Perestroika

“Dancing on Brezhnev’s portrait, or a naked girl appearing next to Stalin’s face”: satirical animation films of the perestroika era

This article explores satirical animation films made across the Socialist bloc during 1986-1991. Coming from Latvia or Czechoslovakia, these films are united by their daring subject matters and visual representations, clearly aimed at breaking taboos of the socialist culture and ridiculing the socialist ideology.

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“Dancing on Brezhnev’s portrait, or a naked girl appearing next to Stalin’s face”: satirical animation films of the perestroika era

This article explores satirical animation films made across the Socialist bloc during 1986-1991. Coming from Latvia or Czechoslovakia, these films are united by their daring subject matters and visual representations, clearly aimed at breaking taboos of the socialist culture and ridiculing the socialist ideology.

/ No comments

Tsoi, Drugs and Soviet rock: The Needle and the Kazakh New Wave in the context of late Soviet cinema

[This article was originally published on Vostok Cable] To follow up on the film and music event dedicated to the legendary Soviet musician Viktor Tsoi and his band Kino, Obskura’s editor-in-chief Inese Strupule discusses The Needle (1988), Tsoi’s rock persona, the Kazakh New Wave, and their place in the cultural scene of the late Soviet

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Tsoi, Drugs and Soviet rock: The Needle and the Kazakh New Wave in the context of late Soviet cinema

[This article was originally published on Vostok Cable] To follow up on the film and music event dedicated to the legendary Soviet musician Viktor Tsoi and his band Kino, Obskura’s editor-in-chief Inese Strupule discusses The Needle (1988), Tsoi’s rock persona, the Kazakh New Wave, and their place in the cultural scene of the late Soviet

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OBSKURA FILM EVENT: The Spirit of Viktor Tsoi

Legendary rock singer Viktor Tsoi was a Soviet musician, film actor, songwriter and leader of the 1980s rock band Kino. Despite his untimely death, his spirit lives on in his music which remains hugely popular.

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OBSKURA FILM EVENT: The Spirit of Viktor Tsoi

Legendary rock singer Viktor Tsoi was a Soviet musician, film actor, songwriter and leader of the 1980s rock band Kino. Despite his untimely death, his spirit lives on in his music which remains hugely popular.

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The image of youth in late Soviet cinema: Real Youth?

‘The image of youth in late Soviet cinema’ is a series of articles exploring the ways youth was portrayed in Soviet films of perestroika period.

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The image of youth in late Soviet cinema: Real Youth?

‘The image of youth in late Soviet cinema’ is a series of articles exploring the ways youth was portrayed in Soviet films of perestroika period.

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The image of youth in late Soviet cinema: Youth In Search

‘The image of youth in late Soviet cinema’ is a series of articles exploring the ways youth was portrayed in Soviet films of perestroika period.

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The image of youth in late Soviet cinema: Youth In Search

‘The image of youth in late Soviet cinema’ is a series of articles exploring the ways youth was portrayed in Soviet films of perestroika period.

/ 2 Comments

The image of youth in late Soviet cinema: Doomed Youth

‘The image of youth in late Soviet cinema’ is a series of articles exploring the ways youth was portrayed in Soviet films of perestroika period.

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The image of youth in late Soviet cinema: Doomed Youth

‘The image of youth in late Soviet cinema’ is a series of articles exploring the ways youth was portrayed in Soviet films of perestroika period.

/ 2 Comments

The image of youth in late Soviet cinema: Monstrous Youth

‘The image of youth in late Soviet cinema’ is a series of articles exploring the ways youth was portrayed in Soviet films of perestroika period.

/ 2 Comments

The image of youth in late Soviet cinema: Monstrous Youth

‘The image of youth in late Soviet cinema’ is a series of articles exploring the ways youth was portrayed in Soviet films of perestroika period.

/ 2 Comments

The image of youth in late Soviet cinema: Introduction

‘The image of youth in late Soviet cinema’ is a series of articles exploring the ways youth was portrayed in Soviet films of perestroika period.

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The image of youth in late Soviet cinema: Introduction

‘The image of youth in late Soviet cinema’ is a series of articles exploring the ways youth was portrayed in Soviet films of perestroika period.

/ 2 Comments

Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema: Repentance

‘Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema’ is a series of articles that explores  the ways in which late Soviet cinema engaged with history and past, and in particular focuses on how the Stalinist years were portrayed in perestroika cinema.

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Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema: Repentance

‘Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema’ is a series of articles that explores  the ways in which late Soviet cinema engaged with history and past, and in particular focuses on how the Stalinist years were portrayed in perestroika cinema.

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Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema: Mirror for the Hero

‘Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema’ is a series of articles that explores  the ways in which late Soviet cinema engaged with history and past, and in particular focuses on how the Stalinist years were portrayed in perestroika cinema.

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Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema: Mirror for the Hero

‘Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema’ is a series of articles that explores  the ways in which late Soviet cinema engaged with history and past, and in particular focuses on how the Stalinist years were portrayed in perestroika cinema.

