Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Aleksandr Ptushko: The Stone Flower - Каменный Цветок (1946)

Directed: Aleksandr Ptushko
Written: Pavel Bazhov, Ivan Keller Cinematography: Fedor Provorov
Music: Lev Shvarts
With Vladimir Druzhnikov, Tamara Makarova, Mikhail Troianovskii, Ekaterina Derevshchikova, and Aleksei Kelberer

One of the first color films produced in the Soviet Union, The Stone Flower has—less literally than figuratively—preserved the freshness of its colors. If one were to glance at its production date only, expectations of high aesthetic merit would have to be laid aside. 1946 announced the beginning of what is certainly the grimmest era in Soviet culture, marked by an unprecedented level of intolerance toward artistic "deviations." The policing of culture during the Zhdanov years (1946-1948), brought into existence a tradition of aesthetic practices known as the "varnishing of reality": art was asked to represent the world by refracting it through the prism of "what ought to be." After Stalin's much quoted words, "We were born to make the fairy tale come true," the old genre was to become much more than that: it was to signify a mode of apprehending reality. ...more

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