The cinema in Russia today

The cinema in Russia today


Cinema is one of the most important means
of entertainment and propaganda. It is an ideological instrument of the political
party at power in a country. Cinema is a mirror reflection of the county rulers
and their policy.

If you want to go to the cinema in Russia
today you will have to face two problems. The first is to find a cinema in your
locality which is still showing films and which has not been turned into a disco,
bar, amusement arcade or a furniture salon-shop. The second is to find a film
worth seeing.

The large industrial cities used to have
five or six cinemas in the centre and about thirty in the suburbs. Even small
towns had several cinemas. But since the advent (прибытие)
of television, video and perestroika, cinemas have been closing down at an
alarming rate. Now if you want to see a film there only few central cinema
halls at your disposal.

There are several reasons why the film
industry is losing audiences.

Many film makers put the blame on
television and video, and this was certainly a major cause at the beginning.
But since television and video audience figures have now passed their peak,
while cinema audiences continue to decline, part of the answer must be sought
in the quality of the films now being produced.

If some fifteen years ago under the
socialism, our film industry aimed to make better films filled with love,
friendship, struggle for the cause of peace and justice, nowadays many of the
film tycoons (магнат; заправила;
шишка; воротила; «акула»; тайкун)
in our country have found the exactly opposite solution making stupid third-rate
comedies and action films about prostitutes and killers. Cinema in Russia has
been gradually becoming Americanised. Of course, Hollywood is a great film
centre, but they on the one hand try to lure the public back into the cinema
with all sorts of films with an accent on horror and the lowest kind of
pornography and on the other hand propagandise violence, promiscuity and individualism.
The most recent box-office successes combine all features in a blend of
savagery, racialism, anti-socialism, sexual degradation and violation! It works
for with a certain category of cinema-lovers typically teenagers and spiritually
sick people.

Another solution to make cinema popular
again is the introduction of all kinds of technical develop­ments like wide-screen
and cinemascope, 3-D, Cinerama, Dolby surround sound, power-driven chairs, etc.;
but despite the advantages of improved techniques, the audiences continue to
decline. It only proves that cinema-goers very quickly get accustomed to these
technological advances and they want more from the point of view of the film’s ideological
content and message.

The present state of cinema leaves me no
chance of going to see a corny film in a dilapidating building with bad sound
and picture quality. I’d prefer to stay in and watch the good old Soviet “Twelve
Chairs” or “The Caucasus Prisoner”. Though some oversea productions are worth
seeing, too.   

There is only hope that our country regains
its status of the world’s highly spiritual and cultural film production centre.

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