/ 3 Comments

When Gorbachev came out as a fan of Twin Peaks

It appears that the last General Secretary of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev was a big fan of American cult TV series Twin Peaks and, using his channels, was trying to find out who killed Laura Palmer.

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When Gorbachev came out as a fan of Twin Peaks

It appears that the last General Secretary of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev was a big fan of American cult TV series Twin Peaks and, using his channels, was trying to find out who killed Laura Palmer.

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Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema: My Friend Ivan Lapshin

‘Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema’ is a series of articles that explores  the ways in which late Soviet cinema engaged with history and past, and in particular focuses on how the Stalinist years were portrayed in perestroika cinema.

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Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema: My Friend Ivan Lapshin

‘Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema’ is a series of articles that explores  the ways in which late Soviet cinema engaged with history and past, and in particular focuses on how the Stalinist years were portrayed in perestroika cinema.

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Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema: Foreword

‘Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema’ is a series of articles that explores  the ways in which late Soviet cinema engaged with history and past, and in particular focuses on how the Stalinist years were portrayed in perestroika cinema.

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Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema: Foreword

‘Stalin’s ghost in perestroika cinema’ is a series of articles that explores  the ways in which late Soviet cinema engaged with history and past, and in particular focuses on how the Stalinist years were portrayed in perestroika cinema.

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Made in Crimea: ASSA (1987)

The first installment in our new section ‘Made in Crimea’ is dedicated to ASSA (1987) – the example of the 1980s counter-cultural cinema and the ultimate Soviet rock music film.

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Made in Crimea: ASSA (1987)

The first installment in our new section ‘Made in Crimea’ is dedicated to ASSA (1987) – the example of the 1980s counter-cultural cinema and the ultimate Soviet rock music film.

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Six simple facts about Necrorealism

AVANT-GARDE Originated in the 1980s, Necrorealism was the first Soviet cinematic avant-garde since the 1920s. The name of the new Eisenstein was Yevgeny Yufit.

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Six simple facts about Necrorealism

AVANT-GARDE Originated in the 1980s, Necrorealism was the first Soviet cinematic avant-garde since the 1920s. The name of the new Eisenstein was Yevgeny Yufit.

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Obscene music video from the USSR: Faina by Na-Na

Continuing on the subject of music videos from behind the Iron Curtain, we bring you this infamous product of post-Soviet madness 

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Obscene music video from the USSR: Faina by Na-Na

Continuing on the subject of music videos from behind the Iron Curtain, we bring you this infamous product of post-Soviet madness 

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Zero City (1989): dark absurdist tale in 10 frames

In the film Zero City (Город Зеро, 1989) by Karen Shakhnazarov, Buñuel meets Kafka, and Bakhtin’s notion of carnival, applied to Soviet daily life of the pre-collapse period, becomes perverted and reduces itself to a darkly troubling satire.

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Zero City (1989): dark absurdist tale in 10 frames

In the film Zero City (Город Зеро, 1989) by Karen Shakhnazarov, Buñuel meets Kafka, and Bakhtin’s notion of carnival, applied to Soviet daily life of the pre-collapse period, becomes perverted and reduces itself to a darkly troubling satire.

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Happy birthday, Viktor Tsoi!

Today Viktor Tsoi would have turned 51. Tsoi and his songs were a symbol of freedom for many people of perestroika generation. He died in a car accident on August 15, 1990, aged 28, but as his devoted fans keep saying until today: “Tsoi zhiv!”(Tsoi is alive).

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Happy birthday, Viktor Tsoi!

Today Viktor Tsoi would have turned 51. Tsoi and his songs were a symbol of freedom for many people of perestroika generation. He died in a car accident on August 15, 1990, aged 28, but as his devoted fans keep saying until today: “Tsoi zhiv!”(Tsoi is alive).

/ One Comment

Lenin was a mushroom: Kuryokhin’s TV mystification

In May 1991 many Soviet people’s notions and beliefs collapsed. Not because the Soviet system was crumbling little by little, but because they suddenly found out that Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Great Socialist October Revolution and the founder of the USSR, was in fact a mushroom.

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Lenin was a mushroom: Kuryokhin’s TV mystification

In May 1991 many Soviet people’s notions and beliefs collapsed. Not because the Soviet system was crumbling little by little, but because they suddenly found out that Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Great Socialist October Revolution and the founder of the USSR, was in fact a mushroom.

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MMM studio presents: Gongofer (1992)

Gongofer (Гонгофер, 1992) is the most cryptic film in the history of post-Soviet cinema, the meaning of which we won’t even try to decipher. As the opening title states, the film is a story of “a cossack Kol’ka Smagin – a tall, handsome man with brown eyes. Until he was 25, his eyes were brown, then

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MMM studio presents: Gongofer (1992)

Gongofer (Гонгофер, 1992) is the most cryptic film in the history of post-Soviet cinema, the meaning of which we won’t even try to decipher. As the opening title states, the film is a story of “a cossack Kol’ka Smagin – a tall, handsome man with brown eyes. Until he was 25, his eyes were brown, then

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