoked in a more subtle but nonetheless distinct way to insist upon the difference between literary methods and cinematic ones. Consider, for instance, Kuleshov's remarks on the filmic method: In order to think in scenario terms about the "triumphant explosion of a dam " or the "charging of hostile forces into a city," what is needed is not a literary method but a filmic one—in shots: galloping horses, marching infantry,

church and the government, for despite his appearance, the priest is unques­ tionably an ally of the ship's officers. W h e n the ship docks at Odessa, Vakulinchuk's body is displayed for public view. Visitors swarm to the docks, paying their respects and bringing gifts to the sailors. W o m e n appear here for the first time in the film. At the same time the crowds—which, during the battle on the ship, were relatively homogenous—become a varied mixture of old and young, rich and poor,

immediacy of the The W o m a n Question and Soviet Silent Film 43 events depicted in the film. There m a y be disagreement as to whether the physician's pince-nez is metaphoric or metonym­ ic, but it is obvious that the pince-nez constitutes a cinematic abstraction. But what of the reappearance of the pince-nez on the w o m a n ' s face? Is this also a rhetorical figure? T o be sure, the close-up is an abstraction, but not an abstraction of the same order as the pince-nez seen in isolation

close-up of her is superimposed on the curtain, and her face seems to approach the camera (fig. 4.4). This kind of overt manipulation is very rare in the film, so it draws even more attention to Ludmilla's status as an alienated observer. It is not the first time that Ludmilla has been represented as separate from the two m e n . W h e n Kolya prepares to leave on his journey, he spends more time saying goodbye to his friend than to his wife. Cross-cutting depicts Ludmilla, packing her 120 Bed

attempt at equality is admirable, the social function of the camera here is different from the perceptual function discussed above. In the previous case, the camera embodies a desire to incorporate the poles of male and female subjectivity, whereas here sexual division becomes a support for the commentary on class differences. But the progression of Man with a Movie Camera suggests that the desire to incorporate male and female difference within the camera constitutes the larger movemen t of the

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